Let's go back to 1917 Salisbury, North Carolina when Cheerwine
was first formulated in the basement of L. D. Peeler's wholesale grocery store. It all started in 1913 when Peeler and other investors bought stock in a regional branch of a Kentucky company that made a then popular soft drink called MintCola.
In 1917, they would buy out the local company and change the name to Carolina Beverage Corporation. Meanwhile, a "flavor salesman from St. Louis" sold Peeler on a unique cherry flavor to blend with other flavorings that would later become the taste of Cheerwine.
Back then, soft drinks were often named for their appearance, hence the names root beer and ginger ale. Therefore, it made sense to name a burgundy-red, bubbly, cherry concoction -- Cheerwine. The soft drink's popularity grew in parts of North and South Carolina and soon developed a loyal following. When L. D. died in 1931, Cheerwine fell under the watchful eye of his son, Clifford Peeler who served as President until 1992 and Chairman until his death in 2000 at the age of 96. Thanks to him and some of their old-style marketing, which you can see in the Vintage Ad Gallery, the Cheerwine brand grew stronger and stronger in its heartland. Jump to 1981 when a radical marketing plan for expansion was unveiled by L. D. Peeler's great grandsons, Mark Ritchie and Cliff Ritchie.
By 1986, sales had doubled, and ever since, Cheerwine has continued to expand.