Husker pop fizzles out

Nov. 23, 1982

SEWARD, Neb. -- A nearly century-long tradition of making Husker soda pop has fizzled out.

Dr. Paul Hoff, the Seward physician who owns Husker Beverage Works, said competition from national soft drink firms made it impossible to keep the one-man operation going.

He shut down Monday.

'Business wasn't too bad, but it wasn't good enough for the business to be viable,' Hoff said.

Husker soda pop, with a picture of a Nebraska Cornhusker football player on each bottle, had been bottled and sold in some form since the late 1800s.

With 12 flavors ranging from black cherry to cream soda, Husker Beverage eked out a small share of the local market over the years, selling nearly 1,000 cases of pop per week in its heyday and 200 to 250 cases most recently.

The market area included 32 towns within a 50-mile radius of Seward.

A case sold for $4.66 plus deposit. Tom Stewart, the plant's manager and only full-time worker, said the remaining stock will be sold for $5 per case.

Husker Beverage sold pop to stores and directly to the customers, mostly children who hankered for a thirst quencher on hot summer days.

Until the end, youngsters still paid a discount rate of 15 cents per bottle.

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