cheerwine soda

Cheerwine refers to itself as "The Legend" on the company website. It's a North Carolina favorite, introduced to the state in 1917 by L.D. Peeler. Cheerwine contains notes of cherry flavor and allegedly got its name because it is wine-colored and makes people feel good.

Today, The Legend lives on, somewhat independently. Cheerwine has a partnership with Pepsi (PEP, Fortune 500) to distribute the soda in certain markets, but the soda is still owned and made by the Carolina Beverage Corp., which is run by L.D. Peeler's great grandson Cliff Ritchie. Ritchie was previously CEO of the Cheerwine Bottling Co, and he took over the beverage company as a whole from his brother Mark Ritchie, who left the business to become a Christian teacher.

  @FortuneMagazine - Last updated May 16 2013 01:09 PM ET
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