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Cheer-wined
05-31-2004, 11:26 PM
Over the holiday I travelled with some friends to Cincinnati, on the way back I stumbled across this interesting little 4th tier bottler in Wellston, Ohio.

Just today I found their website GEM Beverages (http://www.gembeverages.com)

GEM makes Double Cola and Ski in short 12oz PET (looks like a deli bottle), also 20oz (they had hi-cone'd 4 packs in supermarkets) and 2L. Cans came from Cardinal Bev's/Cott. They also had their own flavor line, GEM, in the same sizes. Plus Dad's regular and diet in 2L.

I saw their products in a couple of grocery stores along US 35 from Chillicothe to the WV border. Not sure what the full extent of their territory is. Thought it was worth mentioning since Double Cola and Ski bottlers seem to be pretty rare these days.

Also made a 4-hour trip through Mecca (Jungle Jim's.) More on that later...

[ 06-01-2004, 10:59 PM: Message edited by: Cheer-wined ]

Cheer-wined
06-05-2004, 10:34 AM
found at Jungle Jim's last week - most of these I bought but some are from memory. The list is far from complete...

Glass bottles
Afri-cola
AJ Stephans birch beer, root beer 12oz
Berghoff root beer 12oz, 32oz
Briar’s red birch, root beer, orange, cream 12oz 4-packs
Cheerwine 12oz
Dad’s honey lemonade 12oz (ACL)
Dad’s root beer, orange cream, red cream 12oz (RealSoda, w/ paper label)
Delaware Punch (Mexico)
Diet Dr Pepper 12oz (2 different bottlers, West Jefferson and Texas)
Dog n’ Suds root beer (4-pk 12oz)
Dr Pepper 8oz (cane sugar)
Faygo rock & rye, cream, blueberry, black cherry 16oz
Fukola 12oz
Goose Island root beer 12oz
Green River 12oz (paper label)
Jeff’s egg cream coffee
Jolt cola 12oz
Kickapoo Joy Juice 12oz (RealSoda)
Milligans Island root beer 12oz
Mountain Dew 12oz
Moxie regular, cherry 12oz
Nehi grape, orange, peach 12oz
Sioux City sarsaparilla, root beer, birch beer, ginger beer, cream 12oz
Sparky’s root beer 22oz
Sprecher root beer, red, cream 16oz
Squirt (Mexico)
Thomas Kemper root beer 12oz
Tropical banana (Mexico)
Vernors 12oz (ACL)
Virgil’s root beer Bavarian nutmeg 500ml

20oz PET
Jolt white lightnin’ (grape), red eye, blue, cola

Cans
Jolt cola 6-pack
Idris hot ginger beer (UK)
Zesto root beer (Philippines)
Tango fruit fling, apple (UK)
Lilt pineapple-grapefruit (UK)
Tropi-coco, Tropi-cola (Mexico)
Coco Rico, Materva, Iron Beer, Jupina

[ 06-05-2004, 12:24 PM: Message edited by: Cheer-wined ]

drpep
06-05-2004, 08:06 PM
I'd get the Diet Dr Pepper, Deleware Punch, Dog n'Suds and Kickapoo.

Zap
06-06-2004, 03:04 PM
Hmm... I wonder if JJ's just recently stocked up again or something. The folks on the board have posted about how they find Dublin Dr Pepper there, but I have been there *3* times in the past two months, and I have never seen any. Every time I went in the stock they had of the other specialty sodas (Dutch Coke, etc.) was less. I guess I must be unlucky or something. How much Dublin Dr. P did they have left? Maybe I'll trek up there today if I have to... I've been wanting to get some of that stuff for months now!

For that matter, where in the store did you find it? The big aisle of glass bottled soda? (where the Sprecher and Afri Cola and stuff like that is?)

[ 06-06-2004, 03:05 PM: Message edited by: Zap ]

bigrich
06-06-2004, 09:28 PM
I was really disappointed last time I went to Jungle Jims. Appartently they have restocked.

Zap
06-06-2004, 09:41 PM
Okay, I couldn't resist and made a run to JJ's. Other than spending a good chunk of change, I was quite impressed with the selection as compared to last time. The entire set of shelving was actually full of cool stuff. Sadly, they no longer had any Dutch Coke. I'm guessing (& hoping) that the supplier must have been out of stock.

However, I did manage to pick up quite a few items including: Dublin Dr. Pepper, Cheerwine, Dutch 7Up, Mexican Squirt, Faygo Cream, Jolt (2 flavors in plastic), and a can of Solo (Scandinavian). That should keep me happy for quite a while :cool:

Cheer-wined
06-03-2008, 10:25 PM
Four years later, and I had the chance to travel this way again ... this time I took a different route and passed through Wellston after visiting Jungle Jim's.

1st picture is the billboard on a side wall of the old factory. The building is only used for distribution now since they stopped bottling a couple of years ago.

2nd picture shows the short 12 oz PET bottles that GEM once used for their flavors and Ski/Double Cola.

3rd picture shows some of the packages they currently distribute. GEM's own flavors are now bottled by Paul's Beverages; the short 12 oz's replaced by standard 20's. The Ski deli bottle (plus cans and PET) come from RC Evansville. The longneck Ski was bottled by Excel Bottling. It is made with cane sugar, but the carbonation is very low. I have to shake them a bit to get some fizz. Still they taste pretty good.

4th picture is one of their delivery trucks, complete with the DC and Ski logos from the 70's.

Last picture is a front/back shot of GEM's 50th anniversary (1923-1973) bottle. The bottle was never opened - the orange soda inside has survived for 35 years old.

The owners told me that Ski sells like crazy there. I'd add them to the shrinking list of Ski-fanatic places:

Evansville/Vanderburgh Co., IN
Greensburg/Green Co., KY
Lafayette/Macon Co., TN
Wellston/Jackson Co., OH

Man From Ohio
02-25-2009, 06:02 PM
Four years later, and I had the chance to travel this way again ... this time I took a different route and passed through Wellston after visiting Jungle Jim's.

1st picture is the billboard on a side wall of the old factory. The building is only used for distribution now since they stopped bottling a couple of years ago.

2nd picture shows the short 12 oz PET bottles that GEM once used for their flavors and Ski/Double Cola.

3rd picture shows some of the packages they currently distribute. GEM's own flavors are now bottled by Paul's Beverages; the short 12 oz's replaced by standard 20's. The Ski deli bottle (plus cans and PET) come from RC Evansville. The longneck Ski was bottled by Excel Bottling. It is made with cane sugar, but the carbonation is very low. I have to shake them a bit to get some fizz. Still they taste pretty good.

4th picture is one of their delivery trucks, complete with the DC and Ski logos from the 70's.

Last picture is a front/back shot of GEM's 50th anniversary (1923-1973) bottle. The bottle was never opened - the orange soda inside has survived for 35 years old.

The owners told me that Ski sells like crazy there. I'd add them to the shrinking list of Ski-fanatic places:

Evansville/Vanderburgh Co., IN
Greensburg/Green Co., KY
Lafayette/Macon Co., TN
Wellston/Jackson Co., OH



With respect to Double Cola brands, do you know if GEM still distributes Double Cola? Or just Ski?

Ram0n C0keah0lic
02-25-2009, 06:26 PM
Tropical Banana is not from Mexico, it's from Honduras

drpep
02-25-2009, 08:40 PM
Website is dead.

Cheer-wined
03-24-2009, 07:55 AM
Website is dead.

can't say that i'm surprised ... they were running a pretty bare-bones operation even last year.

bwood03
03-27-2009, 05:11 PM
The site's been dead for a while. I live kinda close to Wellston (and occasionally trek there to pick up some Ski, don't have it in my area). I remember seeing the dead website before I went to Wellston in Feb 2008. I figured they ceased operations as well, but they were still open at that time, and the product is still abundant in that and surrounding towns. Maybe they just aren't internet inclined? It's a pretty small town lol. However, that was a year ago so maybe the site went first then eventually the plant. If so that would be a shame. The Double Cola/Ski line is actually pretty tasty, affordable soda. Too bad it doesn't have a wider distribution. I think it would sell great in my town/general vicinity.


Noting earlier posts: Anyone here been to Jungle Jim's lately? I'm going this weekend and wondered if there were any goodies there lately. Dublin DP and Hires are top hopes on my list. This will be my first time there.

RunWithDaLilGuy
03-29-2009, 12:41 PM
Website is dead.

hate to say it, but the company probably is too. looking at the condition of the building and the trucks, as well as the inside of the warehouse in the truck shot. i have one of their plastic shells.

bwood03
03-30-2009, 10:16 PM
hate to say it, but the company probably is too. looking at the condition of the building and the trucks, as well as the inside of the warehouse in the truck shot. i have one of their plastic shells.

Don't be fooled by that, the building has always looked that way and they were still working out of it. Last time I checked not only were they using that building and it was busy, but they were also using those old trucks as well as some newer ones and some vans. Like I said it's been about a year since I've been there. I went in there one time to see if I could buy direct (couldn't) and it was like I was stepping back into 1962, but that place was busy. It's a staple in that area, I really dont see them going out of business, but maybe I'm wrong. I'll have to look up the phone number and call them sometime.

drpep
04-21-2009, 08:54 PM
Reports on the other soda board say GEM is alive as a distributor only.

Dumas Walker
05-20-2009, 08:33 PM
The owners told me that Ski sells like crazy there. I'd add them to the shrinking list of Ski-fanatic places:

Evansville/Vanderburgh Co., IN
Greensburg/Green Co., KY
Lafayette/Macon Co., TN
Wellston/Jackson Co., OH

You might add:

Albany/Clinton Co., KY

I've never had trouble finding Ski there. Double Cola used to be plentiful, but I've not seen it in a while. As far as Ski, the only variant I've never seen there is Cherry/Diet Cherry.