Dublin Dr Pepper Is No More

Dublin bottling plant now owned by Dr Pepper Snapple, no longer makes Dr Pepper

The battle that pitted the smallest Dr Pepper plant in the world against the powerful corporation that owns the soda is over.

After 121 years, the bottling plant in Dublin is no longer making the Texas original, or any other Dr Pepper products.

"It's a sad day," said Jeff Kloster, vice president of Dublin Bottling Works, Inc.

On Wednesday, Plano-based Dr Pepper Snapple Group, Inc., (DPS) said it had bought the Dublin plant that had been called Dr Pepper Bottling Co.

"The folks in town are probably wondering exactly what it means, but Dublin Dr Pepper is no longer here as of today," Kloster said.

The deal ends a legal battle that began last summer, when DPS sued the Dublin-based distributor for unauthorized use of its logo and for selling Dr Pepper made from a pure cane sugar recipe outside an agreed-upon territory.

The Dublin bottler had answered with its own lawsuit.

DPS said people can still find the sugar cane recipe in stores -- but not the famous Dublin bottles.

The Plano company now will distribute Dr Pepper sweetened with cane sugar throughout Dublin's former territory. DPS will also continue selling the recipe throughout Texas, including in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

A bottling plant in Temple will continue to bottle and can pure-cane-sugar Dr Pepper in distinct, nostalgic packaging, the company said.

On Wednesday, the last run of 75 cases of Dr Pepper to be made in Dublin came off the line just before 5 p.m.

"You know, it's disbelief, sadness," Kloster said. "It's just been a little bit hard today."

Fourteen of Dublin Bottling Works' 40 employees were laid off Wednesday.

More than 70,000 people visit Dublin every year to see the bottling plant, which was one of the few in the country to still use cane sugar to make Dr Pepper.

"It being gone, Dublin won't be known for anything, so it's tough, you know," resident Allen Martinez said. "[I] can't believe we're losing it."

Dublin Bottling Works will continue operate its museum and Old Doc's Soda Shop, which offers tours and sells soft drinks, food and officially licensed Dr Pepper merchandise.

"Dr Pepper is still a big part of Dublin," Kloster said in a news release Wednesday. "We hope customers will continue to visit our town, the W.P. Kloster Museum and Old Doc's Soda Shop, where they can still enjoy Dr Pepper sweetened with cane sugar."

Dublin Bottling Works will continue to produce other soft drinks, DPS spokesman Chris Barnes said.

DPS said in a news release Wednesday that it had "purchased all of the Dublin bottler's sales and distribution operations and related assets, as well as the rights to distribute Dr Pepper and other DPS brands in the six-county territory previously served by Dublin."

NBC 5's Kevin Cokely contributed to this report.

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