Ale-8-One Celebrating 95 Years of Kentucky Flavors – The Interior Journal


Kentucky’s own brand of soda celebrates its 95th anniversary.

July 13 marked the birthday of Ale-8-One, who lives in Winchester and is colloquially known as “Ale-8”. The ginger-citrus soft drink was concocted by George Lee Wainscott, who had previously introduced Roxa-Cola in 1906. Roxa-Cola was named after Wainscott’s wife, Roxanne, and made the subject of a lawsuit with Coca-Cola, which alleged that the soda was a trademark infringement. This suit was won by Wainscott, who would continue in the independent soda business.

Wainscott discovered ginger beer while traveling in Europe, inspiring him to work on the recipe that would become Ale-8. This recipe was introduced at the Clark County Fair in 1926, attracting attention with a concurrent contest to name the new soft drink. Based on 1920s slang for “the last thing”, the name “A Late One” won out, with the phrase still etched on Ale-8 bottles to this day.

To celebrate this anniversary, the staff of the Ale-8 bottling company enjoyed a barbecue and ax throwing. What the company really wants to recognize, according to Ale-8 Marketing Director Chris Doyle, is the brand’s heritage and the community that has supported it for nearly a century.

“There aren’t many independent soft drink brands left because the market is dominated by two global giants,” he said. “These are our communities where we have been able to develop such a successful brand in 95 years. We listen to our consumers, whether it’s our guys delivering products or social media where we have a huge following.

It was on social media that the brand learned of people mixing cherries with Ale-8, which led to the launch of the Cherry Ale-8 flavor in 2018.

It’s also thanks to social media requests, Doyle adds, that Ale-8 Zero Sugar and Seasonal Cream of Orange Ale-8 came to be.

“We have some fun new products, but we’re not far enough along to introduce them yet,” Doyle explained, “but we have several that we’ve been working on and tasting in-house, and expect to have something new. by next summer.

Ale-8 also participates in several ongoing community projects. The brand currently has a partnership with Kentucky State University in Frankfort, working with the school to develop a new scholarship. They also sponsor the Red River Gorge Climbers Coalition and the Kentucky Mountain Bike Association. Additionally, Ale-8 frequently donates beverages to local events and food banks.

“Anything Kentucky and community related, we strive to be supportive,” Doyle said. “We have such a passionate following here in Winchester and we certainly have fans across the state. But we want everyone in Kentucky to feel the same about Ale-8 as our hometown.

Doyle credits Ale-8’s success to its closeness and involvement with the community, and the company’s efforts to listen to fan feedback. He said Ale-8 fans can make their voices heard on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and the comment section on

“We plan to continue to listen to our consumers and our fans, staying really close to them. That’s what kept us going for so long,” Doyle concluded.


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