Ale-8: The Official Soda of the Red River Gorge

Ale-8: The Official Soda of the Red River Gorge

The classic ginger drink will soon be available to more climbers.

For climbers, the ginger drink, Ale-8-One, has always been a place-specific indulgence, something synonymous with climbing in Eastern Kentucky’s Red River Gorge, like Miguel’s Pizza is, or the terms pulling pockets and getting pumped. Often perched on top of a gear-covered picnic table out front of this pizzeria-turned-climber-haunt, Ale-8 (we often drop the “One”) is as crucial an ingredient as flour, water or yeast is to Miguel Ventura’s world-renowned pizza crust. There’s even a route named after it, which the late “Flyin” Brian McCray established in 1995 at the Motherlode. Ale-8-One, 5.12b, became an instant classic.

When Miguel’s opened in the mid-80s, it pulled in the local product of Ale-8, which had been around since the early 1900s gaining its name from an ingenious 14-year-old-girl’s contest-winning slogan (“a late one”) for this new addition to the soda world. Here, just as nearly everything (and everyone) that spends enough time around Miguel’s Pizza, Ale-8 found a home.

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