The Real Paul Jones

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Month: February 2010

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CHill Cheerwine Culture Crisis

Possibly the last bottle of #cheerwine #nectorofTheTarHeels in Orange County

In December, Cheerwine was widely available in Chapel Hill. In February, there is not a drop of the dark cheery NC iconic beverage to be found in Orange County stores — and worse –; there are not even empty slots on the shelves; the shelves have been remarked as if Cheerwine never existed!

Until February (or perhaps late January), Harris Teeter was a reliable source for Cheerwine. But as of Saturday January 30, the Carrboro Harris Teeter had no Cheerwine. A check at the University Mall HT showed not only had the Nectar of the Tar Heels vanished like the poise of this year’s Men BBall team, but all traces of previous Cheerwine existence had been removed. The UMall HT manager was surprised as he stared at the stacks of carbonated corn syrup. “Well, it used to be right here with the other odd stuff,” he told the Cheerwine seekers. He explained that Cheerwine was carried by a beer distributor in our area — Long Beverage.

Monday took us to WalMart on 15-501 where nicely discounted cartons of Cheerwine had been nestled in the past. There again all signs of Cheerwine had vanished!

A stop at Food Lion in Durham on Hillsborough Road near 9th Street yielded one bottle which had been hidden among the 7 Ups on sale. Although the shelves were depleted from the #snOMG rush, it was clear that there were no spaces tagged Cheerwine. The manager said that a truck would be in on Tuesday and that she was sure Cheerwine would be on it. “They always have it — even the Diet version,” she insisted.

Twitter and Facebook friends pointed me again and again to the ambitious Cheerwine Finder project. But that shows a giant Cheerwine free cloud over Orange County. The nearest reported Cheerwine sighting was at a Sheetz in Durham on South Miami Blvd. (upside as one friend pointed out is that it is near the great 9N9 pho restaurant; the downside is distance plus convenience store pricing). Others noticed Cheerwine near Morrisville (where Long has a warehouse) or in Chatham County.

While this may not be related, Cheerwine crowned a Carolina coed the Czar of Chillocity beginning in January 2010. As of this writing, she has not responded to queries about the CHill Cheerwine Crisis. See her very helpful and informative letter below.

It’s not that Cheerwine sales are down. In fact as recently as July, Sue Stock of the News and Observer reported that Cheerwine was somehow resistant to the soda sales downturn in an article “There’s something about Cheerwine.”

The #questforcheerwine continues. From an Unofficial Report we learned that “Tar Heel Groundhog sees shadow and ignores it as he seeks out local #cheerwine source in Orange County, NC”

Hi Paul,

I apologize that it is impossible to find Cheerwine in Chapel Hill now! Luckly, there is an explanation for this. Cheerwine has just switched distributors for the triangle area and it should be arriving back in grocery stores very soon. We are now working with the local Pepsi distributor and Cheerwine can be found in the Pepsi section of the soft drink aisle. If you are craving Cheerwine today, go to Four Corners. They carry Cheerwine on their fountain. If you have any other questions please do not hesitate to ask. Thanks for being such an avid Cheerwine fan.

Lauren Odom
Czar of Chillocity

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