RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Virginia Senator Tim Kaine has added his voice to the growing chorus calling on soda giant Coca-Cola to bring back a beloved local soda that was made on Virginia’s Northern Neck.
Northern Neck Ginger Ale, which was brewed for nearly 100 years in Westmoreland County, has been the subject of petitions, a billboard and nostalgic recollections by residents of the Northern Neck, who say it beats any other ginger ale on the market.
“The best ginger ale in the world is Northern Neck Ginger Ale that was made for decades in Montross, Virginia,” Kaine said during a press call Wednesday.
Production of the soda was abruptly cancelled by Coca-Cola in October 2020 as they shuttered production of many local brands across the United States.
“Anytime you’re sick, you knew that Northern neck Ginger Ale was gonna make you better,” Stephanie Johnson, founder of the group Save Northern Neck Ginger Ale, said. “So you’d have chicken noodle soup and a ginger ale. That’s how I grew up, and I was fine the next day every single time.”
In a letter to Coca-Cola’s leadership, Senator Kaine emphasized the drink’s status as a local institution, calling on them to allow production to resume.
“Virginians take pride in the businesses that call the Commonwealth home,” he wrote. “Even today, Northern Neck Ginger Ale remains beloved across the region for its distinct flavor and the fond memories it invokes.”
Kaine told reporters that although he hasn’t yet received a response from the company, he expects to speak with them soon.
“If you don’t want to produce it, that’s their business decision,” Kaine said. “But can you let the recipe go? Can you let the brand go? Can you let Virginians who might want to start it up again do that?”