Ale-8-One, the soft drink unique to Kentucky, has been bottled in Winchester since 1926.
Still a closely guarded family secret, the Ale-8-One formula was developed by G.L. Wainscott in the 1920’s, after experimentation with ginger-blended recipes he acquired during extensive travels in Northern Europe. He sponsored one of America’s first “name the product” contests, and “A Late One” was the winning entry. The drink’s logo, Ale-8-1, was adopted as a pun of its description as the latest thing in soft drinks.
Wainscott had been in the soft drink business in Winchester since 1902, bottling several flavored drinks in a plant on North Main Street. In 1906, he introduced Roxa-Kola, a popular rival to the cola drinks then available. By 1935, Wainscott had moved his growing bottling operation to a converted livery stable on West Broadway.
Jane Rogers Wainscott inherited half of her husband’s company at his death in 1944; the other half was divided among the company’s employees. At her death in 1954, Mrs. Wainscott left her interest to her brother, Frank A. Rogers.
Mr. Rogers bought out his partners in 1962, and incorporated the Ale-8-One Bottling Company. Frank A. Rogers, Jr. became manager, was later named president, and the phenomenal growth of the new corporation began.
Production of Roxa-Kola was discontinued in 1964, and in 1965 the company built a new plant on Carol Road. By 1974, the remaining Wainscott flavored drinks were dropped in order to concentrate on Ale-8-1 and Frank A. Rogers, III joined the company’s management.
In 1976, a warehouse was constructed on an adjacent lot, and in 1980-81, a two-story syrup room was added to the main building. In 1989 the company built an extensive addition which tripled warehouse space and includes a two-story office building. Today, Ale-8-One is operated by Frank A. Rogers, III and owned by him and his children.