Saturday, September 17, 2011

About that bubbly Beverly from Italy

If you've been to Las Vegas, perhaps you've done this. Near the MGM Grand is an Everything Coca-Cola that has...well, everything Coca-Cola. Now Coca-Cola is a worldwide firm, and one of the things that you can do is sample soft drinks from all over the world. You pay a few bucks, and you get a couple of trays with 16 cups and a quick guide with the name of the soft drink and the country of origin.

I first did this a few years ago, and was unpleasantly surprised when I tried one of the drinks and nearly gagged.

I was back in Las Vegas recently, and found myself at Everything Coca-Cola again. I remembered the bad drink, but couldn't remember its name; all that I remember was that it was European. So I was somewhat prepared when I sampled the drink called Beverly from Italy. In fact, I was so prepared that I took a second sip. I didn't get much farther than that.

I'm not the only person who had this reaction. A writer at the Daily Ping called it the worst drink ever.when he/she tried it in Las Vegas.

But there are other reactions. Jennifer tried it at Club Cool at Epcot Center and liked it, although she was forced to point out that she was not pregnant.

Have you noticed something interesting yet? All of these mentions of the Italian soft drink Beverly are based upon tastings in the United States. In fact, Jennifer went on to say:

[I] went shopping in Boston’s North End, a strong Italian neighborhood with many stores specializing in groceries imported from Italy. Beverly was nowhere to be found.

I work with a woman whose family is from Italy, and who maintains close ties there. She’d never heard of Beverly, and neither had anyone she talked to. We both searched the interwebs, she in Italian and me in English, and found nothing to indicate that Beverly’s actually distributed in Italy.

And there's a whole thread on (a Disney-themed site) that addresses the drink:

A couple of my relatives just went on a trip to Italy. It was one of those multi city tour group excursions.

I told them to try some Beverly when they got there.

They said they checked in every store and restaurant and asked everyone they met about it.

They told me NO ONE had any idea what Beverly was.

So is Beverly, as Jennifer claims, a big practical joke by Coca-Cola?

I figured that I'd find Coca-Cola's Italian website, and I ended up at Coca-Cola HBC Italia, a franchised bottler. Among their sparking beverages I found this:

Kinley is the ideal range of sparkling drinks for preparing long drinks and cocktails. In the Italian market it is available in two versions: Tonic Water and Bitter Lemon.

Kinley Tonic Water is a tonic water with a distinctive bitter flavour.
Kinley Bitter Lemon is a non-alcoholic lemon juice beverage that adds a pleasant lemon twist to your cocktails.

But no mention of Beverly. Although after searching, I found this:

Nogara plant

The plant is located in Nogara (Verona) and it was opened in 1975. Coca-Cola HBC Italia operates in Nogara since 1995.

Nogara is the biggest production plant in Italia (covered area of 62.000 sqm including 35.000 mq of the new warehouses). In this plant we produce: Coca-Cola, Fanta, Sprite, Nestea, Powerade, Beverly. Kinley and Aquarius, in : PET, glass, cans and Bag in Box.
Awards won by the plant:

2007 - Best Factory award for the management of logistics and production activities – International Best Factory Award

And there is only one other mention of Beverly on the entire site:

Coca-Cola, the new dynamic ribbon device, the Contour bottle, Coca-Cola Light, Sprite, Fanta, Fruit Cooler, Kinley, Beverly, Burn, Powerade and Aquarius are all registered trademarks of The Coca-Cola Company.

So it sounds like Coca-Cola has registered the trademark for Beverly, and that they have a place where they bottle it, but they don't SELL it in Italy - just in Nevada, Georgia, and Florida.

But what of Kinley? It appears that the brand is used for a variety of drinks in many different countries. Not only is there a carbonated beverage in various flavors, but there's even a bottled water.

Many of the carbonated beverage's flavors include the b-word:

Kinley is a carbonated water that comes in wide array of variants such as tonic, bitter lemon, club soda and a myriad of fruit flavors.

Available in the following flavors: Apple Peach, Bitter Grapefruit, Bitter Herbal, Bitter Lemon, Bitter Water, Blueberry Pomegranate, Club Soda, Ginger Ale, Lemon and Raspberry.

Available in the following locations: Austria, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Denmark, El Salvador, Germany, Hungary, India, Israel, Italy, Netherlands, Poland, Slovakia, Sweden, Switzerland, United States, West Bank-Gaza and Zambia.

So, other than the fact that you can buy one of them throughout the world but can only buy the other in this country, what is the difference between Kinley "bitter water" and Beverly?
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