Polar Beverages | Golden Ginger Ale, Birch Beer, Mixers & More

Classic flavors like golden ginger ale and birch beer, plus intriguing new seltzer combinations, have kept Polar a New England favorite since 1882.

By Aimee Tucker

Oct 07 2016

polar soda

Polar has been bottling bubbly goodness in New England since 1882.

Photo Credit : Aimee Seavey

It’s hard for independent companies to hold their own in the competitive soft drink market, but Polar has defied the odds, remaining a New England mainstay and quenching our thirst since 1882. With their long line of sodas, mixers, and seltzers, Polar keeps fans (both new and old) happy with a colorful mix of classic flavors like golden ginger ale and birch beer, plus intriguing new combinations.

polar soda
Polar has been bottling bubbly goodness in New England since 1882.
Photo Credit : Aimee Seavey

Polar Beverages is actually America’s largest independent soft-drink bottler. A family business now in its 4th generation, Polar has a long history. Its early days as distributor of liquor as well as seltzer, ginger ale, and water ended with Prohibition, allowing the company to focus exclusively on soft drinks and water — an objective it continues today. The name and polar bear logo, while charming, was also an intentional marketing tool. Since ice was scarce at the turn of the century, the name and bear let customers know that Polar drinks were cold and refreshing.


Among the first soft drink flavors produced by Polar were Golden Ginger Ale and Pale Dry Ginger Ale, proving that not all ginger ales are created equal. Golden ginger ale (which you can still buy today) is darker in color with a more pronounced ginger flavor. Polar says it “marries the fiery taste of an old-fashioned ginger beer with the crisp refreshment of modern ginger ale.”

polar golden ginger ale
Extra bold Polar Golden Ginger Ale.
Photo Credit : Aimee Seavey


Another popular Polar soda offering is birch beer. Considered the cousin of root beer, birch beer is an East coast favorite, and Yankee fans that have moved away from their New England homes often tell us it’s one of the things they miss the most. Traditionally made from birch bark, Polar Birch Beer tastes a bit like a carbonated marriage of wintergreen, licorice, and just a hint of sweetness.

polar birch beer
Wintergreen-meets-licorice Polar Birch Beer.
Photo Credit : Aimee Seavey


Today, Polar’s most popular product line might be their vibrant line of seltzers. Crafted with just “water, bubbles, and a hint of natural flavor,” regular flavors (in addition to “natural”) include black cherry, orange vanilla, cranberry lime, and pomegranate. They also offer a rotating line of seasonal flavors each summer and winter. Recent special summer offerings like blueberry lemonade and raspberry mojito are offered for a limited time only, and the seasonal shift keeps fans excited for what’s coming next.

polar seltzer
Polar Seltzer is available today in several flavors.
Photo Credit : Aimee Seavey

At various times throughout its history Polar had bottling plants in Boston and Hartford, but its heart has always resided in Worcester, Massachusetts, which was the original home of one of the first companies that eventually became Polar. In the late 1990’s Polar had outgrown its facility and was looking for a new home, but despite many offers from neighboring cities and states, they decided to remain in Worcester out of loyalty to their employees and the local community. We’ll drink to that!

Are you a Polar fan? Which flavor is your favorite?

This post was first published in 2014 and has been updated.