Our Ginger Ale

A spicy bite, tamed with just enough sweetness to bring it all into balance. It’s the way ginger ale should taste, and it only took us 85 years to figure it out. We’ve brought back a concoction from the roaring 20’s—inspired by a family recipe almost lost to history.

Back when ingredients were simple, the Dorn brothers opened the original Venetian Ginger Ale factory in Burlington, Vermont. But just like their ginger ale, this wholesome story has a bit of heat: Venetian Ginger Ale served as an artery for New England’s bootlegging operations during the Prohibition Era.

A Renegade History

Not many soda makers were bootleggers, but hey, ginger ale makes a sweet mixer for the hard stuff.

During Prohibition, the Dorn family allegedly used their Venetian soda operation as a front for whiskey runs out of Canada for a little extra on the side. With Vermont sharing a border with Quebec, and Burlington being the first “big” city, Pine Street made for the perfect factory location and the ideal first stop before heading down to Boston, Atlantic City, and New York City.

These renegades knew how to throw a good party and hosted some of the largest underground gatherings at the time, attracting notorious names from the big cities. Some would even travel to Vermont to get in on the small-town music scene as a respite from the hustle and bustle of city living.

Who knows, maybe Al Capone himself enjoyed Venetian Ginger Ale.

The Venetian Timeline

??? – 1915

The Beginning

Michael C. Dorn, a German immigrant, begins experimenting with carbonated beverages and develops the original Venetian Ginger Ale recipe, which he begins to sell.


Venetian Ginger Ale

With the increasing popularity of his new drink, Dorn begins M.&F.C. Dorn Co and builds the now-historic Pine Street Soda Plant in Burlington, Vermont to bottle Venetian Ginger Ale.


The Final Run?

After a decades of success, Dorn’s son, Frank, focused on bottling other better known brands. Following a series of family tragedies, the Venetian brand was phased out.


The Reimagining

A century later, Venetian Ginger Ale is brought back to life by Michael C. Dorn’s great great grandson, Justin Bunnell, and a team of friends who love great soda and believe in the entrepreneurial spirit of the original brand.

Simple, Natural Ingredients

Like most kids, we grew up enjoying conventional, sugary soda. The world didn’t know better and our parents certainly wouldn’t have let us ingest the stuff if more information was available. But now we have the Internet, and most people are pretty savvy to the dangers of High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS) and the negative health consequences of a high-sugar diet.

The original Venetian Ginger Ale’s recipe was created during an era when simplicity and great flavor coexisted peacefully. Well, they say history is cyclical, and we think the world is yet again ready to embrace a soda touting subtle complexity over intense sweetness.

Here’s what’s inside:

Carbonated water, pure cane sugar, limes, ginger, and spices.