As Congress was passing the 18th Amendment in 1919 establishing Prohibition Green River Soda
was being introduced to Midwestern drinkers. When Prohibition officially went into affect on January 16, 1920 breweries tried to make non-alcoholic drinks called Near Beer or ice cream. The Schoenhofen Edelweiss Brewing Company of Chicago turned to Green River. This green soda was poured into beer bottles and sold in the local markets. It became such a success that Al Jolson recorded a song about Green River.
When Prohibition ended on December 5, 1933 Green River sales trailed only Coke in the Midwest region. Once the breweries started back up Green River become a lesser priority and sales dimished. By 1950 the brewery went broke and ultimately closed the same year.
Green River Soda is quite a nostalgic beverage and thankfully soda entrepreneurs have been able to keep Green River in production. Green River with its sweet lollipop taste is still in big demand especially around St. Patricks Day. As their tagline goes "First for Thirst Since 1919"