Monday, May 4, 2009

Avery Soda: One of the Oldest Bottling Companies in New England

I have passed by an old red barn with an Avery’s Beverage sign mounted outside for over twenty five years and never thought that inside this barn was a soda factory.

I finally got a chance to see what was going on inside this old red barn on Corbin Avenue in New Britain, CT when my son accompanied me on an errand nearby and insisted we go inside. He claimed the barn was the actual soda manufacturing plant.

I insisted it must just be a local distributor of the product.

Guess son was right. We entered the old barn which was erected in 1904 to find one of the few remaining New England bottling centers for Avery’s Soda.

According to the Avery website, “ Samuel F. Avery began making soda in the red barn on Corbin Avenue in the summer of 1904. Avery's quickly became known for its variety of flavors, especially the Cream, Birch Beer, Root Beer and Ginger Ale.
During the recent election Avery offered new flavors, "Barack O' Berry" and "John McCream" and ran a special straw poll with donations going to the League of Women Voters.

When we walked into the barn, there were old soda boxes stacked from floor to ceiling everywhere. The new owner was shutting down the equipment he now uses (circa 1950’s) and I was ruminating over which flavor soda to try. I grabbed a cold root beer soda, while my son investigated the deals you get when you buy a case of soda with re-cycled bottles.
After sampling the root beer, I passed the bottle to my son and I then began taking photos of this vintage soda plant while chatting with the owner. I learned that there are only four remaining Avery bottling centers left in Connecticut. Back in 1904, Mr. Avery used a horse pulled wagon to deliver soda to folks in and around New Britain, CT. Then in 1914, Samuel Avery bought his first delivery truck. Avery’s still delivers soda to your home on request and offers good ole customer service.

Avery Soda is one the oldest bottling companies in New England.

C. Dianne Zweig
is the author of Hot Kitchen & Home Collectibles of the 30s, 40s, 50s and Hot Cottage Collectibles for Vintage Style Homes. She is also the Editor of an actively growing internet based resource community for people who buy, sell or collect antiques, collectibles and art. You can find Dianne’s fabulous retro and vintage kitchen, home and cottage collectibles at The Collinsville Antiques Company of New Hartford, CT, a 22,000 feet antique emporium with an in-house retro café.

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