Epping Bottling Works

In 1927, the John G. Epping Bottling Works of Louisville acquired the NuGrape Bottling Company of Lexington, bottlers of NuGrape and Orange Crush.[1]  Their plant was located at 210 Clark Street, with Hilary Bell the General Manager.  The company’s brands expanded over the next decade to included Kentucky Club Pale Ginger Ale, 7 Up[2], Bubbling Over Ginger Ale, Epp’s Kola, Epping’s Lemon Sour and Epping’s Soda Water.  The company also distributed Fall’s City Beer.[i]

Epping Bottling Works, circa 1940s (UK)

By 1940 7 Up had became the best selling non-cola soft drink.  The Epping Works were expanded and the equipment upgraded to meet demand.[ii]  In September 1967, the company was acquired by the local Pepsi bottler, primarily to obtain the 7 Up brand.  Production was shifted to the Pepsi works on Versailles Road.[iii]

Epping Bottle, 6 ounces, crown top, circa 1930s

Orange Crush, crown top, circa 1953

Mit-Che, crown top, circa 1940s

Club Soda Bottle, circa 1930s


[1] Orange Crush was created by J. M. Thompson of Chicago in 1906.  The company’s “krinkly” bottle was used until 1955, with ACL introduced in the 1930s.

[2] 7 Up was formulated by Charles L. Grigg, of Chicago, in 1929 as a lemon-lime carbonated drink.  Grigg also previously formulated Orange Whistle.


[i]  Lexington City Directory for 1927 and 1928; Lexington Leader, Lexington, Kentucky, June 30, 1939, page 48.

[ii]  Lexington Leader, Lexington, Kentucky, May 16, 1940, page 2, column 2 –3.

[iii]  Lexington Herald, September 6, 1967, page 15, column 7.


William M. Ambrose, Soda Pop, Limestone Press, Lexington, 2007.