Cheer Whaaat?

Many associate Pepsi as the taste of the Carolinas but the truth be told the real “Taste of the Carolinas” is a great soft drink out Salisbury, NC called Cheerwine. There are a lot of us that grew up with it and didn’t realize it was exclusive to the Carolinas. I took it for granted as a kid and thought I would always be able to get it. I had almost forgotten about it after moving to New York years later.

One day I rediscovered it at the Fresh Market, a specialty grocery store born in the Triangle area of NC, that had just opened a new store in Montvale, NJ. Evidently, they shipped some from the Carolinas to stores out of the state. I found a bottle and had to add it to my basket. Once I was back in my car I opened the bottle and was immediately transported back to 1981 with that first sip. It brought me back to when BMX bikes ruled the earth. How had I forgotten about this NC treasure?

It also brought me back to some Cheerwine memories as a kid. It was a lazy Sunday afternoon after church and I was circling the neighborhood on my bike. I had discovered an enormous Cheerwine can on a trailer. Those of you that grew up in NC probably remember seeing it at fairs, concerts, golf tournaments, etc. It was their promotional sample tap on a trailer that allowed guests to sample Cheerwine. We discovered it unattended in a field after being used at a function. It was a glorious sight. Especially to a 10 year old boy and his neighborhood buddies. We had our fill, cooperating the best 10 year olds could to share. Needless to say I had more than enough fuel to get home. I had hit the lottery that day!

Cheerwine was everywhere in the 80’s and 90’s. My favorite hot dog place, Yum Yum’s, served it as a staple. It was even in NASCAR – Morgan Shepherd had his car sponsored by Cheerwine in the Winston Cup.

Homeowners and renters in the Raleigh/Wake Forest/Triangle area are lucky – we can get it pretty much anywhere now! If you have never tried Cheerwine please grab a 12 pack and see what all the fuss is about. It is a great soft drink that will bring a smile to your face with every sip. After all -that’s why it’s called CHEERwine.

Matt Maynard
Buyer Specialist

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