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[ 24 ] January 17, 2012 |

A couple of beverage-related stories this morning.

1. If you didn’t oppose fracking the Marcellus Shale before, let the Post provide some really strong evidence while you should: there is a significant chance the fracking process will pollute the groundwater used by Ommegang for their excellent beers. The thought of losing Ommegang is too much for me to contemplate. Luckily, the Ommegang brewers are leading the charge to protect their product and New York’s groundwater.

2. I know progressives love to trash Texas left and right but it’s a land of small charms. One of those charms is the town of Dublin, which has a restaurant serving the a 19th century offshoot Dr. Pepper recipe. It is (or was) delicious. I used to drink a lot of Dr. Pepper, though I gave it up a couple of years ago. But the Dublin Dr. Pepper was amazing. The multinational beverage corporation The Dr. Pepper Snapple Corporation was never comfortable with this “threat” to their brand and now they’ve cracked down. Dublin was so popular it began to sell some of its product online, violating the six-county radius agreement they had previously signed. Instead of coming to a compromise and saving this unique product, the multinational chose to crush Dublin Dr. Pepper, pulling the naming rights. Theoretically, the Waco-based corporation is going to continue the recipe and the store, but without the town’s association with it. We’ll see how long this lasts.

There really is nothing else in Dublin. It was a tourist attraction for this reason alone. The future viability of this town relies on it’s connection with its version of Dr. Pepper.

If you go to the Dr. Pepper museum in Waco, the top floor is a love fest to the multinational that runs it. It’s pretty gross. Maybe it’ll include an exhibit on crushing small-town Texas.

More here.


Comments (24)

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  1. Froley says:

    Dublin Dr. Pepper was very good — the first time I drank one, it reminded me why I liked Dr. Pepper as a kid (but didn’t care for it now). The local news (here in Dallas) has been covering people (including chefs who used DDP in desserts) who are now boycotting Dr. Pepper/Snapple Group products.

  2. Halloween Jack says:

    I haven’t drunk Dr. Pepper since the shitty-arsed 10 ads, but perhaps Dublin can simply become one of the Dr. Wannabes?

  3. That is a bummer. Mexican Pepsi is currently my favorite cane-soda, but the DDP (which I just recently tried for the first time when I was visiting Sanger, TX) was VERY yummy.

  4. Stephen Frug says:

    It was decades ago, but as far as tourist attractions in Dublin go, I recall really enjoying the James Joyce museum. It’s in the Marcello tower, where Joyce lived briefly, and where Stephen Dedalus starts his day on June 16, 1904. If nothing else it’s fun to walk around, see the place, and then read the first chapter of Ulysses, which is set there.

  5. Prodigal says:

    I paid an extortionate rate to get three cases of DDP last Friday. It’s the last Dr Pepper product I plan to buy for the forseeable future.

  6. actor212 says:

    It never ceases to amaze me that, even in junk foods, Americans are willing to trade down.

    Go to Canada or Mexico. Order a Coke. As you sip that first sip and realize what a really soda tastes like, remember that the American crap is made with high fructose corn syrup only because we give ADM a fucking stipend to grow corn, that if we took the corn subidy away, this is what we’d all be drinking nationwide.

    Same with Dr. Pee vs. DDP.

    • Left_Wing_Fox says:

      This is an urban legend that won’t die. Canadian Coke and Pepsi is made with HFCS. Any difference is in your head.

      The confusion comes from the labelling: In Canada, HFCS is listed as “Sugar (gucose/fructose)” Same stuff.

      • R Johnston says:

        Even the versions made with sucrose are not detectably different in taste. HFCS is very close to 50-50 fructose and glucose, and the sucrose in carbonated sodas made with sucrose breaks down into glucose and fructose long before you get the chance to drink the soda. Even if there were some great big difference in how sucrose, glucose, and fructose tasted–and there really isn’t–you wouldn’t get that difference in a soda made with sucrose.

        • actor212 says:

          Trust me, there’s an huge difference. It’s immediately noticeable.

          • Auguste says:

            Agreed. I don’t know about Canadian versions, but I’ve done blind taste tests with the Mexican version and the difference is striking.

            This is one of those times where “It’s an urban legend” has taken on the status of an urban legend.

          • Richard says:

            I think there is a difference in taste between US coke and Mexican coke but I prefer the US version – tastes not as sweet as the Mexican version. Just a matter of taste.

        • Rafael says:

          Hey you sound like a food scientist (like me) and your right. Here at UMaine we have scientists who were approached by the Cane Sugar industry to test how sucrose breaks down in canned soda. The results were striking, in only a few weeks all the sucrose had broken down into sucrose/fructose. Making the composition of the soda almost exactly the same as one made with HFCS.

      • actor212 says:

        Not in the bars and restaurants I’ve been in. Or the supermarkets.

    • Malaclypse says:

      Go to Canada or Mexico. Order a Coke.

      Or get Kosher-for-Passover Coke.

  7. Nathan Williams says:

    We visited Ommegang last fall for the Waffles & Puppets event, and visiting and driving around that area I saw more anti-fracking lawn signs than I’ve ever seen elsewhere. There were two or three probably pro-fracking signs – “Friends of Natural Gas” – but they were outnumbered 50:1 at least.

  8. The supply of natural gas from the Marcellus shale is one of the drivers behind the phasing out of coal-fired power generation.

    Natural gas produces half the GHG emissions of coal, and a minute fraction of the toxics, carcinogens, and particulate.

    Fracking produces much less water pollution than coal mining.

    We have drill for natural gas to get off of coal – to have any hope of getting off of coal fast enough to meaningfully slow down climate change. Fracking needs tighter regulation, not a blanket ban.

    • actor212 says:

      I’m torn on this issue.

      On the one hand, NYS has Robert Kennedy Jr on the board overseeing the fracking. So clearly he’s OK with it.

      On the other, there’s enough anecdotal evidence that fracking, particularly in the Pennsylvania Marcellus secotr, has correlated (may or not be causative) with a rise in cancerous compounds in well-water, that it deserves to be studied further.

      I understand your point, Joe, and the farmers around my little chalet in the Catskills all agree it would be a boost to the local economy and don’t seem to give it much concern.

      But it’s not like things haven’t happened (*koffkoffWOBURNkoffkoff*) that we shouldn’t exercise a bit more due diligence first.

      • I’m torn on this issue.

        That means you’re doing it right. There will be an environmental cost to replacing coal with natural gas. That cost can be reduced through vigilant regulation and oversight, but there is no free lunch.

        But what choice do we have? The environmental cost of not switching from coal to natural gas power generation is much, much higher. Getting off coal is non-negotiable. We cannot keep burning coal, and we need to do it at a time that commercial power generation needs to increase overall (if only to switch a lot of petroleum-burning cars to electric cars).

        Renewables aren’t going to replace the coal plants, at least not on the timeline we need.

    • Murc says:

      I got no particular beef with pulling natural gas out of the ground. It’s not doing anyone any good down there, it isn’t part of any ecosystem I know about. It’s just sitting there waiting to be burned. And it burns clean and hot. Ideally, we’d be using it for heat, not power, but we should be using it.

      Having said that? If you’re going to frack for it, you had fucking better not be poisoning aquifers or messing up watersheds, residential areas, or other things that are, you know, important. I have zero faith that the energy industry can be relied upon to conduct fracking ethically and cleanly. Zero.

      I take issue with this, tho:

      We have drill for natural gas to get off of coal – to have any hope of getting off of coal fast enough to meaningfully slow down climate change.

      This is categorically untrue. We may CHOOSE to drill for natural gas as part of a transition away from high-carbon power generation that also allows the extractive industries to bank huge profits. We do not HAVE to do so.

  9. Coulda sworn that I actually found this here…but if not, here ya go.

    There are a number of pretty clear conclusions that can be drawn from these tests. To put it simply, when it comes to taste, there’s this simple relationship: Boosterism > Tasting = Feeling, meaning that while there are an equal number of people who are affected by the flavor of Coke as there are affected by the feel of the container, both of these groups are eclipsed once you add in knowledge of the product’s provenance. Those folks who prefer Mexican Coke (like myself), really just like the idea of Mexican Coke—whether it’s because they think real sugar is tastier/healthier than corn syrup, whether it’s because Mexican Coke is more expensive and harder to find, thus more valuable, whether it’s because of its exoticism, whatever the reason—strip away the Mexicanness of it, and suddenly it’s a lot less appealing.

    This is not all that surprising to me, given some pretty similar results in taste tests past. What was surprising was that after the Mexicanity of the Coke was removed, people actually preferred the flavor of American Coke.

  10. fasteddie9318 says:

    So I have to stop drinking Snapple tea when I need a caffeine fix? FUCK. How do big corporations get to be so big when they’re run by such total idiots?

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