The History of Mountain Dew: Beginnings

Although there are many stories about how Mountain Dew was created, the truth is that the Mountain Dew we know today was created by Bill Jones with the help and influence of many others.

Bill Jones was from Marion, Virginia and worked as the General Manager of the Tip Corporation, a flavor company that specialized in the creation of flavors to be used in carbonated beverages.grandad
In the mid-1950’s, the corporation was on the verge of bankruptcy after struggling to create a successful flavor. Luckily, through his years of working in the beverage business, Jones had developed good relations with many bottlers in the region. Jones would go on to convince five bottlers to invest in the Tip Corporation and buy out all other stockholders allowing for a fresh start to the company.

One of those bottlers was Ally Hartman from Knoxville, Tennessee. He and his brother bottled a lemon-lime drink that they had created. That drink was called Mountain Dew and the trademark for the name was granted in 1951. The Hartman brothers did not make much effort to develop the drink beyond regional market because it was just “another” lemon-lime soft drink and 7-up already ruled the market. At the first meeting with the new owners of Tip Corporation, Ally Harman offered his trademark to Bill Jones. Jones asked how much he wanted for it and Hartman told Jones that if he bought dinner, they would call it even.

At that time, the trademark was worth nothing. Giving the Mountain Dew trademark to the Tip Corporation, gave the company exclusive rights to produce any flavors of soft drink they wanted to call Mountain Dew. After many experiments, Jones created a flavor that he believed would be a strong competitor to the other lemon-lime drinks on the market at that time. Jones launched the new lemon-lime drink using the Mountain Dew name in 1958.

MtnDew7ozCPepsi-Cola bottlers quickly took on the new drink. Not long after, Jones and other competitors, such as Teem and Golden Girl Cola, faced difficulties in the market. Jones realized that people get tired of certain flavors when they are continuously consumed. He decided he needed to create a flavor that not only tasted good, but one that people would not easily tire of. After several months of experimenting and testing, Jones created a new citrusy flavor unlike any other out there and the new Mountain Dew was born.

Jones partnered with the Minges brothers, bottlers also invested in the Tip Corporation, to help with the selling and marketing of the new beverage. They named the improved flavor, the “New Mountain Dew.” The beverage grew rapidly and almost every Pepsi-Cola bottler began selling the beverage in their territories. After years of continued success, Pepsi-Cola Company purchased the Tip Corporation in 1964.  In 1966, Pepsi-Cola decided to make Mountain Dew part of Pepsi-Cola, and dissolved Tip Corporation. From that moment on, Mountain Dew became a hit all over the nation… and the rest is history!