Sipping on liquid gold, Sussex Golden Ginger Ale for 137 years

Posted on June 20, 2022 | By Alexander Chafe | 5 Comments


Old photo of a Sussex Ginger Ale factory (photo credit: My New Brunswick)


The taste of Sussex Golden Ginger Ale is well-known throughout the Maritimes. Distinguished by its dark colour and strong flavour, fans have enjoyed the beverage originally made in Sussex, N.B. for over a century. Now produced by Canada Dry Motts Inc., Sussex Golden Ginger Ale remains a special treat on Canada’s Atlantic coast.

Adding flavour

The origins of Sussex Golden Ginger Ale date back to 1895 when S. H. White found natural mineral springs on Church Street in Sussex, New Brunswick. After recruiting G. Armstrong as a business partner, Sussex Mineral Springs Company was born. Product experimentation began by adding sweet flavourings and carbonation to the water, and the results were a major hit among customers.

In 1910, the company built Sussex Ginger Ale Factory on Pleasant Avenue. Today, the building has been converted into apartments and is recognized as a historic place due to its association with the classic, locally-produced product.


Sussex Ginger Ale Factory building, designated a historic place in 2007 (photo credit: Canada’s Historic Places)


A perfect mix

Bottling company P & B was established in 1911 and remained a direct competitor of Sussex Mineral Springs Company until both companies merged in 1929 as Sussex Ginger Ale Ltd. A year later, the business renovated its factory on Pleasant Avenue to expand daily production from 5,000 to 10,000 bottles of pop.

Ownership of Sussex Ginger Ale passed through many hands over the years including, Maritime Beverages, Great Pacific Industries, 7UP Canada and Crush Canada.


Glass of Sussex Golden Ginger Ale, dark in colour and strong in flavour (photo credit: Sussex Golden Ginger Ale Facebook page)


Golden or dry

Classic ginger ale is produced through a fermentation process using a starter, sugar, ginger root, water and other flavourings. There are two main varieties: Golden and dry. Golden ginger ale like Sussex is known for its dark colour and distinctly strong flavour. Dry ginger ale has a more subtle flavour and gained popularity as a drink mix during prohibition.

Though dry ginger ale is more common today, the golden variety certainly has its fans.


Old bottle produced by Sussex Ginger Ale Ltd. (photo credit: My New Brunswick)


Nostalgic Taste

Still exclusively found in stores across the Maritimes (and Northern Maine), Sussex Golden Ginger Ale can also be purchased through online retailers like Candy Depot and East Coast Catalog. Owners of East Coast Catalog reported that they sell the product across North America, with a large portion of their customers being Maritimers living elsewhere who “want a taste of home. For them, nothing else replaces the product, there’s no substitute.”


Cans of Sussex Golden Ginger Ale (photo credit: East Coast Catalog & Candy Depot)


Maritime Treat

Today, Sussex Golden Ginger Ale is owned and produced by Canada Dry Motts Inc., part of Keurig Dr. Pepper Canada.

Commenting on the product, Parul Verma, Brand Manager at Keurig Dr. Pepper Canada, says: “Sussex Golden Ginger Ale is a Maritimes tradition loved for its refreshing, bold taste of golden ginger ale. The brand has a rich association with the Maritimes, getting its name from the town of Sussex, New Brunswick where it was first bottled in the early 1900s. While golden ginger ales like Sussex are less common today, Sussex Ginger Ale continues to have a loyal fan following; and is a treat to look forward to when visiting the Maritimes.”

Sussex Golden Ginger Ale, a 137-year-old nostalgic treat.

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5 responses to “Sipping on liquid gold, Sussex Golden Ginger Ale for 137 years”

  1. Sussex Golden has a cult-like following with people I know and I grew up in a house just up the hill from the old factory on Pleasant Ave… I went on a bit of a deep dive tonight and this article is better than what I found on Wikipedia. Thank you.

  2. I have an old Sussex Beverage Metal Display stand with a yellow metal sign at the top. Maybe someone out there would be interested in purchasing the stand.
    Let me know, I can send photos.

    • Jacqueline – perhaps the local museum would be the best place for it. While many items from Sussex’s rich history are sold to antique dealers and customers, there are those items which really should stay in place. I am a big fan of Sussex Golden Ginger Ale, Barbour Bros and King Cole Tea. Sussex definitely is the place to be for all these great items. Sadly the apt bldg did not leverage the Sussex Golden building in a historically accurate way.

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