Bottled Up - The Battle Over Dublin Dr Pepper

 (119)7.01 h 15 min2014
For 120 years, Dublin Dr Pepper was manufactured in the West Texas town of Dublin. The soda's original pure cane sugar formula spawned a cult-like following across the globe. But then it all ended. Who killed Dublin Dr Pepper? Will the town of Dublin, Texas survive? "Bottled Up" chronicles the story of Dublin Bottling Works as they fight for their future while holding onto their historic past.
Drew Rist
Danny BalisJeff Kloster
English [CC]
Audio languages

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Don MerrittKirk EdwardsJake Wilganowski
Spittin' Image Films
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4.3 out of 5 stars

119 global ratings

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Top reviews from the United States

John WernerReviewed in the United States on November 15, 2019
4.0 out of 5 starsWhy People Dislike Big Corporations With Lots of Attorneys
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I started watching this without realizing anything about it. Sounds strange but I do this sometimes and I often go to the middle of a film and if in a minute or two I see anything that catches my interest I then go to the beginning and watch a few minutes. In less than five minutes I can cull something without even reading about it (often reading sounds like the right choice until you find what you thought had promise doesn't). Anyway this one passed the test. I truly different story about something we all have enjoyed. What few of us actually knew was the history of the Dr. Pepper soft drink and it's most unique bottler in Dublin, Texas. It's a compelling very human story. It's also a microcosm of American business greed. Big business often can't see the forest for the trees. The bigger the stakes the more decisions deviate from the good to humanity to sheer profit. I'm in the footwear retail business and I can tell you if you can find a person who works anywhere in America building shoes give them a hug because they're an endangered species. But I digress, here we have a heritage story of a great brand woven in a special way into a small community. That one man's vision on how to keep a product true to it's roots served the small town of Dublin, Texas well for generations. That is until corporate tunnel vision couldn't come up with a workable compromise that Dr. Pepper Dublin and Snapple-Dr. Peppper corporate could both live by. I get the feeling if they could save a penny corporate Dr. Pepper would throw history and humanity under a bus. Ladies and gentlemen, this is one story that screams big business with loads of attorneys combined with deep pockets generally stink. They do things that are against morality and patriotism for dollars. It's a bit of a small reason why people distrust Wall Street and often have low opinions of attorneys. Other than that this is a darn entertaining documentary.
32 people found this helpful
ziggylivesReviewed in the United States on December 5, 2019
5.0 out of 5 starsInside the soul of Dublin, TX
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This is a tale of resilience and persistence of the human spirit in the face of oppression.
I’m glad I gave this a watch because I was unfamiliar with the interesting Dublin Dr. Pepper backstory! Especially, how much effort was put into preserving tradition and the community of Dublin, TX, and how that effort was targeted and aggressively dismantled. It definitely makes me look at the larger Dr. Pepper/Snapple Corporation in a different light. It’s another disturbing example of how giant companies can in essence become machines that stamp out anything in their path….with little to no regard for the heritage and livelihood of smaller businesses.

But what Dr. Pepper couldn’t do (and likely underestimated) was take away the fighting spirit of the Kloster family. It reminds me of that quote from Braveheart “They may take away our lives, but they'll never take our freedom!”. I know it sounds like first world problems but when you look at it closely, the decision of Dr. Pepper to break with tradition in such a forceful fashion was a well-aimed shot at the heart of Dublin, TX itself. Some after-effects being destruction of tourism for much of Dublin, the layoff off employees both at the Dublin Dr. Pepper bottling plant and other small businesses in the community, and a sadness for the loss of a legacy the town held dear and thrived on (in their hearts and monetarily). Dr. Pepper/Snapple’s decision to devour the “competition” seems to have backfired a bit as they chucked an opportunity to capitalize on the founding charm their brand was built on. One that might give them an edge as more and more unique brands step up to the soda industry plate.

What this film shows is that despite it all, Dublin Bottling Works and Dublin, TX itself is evolving. Not in a way that forgets where they came from. But instead honors their past and hopefully puts them in a position to build a new legacy for the future.

The original small soda shop remains in Dublin, and pride & nostalgia will also certainly still for as long as each generation keeps telling stories about the town. Now, they get to do things their own way, without the overarching shadow of a controlling monolith corporation that might press the nuke button at any minute. After writing this, I did a bit more research and found that Jeff Kloster suffered a stroke shortly after relaunching the bottling company. Pretty heartbreaking, especially considering his dedication to revitalizing the business and community.

This fascinating story was filmed thoughtfully/produced well, emotions were captured in a poignant way, the music fit, and info was effectively compiled and shared. Definitely a thumbs up from me!
15 people found this helpful
SusanReviewed in the United States on November 9, 2019
5.0 out of 5 starsGood documentary.
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I drank Diet Cherry Dr. Pepper for years. I don't drink it now because I fear negative neurological effects from the long term use of artificial sweeteners. Now I'm glad I don't drink it anymore because after watching the movie I would boycott it now. I had never heard of Dublin Dr. Pepper before watching this documentary. I would have liked to visit the town with my children, drank an original sugar filled bottle of Dr. Pepper, visit the museum, before the big corporation squashed the fun out of the town. I think the new direction of bottling something new is a great idea. And best wishes to the new company. Good documentary.
14 people found this helpful
culpritkirkReviewed in the United States on November 14, 2019
5.0 out of 5 starsAwesome documentary about a 120yr old Texas tradition that unceremoniously comes to an end.
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What a great doc! I had no idea of what I was getting into, but am very glad I took a flyer on this one. It's a great look into small town Texas tradition, and what happens when corporate America sticks their nose where it has no business. Dr Pepper Snapple is clearly the villain here, but the filmmakers did a great job of presenting both sides of the story. For a movie about a soft drink I was surprised to find myself laughing and crying as much as I did. Highly recommend this for any and all ages.
14 people found this helpful
GucciGardeniaReviewed in the United States on December 22, 2019
4.0 out of 5 starsI can empathize with both sides
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I have never been a Dr. Pepper fan--I grew up on Coke products, but I found the backstory very interesting. I'd never heard of Dublin, TX, much less Dublin Dr. Pepper, but the major takeaway for me (halfway through the film) was that a bottler does not have the right to slap their own personal mottos or town name on a company's copyright. For me, the fact that the parent company was aware of "Dublin Dr. Pepper" was besides the point as there was no legal contractural agreement for the use of the name. On the other hand, I agree with the citizens who stated that a wonderful marketing opportunity was missed with a continued use of the name. Could it all have been averted if the bottler simply asked for permission to label the bottles "Dr. Pepper made in Dublin" or some similar phrase? The cake mix thing was the last straw for me---it was waaaaay over the top--even arrogant. One cannot just make up a product and slap a copyrighted name on the packaging---that's a clear sign that some of the bottler's liberties should have been reigned in. What if all bottlers started doing things like that? Yes, people lost their jobs, yes, the town suffered, yes, the grandson cried a bit too much and yes , Dr. Pepper came out unscathed for the most part---but I felt as if the town had all of their eggs in one basket. I'm glad that the bottler was able to transition into something profitable, but didn't view it as the "win-win" that Mr. Corporate-Speak kept referring to. Lastly, who was that man in the yellow t-shirt who put his hand on the camera? Did he work for Corporate? Why did he feel empowered to try and stop people from trading their sodas? Too many people in the film needed a serious chill pill. At the end of the day, it's a soft drink people. Pick yourselves up, dust yourselves off, learn a new trade and start anew.
2 people found this helpful
ColeReviewed in the United States on December 8, 2019
5.0 out of 5 starsTypical Large Corporation Arrogance
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I stumbled across this documentary not knowing anything about this story. Had no idea of the in depth history of Dr. Pepper. It's the story one of the oldest original Dr Pepper bottlers in the nation. And as everyone corporation does, it was sold to a larger and larger corporation over time. But where the story really begins as far as the documentary goes is when Dr Pepper switched from cane sugar to corn syrup. The gentlemen that owned this bottler, and started working there as a young man as just a regular employee prior to WWII mind you, received permission continuing to use cane sugar, despite the fact it obviously cost more. He believed it was better product. Eventually they wanted to sell cane sugar Dr Pepper outside their district where it wasn't offered by other distributors. Even though corporate decided to switch everyone else to corn syrup, when the other distributors began to complain, instead of offering that product, they decided to shut down Dublin Dr Pepper. Now, I don't want to give away the rest because it's an interesting story. But you may note the mantra from the representatives of Dr Pepper, and especially the stature of on of their representatives trying to minimize Dublin Dr Pepper and their product. I'm not anti-corporate as a rule, but I don't like to see the thumb pressed down on people for a decision they made, and I don't like seeing smaller people strangled out because they don't have the money to continue the fight. I was sad and angry after watching. this. I highly recommend this documentary.
4 people found this helpful
Richard ClayReviewed in the United States on January 5, 2020
5.0 out of 5 starsThe Dr. Pepper/Snapple Group are JERKS!!!
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Great documentary about how big corporations DESTROY small businesses with their excessive money and batteries of attorneys. This behavior is precisely why all businesses must be regulated and an attempt, no matter how ineffective, must be made to limit their demonic-greedy tendencies. I used to love both Snapple and Dr. Pepper. I have purchased the last I ever will of either product. There is an especially hot room in HELL for corporate people who destroy decent people's lives for $$$. "It it easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the gates of Heaven." (paraphrased).
3 people found this helpful
BillyBobTXReviewed in the United States on February 5, 2020
4.0 out of 5 starsWOW Corporate Arena Revealed
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Really interesting take on the corporate world. Documentary is pretty balanced on both views from the point of the "liitle guy" and Dr Pepper/ Snapple. Common sense says Dr Pepper is in the right, but a little town America suffered. The whole premise and factual theme is that when Dr Pepper went with corn syrup this little town bottler of Dr Pepper stayed with granulated sugar (taking a hit on profits). The little bottler was the original bottler of Dr Pepper since the late 1800's. They labeled their product Dublin (Texas) Dr Pepper. It has had that label for years. But finally Dr Pepper shut them down by buying them out after breaking the company using legal fees. There are some stores here in Texas that have a Mexican connection, so they sell Coca Cola made in Mexico with real sugar. It is popular as I am sure Dublin Dr Pepper was. The documentary explains it all and the result is a work in progress on how it will all turn out. Funny little marketing ploy in the end that gets mildly physical. It is an enjoyable watch with a deeper meaning on what this country has become.

For those of you who know nothing about small towns let me explain. My experience (1992) in small towns came when I worked a temp job as a mystery shopper. I had to go to the towns around San Antonio and buy $1 worth of gas at every gas station of a certain brand. I then rated the station for cleanliness, etc.., It was a rewarding experience in seeing all the small towns. I sat at a lunch counter that was popular in the 50's, ate home made pie under a banner that one particular town had won the state high school football championship in the1930's. That was that small town's claim to fame. Well Dublin Dr Pepper was the town's whole marketing ploy. It was the original bottler, museums and everything around the town brought in tourists and such. Now that Dr Pepper shut down their "claim to fame" it is to be seen if the town can survive.
2 people found this helpful
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