THE CHEERWINE STORY

Uniquely Southern and undeniably delicious since 1917

As the oldest continuing soft drink run by the same family, we’re proud of our story. Grab a cold glass of Cheerwine and dive in. Thanks for taking the time to learn a bit more about us.

THE CHEERWINE

STORY

Uniquely Southern and undeniably delicious since 1917

As the oldest continuing soft drink run by the same family, we’re proud of our story. Grab a cold glass of Cheerwine and dive in. Thanks for taking the time to learn a bit more about us.

1917
1920
1930
1940
1950
1960
1970
1980
1990
2000
100 Years
1917

1917

L.D. Peeler created Cheerwine in 1917 in Salisbury, North Carolina amid a sugar shortage. His drive to start his own soft drink led him to a salesman from St. Louis who sold him a wild cherry flavor that blended well with other flavors. With the perfect taste secured, he needed a name. With a burgundy-red color and cheery disposition, the name "Cheerwine" simply made sense. The taste sensation known as Cheerwine was born. The soft drink with a bubbly effervescence and cherry goodness became an instant hit.

1920

THE 20'S

The original Cheerwine bottle had a paper label. By 1920, as we gained popularity, a glass bottle with three cherries and the Cheerwine name molded into the shoulder was produced. Demand went up and we had no choice but to get our first delivery truck. Before then, the good stuff was delivered by train as well as horse and wagon.

The advent of radio helped Cheerwine get the word out. Our first slogan: For Health & Pleasure! What can we say, it was a simpler time.

1930

THE 30'S

L.D. Peeler passed away in 1931 and his son, Clifford, took over as President of Carolina Beverage Corporation & Cheerwine Bottling Co. Clifford not only kept the company afloat during the depression, but managed to keep it profitable. It was good to have a product with the word “Cheer” in the name back then.

Our slogans in the 30’s were: Cool Cats, Hits the Thirsty Spot, It’s Good…and Good for you.

1930s image
1940

THE 40'S

This era brought additional franchising as the war ended, taking Cheerwine as far as Longview, Texas. Clifford Peeler donated scrap metal to the war effort including our first Dixie Filler machine, old signs, and other pieces of memorabilia. Rumor has it, some soldiers claimed to have been able to vaguely make out a Cheerwine logo in metal on the hull of the USS Intrepid.

Our slogan during this period was: In Tune With Your Taste

1940s memorabilia
1950

THE 50'S

Convenience collided with great taste when the first Cheerwine vending machine was built. A bottle of Cheerwine was 5¢. We’d still only charge that much if we could. A case of Cheerwine sold for 80¢. Also, the 6 ounce bottle changed to a “king size” 8 ounce bottle.

In 1953, Dwight Eisenhower became the first President known to enjoy a Cheerwine. After one sip, rumor is he proclaimed “Ike likes!” That’s a POTUS with great taste.

1950s memorabilia
1960

THE 60'S

Cheerwine moved to its present location in July of 1967. The first production was on July 4th in a 100% debt-free, state-of-the-art facility using Crown bottling equipment. It was an Independence Day for the ages.

The first can of Cheerwine was produced during this era. The can proved to be a great way to keep those bubbles nice and bubbly for longer. The first Cheerwine TV commercial was filmed in the 1960’s using the tag Deliciously Different. What an exciting new way to spread the cheer it turned out to be. Eyes were glued and mouths were watering.

1960s memorabilia
1970

THE 70'S

In the late 1970’s, we were happy to have Clifford Peeler’s grandsons, Cliff and Mark Ritchie, join the family business.

We launched Diet Cheerwine in the beginning of the decade. Later, plastic 2-liter bottles were introduced.

1970s memorabilia
1980

THE 80'S

We began expanding our distribution area more aggressively. We introduced the tag: Wildest Cherry Soft Drink.

In 1987, Cheerwine changed its logo to remove the underline and include a splash graphic. 1989 marked the last run of returnable 8 ounce bottles. We’re still waiting for the last one to be returned.

1980s memorabilia
1990

THE 90'S

In 1992, Cheerwine celebrated 75 years of success and produced a commemorative bottle. Many of these bottles have become cherished collectibles.

Mark Ritchie became President of Carolina Beverage Corporation and Cliff Ritchie became President of Cheerwine Bottling in 1992.

The #21 Cheerwine racing car, driven by Morgan Shepherd, made its race debut. Vroom Vroom!

President George H.W. Bush, Sr. came to the Salisbury 4th of July celebration in 1992 becoming the second President known to enjoy a Cheerwine.

1990s memorabilia
2000

THE 00'S

The 00’s marked a period of innovation for us. In 2002, Food Lion introduced the coolest idea ever, Cheerwine Ice Cream. At the press event, the fifth generation of the Peeler family served samples. In 2006, the Cheerwine logo changed to include cherries for the first time since 1920. That same year, Clifford Peeler was inducted into the Beverage World Hall of Fame. Cliff Ritchie was inducted three years later. Cliff also took over as President of Carolina Beverage Corporation in 2007.

Cheerwine teamed up with Krispy Kreme to unveil the Cheerwine Doughnut in 2010. In 2012, Cheerwine and The Avett Brothers launched an annual “Legendary Giveback” concert series which has raised over $200,000 for charity.

We also introduced several new flavors, beginning with Cheerwine Holiday Punch in 2014, Cheerwine Squeeze in 2015, and Cheerwine Kreme in 2016. Cheerwine’s official fan club, Cheerwine Authentic Soda Society, was formed in 2015.

2000s memorabilia
100 Years

100 YEARS

In 2017, we celebrated our 100th birthday with the start of the annual Cheerwine Festival in Salisbury. We also released throwback cans called the Centennial Can Series. In 2018 we introduced the tagline Uniquely Southern as a celebration of where we come from and our one-of-a-kind taste.

We hope you enjoyed learning a bit more about Cheerwine. Fans like you are sure to make the next 100 years as great as the last. Cheers!

Download the Cheerwine history timeline here

100 years
1917

L.D. Peeler created Cheerwine in 1917 in Salisbury, North Carolina amid a sugar shortage. His drive to start his own soft drink led him to a salesman from St. Louis who sold him a wild cherry flavor that blended well with other flavors. With the perfect taste secured, he needed a name. With a burgundy-red color and cheery disposition, the name “Cheerwine” simply made sense. The taste sensation known as Cheerwine was born. The soft drink with a bubbly effervescence and cherry goodness became an instant hit.

1920

The original Cheerwine bottle had a paper label. By 1920, as we gained popularity, a glass bottle with three cherries and the Cheerwine name molded into the shoulder was produced. Demand went up and we had no choice but to get our first delivery truck. Before then, the good stuff was delivered by train as well as horse and wagon.

The advent of radio helped Cheerwine get the word out. Our first slogan: For Health & Pleasure! What can we say, it was a simpler time.

1930

L.D. Peeler passed away in 1931 and his son, Clifford, took over as President of Carolina Beverage Corporation & Cheerwine Bottling Co. Clifford not only kept the company afloat during the depression, but managed to keep it profitable. It was good to have a product with the word “Cheer” in the name back then.

Our slogans in the 30’s were: Cool Cats, Hits the Thirsty Spot, It’s Good…and Good for you.

1940

This era brought additional franchising as the war ended, taking Cheerwine as far as Longview, Texas. Clifford Peeler donated scrap metal to the war effort including our first Dixie Filler machine, old signs, and other pieces of memorabilia. Rumor has it, some soldiers claimed to have been able to vaguely make out a Cheerwine logo in metal on the hull of the USS Intrepid.

Our slogan during this period was: In Tune With Your Taste

1950

Convenience collided with great taste when the first Cheerwine vending machine was built. A bottle of Cheerwine was 5¢. We’d still only charge that much if we could. A case of Cheerwine sold for 80¢. Also, the 6 ounce bottle changed to a “king size” 8 ounce bottle.

In 1953, Dwight Eisenhower became the first President known to enjoy a Cheerwine. After one sip, rumor is he proclaimed “Ike likes!” That’s a POTUS with great taste.

1960

Cheerwine moved to its present location in July of 1967. The first production was on July 4th in a 100% debt-free, state-of-the-art facility using Crown bottling equipment. It was an Independence Day for the ages.

The first can of Cheerwine was produced during this era. The can proved to be a great way to keep those bubbles nice and bubbly for longer. The first Cheerwine TV commercial was filmed in the 1960’s using the tag Deliciously Different. What an exciting new way to spread the cheer it turned out to be. Eyes were glued and mouths were watering.

1970

In the late 1970’s, we were happy to have Clifford Peeler’s grandsons, Cliff and Mark Ritchie, join the family business.

We launched Diet Cheerwine in the beginning of the decade. Later, plastic 2-liter bottles were introduced.

1980

We began expanding our distribution area more aggressively. We introduced the tag: Wildest Cherry Soft Drink.

In 1987, Cheerwine changed its logo to remove the underline and include a splash graphic. 1989 marked the last run of returnable 8 ounce bottles. We’re still waiting for the last one to be returned.

1990

In 1992, Cheerwine celebrated 75 years of success and produced a commemorative bottle. Many of these bottles have become cherished collectibles.

Mark Ritchie became President of Carolina Beverage Corporation and Cliff Ritchie became President of Cheerwine Bottling in 1992.

The #21 Cheerwine racing car, driven by Morgan Shepherd, made its race debut. Vroom Vroom!

President George H.W. Bush, Sr. came to the Salisbury 4th of July celebration in 1992 becoming the second President known to enjoy a Cheerwine.

2000

The 00’s marked a period of innovation for us. In 2002, Food Lion introduced the coolest idea ever, Cheerwine Ice Cream. At the press event, the fifth generation of the Peeler family served samples. In 2006, the Cheerwine logo changed to include cherries for the first time since 1920. That same year, Clifford Peeler was inducted into the Beverage World Hall of Fame. Cliff Ritchie was inducted three years later. Cliff also took over as President of Carolina Beverage Corporation in 2007.

Cheerwine teamed up with Krispy Kreme to unveil the Cheerwine Doughnut in 2010. In 2012, Cheerwine and The Avett Brothers launched an annual “Legendary Giveback” concert series which has raised over $200,000 for charity.

We also introduced several new flavors, beginning with Cheerwine Holiday Punch in 2014, Cheerwine Squeeze in 2015, and Cheerwine Kreme in 2016. Cheerwine’s official fan club, Cheerwine Authentic Soda Society, was formed in 2015.

100 YEARS

In 2017, we celebrated our 100th birthday with the start of the annual Cheerwine Festival in Salisbury. We also released throwback cans called the Centennial Can Series. In 2018 we introduced the tagline Uniquely Southern as a celebration of where we come from and our one-of-a-kind taste.

We hope you enjoyed learning a bit more about Cheerwine. Fans like you are sure to make the next 100 years as great as the last. Cheers!

Download the Cheerwine history timeline here

X