The famous "Dublin Dr. Pepper" soft drink is going away -- and with it, potentially a town's whole economy

Made with pure cane sugar instead of corn syrup or beet sugar, Dublin Dr. Pepper has a devoted following around the southern state and around the nation. This week, however, the largest Dr. Pepper distributor in the country bought out the oldest Dr. Pepper bottler in the state, after it sued, alleging the Dublin label had diluted their brand.

The result: Dublin Dr. Pepper Bottling Co. will no longer make Dr. Pepper, which it began bottling in 1891. Instead, 14 of their 37 employees were fired this week, and the bottler says it will focus on making other cane sugar beverages instead.

The lawsuit was filed by Plano, Texas-based Dr. Pepper Snapple Group Inc., which accused the tiny company of selling Dr. Pepper beyond the geographical boundaries it had previously agreed to.

Going forward, Dr. Pepper Snapple Group Inc. will kill the Dublin Dr. Pepper brand and sell its own cane sugar beverage in "nostalgic" packaging, lacking the Dublin logo.

The small bottler in Dublin will still operate its Dr. Pepper museum and old fashioned soda fountain, a major tourist draw for the central Texas town, which only claims about 3,800 residents.

The bottler is the largest employer in Dublin. Much of the town's economy is based upon tourism dollars and sales of Dublin Dr. Pepper.

This video is from Dallas news station WFAA, broadcast Jan. 11, 2012.

Photo: Flickr user jenny8lee.