Man finds unopened bottle of Vernors that could date back 100 years


  • Bill Walsh, Flickr

When it comes to wine, it has been said that it tastes better with age. But what about a century-old bottle of Vernors?

Detroiter Anthony Tanksley has a rare opportunity to answer that very question, as he happened upon an antique bottle of the beloved ginger ale drink while remodeling his mother’s 1920s home.

“I thought it was a mouse or something because it’s a 1920s house,” he told the Free Press after the bottle fell from the house's beams, nearly hitting him in the head during renovations.

“When it jumped out and hit the counter, I realized what it was from the markings before even picking it up,” Tanksley said.

The discovery inspired Tanksley to do some research about the iconic beverage, which was originally created as a “stomach calming tonic of vanilla, spices, and ginger” in 1862 by Detroit pharmacist James Vernor.

While Vernors memorabilia has grown in popularity among Detroit collectors and soda pop enthusiasts, according to recent eBay listings vintage Vernors bottles (unopened and empty) bring in somewhere between $3 and $30, whereas crates and six-packs sell for $75-$200. 

Stay on top of Detroit news and views. Sign up for our weekly issue newsletter delivered each Wednesday.

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Detroit Metro Times. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Detroit Metro Times, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at

Detroit Metro Times works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Detroit and beyond.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Detroit's true free press free.