Quenching Boston's Thirst Since 1914
Domenick, Giuseppe and Felice Cusolito founded Prospect Hill Bottling and Soda Water Co. during 1914 in Somerville, Massachusetts. When Domenick went to register his new company, which would be producing Prospect Hill Ginger Ale, the Clerk at the Secretary of State’s office suggested that they use a shorter name and asked, “Isn’t that where the Tower is?” Tower Ginger Ale was born.
The first few years of production was a period of tremendous growth for the company and the alcohol prohibition of the 1920’s only amplified the company’s success, creating a new demand for tonics. Root Beer was a cool, thirst quenching drink on a hot day and quickly became a substitute for beer that was no longer available. Ginger Ale became popular as a mixer with the terrible whisky being made in those days. The fast growth of the company was curtailed by the stock market crash of 1929; however thanks to the early success of the new company, Prospect Hill Bottling and Soda Water Co. was able to survive even when the bank that held the company’s working capital could not.
During the early stages of the company, Domenick realized the success of other “tonic” companies was attained by specializing in one product. He decided to organize his company in the same way, specializing in root beer. At the time, drinks like root beer and ginger beer were usually home made. With the assistance of a local pharmacist, Domenick tinkered with his root beer recipe to come up with a distinctive product. The pharmacist supplied Prospect Hill with the essential oils required to make the recipe a success, and Tower Root Beer was born. The distinctive amber bottle was originally selected by chance. In the beginning, all of Prospect Hill’s beverages were distributed in a clear flint glass bottle. However, due to Prohibition in 1920, a local beer brewery closed its doors, leaving a warehouse full of 7 oz beer bottles or "splits" available for the taking. Domenick volunteered to remove these bottles and upon acceptance of his offer; sent his trucks and men over to pick them up. As a result, Tower Root Beer bottled in the brown (amber) bottles was born.
Over the years, the company grew into a well-known business throughout the New England area. After World War II, Domenick’s three sons (Richard, Jack and Paul) took over the management and operation of the company. By the 1950’s, Tower Root Beer New England states (Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut). However, in 1969 the company was sold to a conglomerate of soft drink companies and the family business was dissolved. Richard reacquired the rights to the trademark in 1970 and operated as a franchise company for eight years. In 1978 Richard decided to dissolve his franchises and remove Tower Root Beer from the market.
For the past thirty years, Tower Root Beer's recipe has sat under lock and key, until Richard’s son (Dominick's grandson) Larry Cusolito decided to re-establish the family soft drink business and re-introduce Tower Root Beer to the New England region. He was able to do this after locating his grandfather’s original hand written recipe with his grandmother’s birth certificate. Then he contacted the flavor producer for the concentrate to confirm the proprietary family rights were still in tact. “Tower Root Beer is Back” with a third-generation family member heading up the Prospect Hill Beverages, LLC.