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The Northern Neck’s hidden gem

Posted on Wednesday, January 16, 2019 at 10:27 am

What’s not to love? Sweet, with just a bite and bubbles that tickle the nose. It’s a refreshing drink on its own as well as a great mixer for cocktails.

Northern Neck Ginger Ale, a hometown favorite for generations since 1926 when it was first brewed by the Carver family of Montross, is seeing a resurgence in popularity thanks to an effort to make it the official soft drink of Virginia.

The grassroots campaign to “make it official” started with Chip Jones of Montross. A Northern Neck native and long-time champion of the area, Jones previously worked to create a specialty license plate highlighting the Northern Neck. To further promote the region he calls home, he started an online petition, citing the “crisp, refreshing beverage enjoyed at many functions, from backyard barbecues to official government receptions, it is truly a Virginian classic.”

And the movement seems to be growing. Del. Margaret Ransone has since introduced House Bill 1875 to amend the code of Virginia related to official emblems and designations. Though the bill is currently in committee, if passed, Northern Neck Ginger Ale will join the Northern cardinal, the American foxhound, and the Virginia big-eared bat, among others, as official symbols of the Commonwealth.

Northern Neck Ginger Ale used to be bottled at the now vacant Montross Coca-Cola facility.