Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Ballantine Beer newspaper ad (1949)

Toledo Blade, July 21, 1949
Ah- the three ring trade mark of Peter Ballantine symbolizing Purity, Body and Flavor. And here I thought it was a pretzel! You learn something everyday. I'm not quite sure what the crane reference is about in this ad but they are right, it'll definitely keep me guessing.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Miller High Life magazine ad (1959)

Ebony, December 1959
Miller, Pabst and Budweiser probably will get way too much coverage on this blog but since they've been three of the most popular beers in America for many years, it's unavoidable. It's always been passed off as sort of an elitist brew among the macros and it pretty much lives up to the billing of the quintessential American lager. Not complex by any means but a straight drinking light bodied beer.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Wagner Beer newspaper ad (1934)

The Miami News, June 20, 1934
Wagner was the first post-prohibition brewery in Florida. It was subsequently purchased by American Brewing Co. in 1939 and produced the Regal Beer brand until 1958 when it was bought out by National Brewing Company.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Schlitz Malt Liquor magazine ad (1980)

Jet, August 21, 1980
I always liked the Schlitz Malt Liquor bull on the old beer cans and the slogan "Don't say beer, say bull." Neither was very complicated but both punched through to the heart of the matter like a Hemingway sentence.

It's strong and vigorous like a bull. More so than beer and what better way to emphasize that point than with a masculine spokesman like Hall of Fame football player Willie Davis.

I don't know if the bottle was less than the standard 12 ouncer but it sure looks smaller in the hand of Davis. The old tinfoil label secured to the cap is a classic as well. Didn't Michelob also utilize that feature?

Friday, April 26, 2013

Oertels '92 Lager newspaper ad (1954)

Kentucky New Era, September 24, 1954
Nothing like a cartoon to simplify the magic of '92. Real beer made slowly and naturally! According to this ad their premium fare was preferred by beer drinkers in the areas they serviced. Which seems like a grandiose statement but who knows. Even it if wasn't true it was cheerfully optimistic one variation of their chief motto parlayed, "It's wise to be cheerful."

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Budweiser Beer magazine ad (1978)

Jet, August 17, 1978
If there is one difference in many of the beer ads that I've come across it's that many of the black publications such as Jet and Ebony used black celebrities in their beer ads while the mainstream ones tended to go the generic route with nameless models or drawn artwork. I'm not sure if the tactic swayed the intended demographic but it sure made for good copy.  I mean, how could you tell Lou Rawls no?

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Goebel Beer magazine ad (1942)

LIFE, April 20, 1942
Mello-ized, eh? That was Goebel's supposedly secret method of making their brew twice as mellow as others. Maybe Brewster the Rooster had something to do with that process while pecking about the vats at night.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Champale Malt Liquor magazine ad (1972)

Jet, May 18, 1972
I totally did not recall from my older brother's beer can collecting days in the 1980s that Champale was a malt liquor. I remembered it as a gimmick beer and wrongly so apparently!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Carta Blanca Beer magazine ad (1943)

Life, July 19, 1943
I wasn't expecting to find this in a copy of Life Magazine from the 1940s but here we are. Cuauhtémoc Brewery, which also produces Dos Equis, Sol and Tecate, among others, was founded in 1890 and produced its first barrel of Carta Blanca in 1893. It won first prize in the Chicago and Paris world fairs. The brewery is now a property of Heineken International.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Rheingold Extra Dry magazine ad (1959)

Ebony, December 1959
Sarah Vaughan and Jackie Robinson in the same beer ad? Well, I suppose Jackie appears via a drawing concerning his radio show on 660 WCRA every Sunday at 6:30-7 PM that Rheingold sponsored. Apparently, Robinson, John Wayne and the Marx Brothers among others were featured in their ads. It was also the official beer of the New York Mets for a period of time.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Schlitz Beer magazine ad (1959)

Ebony, December 1959
A colored ad from Schlitz for colored folks which graced the pages of Ebony in December of 1959. One with a black Santa would have iced the cake.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Regal Beer newspaper ad (1941)

The Miami News, February 21, 1941
The history of Regal Beer seems to be a whirlwind of change. After Prohibition Miami was left without a brewery. The import of beer was cost prohibitive and the citizens turned to champagne as a cheaper alternative.

The opening of the Wagner Brewing Company in 1934 brought hometown brewing back to the area for the first time in 15 years. The company was purchased by New Orleans based American Brewing Co. in 1939 and began producing the Regal Beer brand.

In 1958 the flailing brewery was purchased by Baltimore based National Brewing Company, after a bid by Anheuser-Busch was nixed by the Federal government due to antitrust regulations, and began producing their signature National Bohemian Beer, aka Natty Boh, alongside the Regal label as well as Colt 45.

The Regal Brewery closed in January of 1975 and, as far as I can tell, the brand ceased as well.

The Milwaukee Journal, January 13, 1975
Here's a great article by Agnes Ash which provided much of my research material:

The Miami News, June 20, 1964 (enlarge)

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Olympia Beer magazine ad (1960)

Ebony, July 1960
Olympia is among the throngs of classic brands that have been absorbed by the likes of Miller and Pabst, the formula changed and their sphere of influence marginalized further. The sad part is that with the reinvigorated beer market in full motion due to the craft brewery revolution the old recipes remain dormant in favor of adjunct lagers.

I have a feeling that if they'd re-introduce the full-body stuff they could corner the craft market and probably quadruple their profits considering their advanced equipment and distribution capabilities. Why they don't remains a mystery. Every attempt at macro-microbrews have been horrendous failures for the most part and only further loss of market share will seemingly alter that unfortunate course.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Ballantine Ale magazine ad (1951)

LIFE, January 29, 1951
Ballantine supposedly made a mean IPA and barleywine (for employees only) back in the day but are now supposedly reduced to shipping their watered down version in 40 ouncers. Which, for nostalgic sake, sounds perfect to me but seems to be an unfounded truth if their website is any indication of such things.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Goebel Beer newspaper ad (1936)

The Owosso Argus-Press, March 20, 1936
Charles Elich was considered by some to be America's foremost brewer when he left Pabst to become the new brewer at Goebel upon the passing of Otto Rosenbusch. He was employed at Pabst for over 30 years and was the longtime assistant to Fritz Bock.

If you didn't like Goebel before then Elich's version was sure to win you over. Or so he claimed. It was a "richer, creamier, mellower beer from the famous Cypress casks." The finger point alone has me convinced.

The Milwaukee Journal, December 6, 1935

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Cream Top Beer newspaper ad (1913)

The Detroit Free Press, December 14, 1913
The American Brewing Company came into being in 1890 as the Exposition Brewing Company. An homage to the industrial fair which was held in the same Delray section of Detroit. The name change came about in 1901 as minority shareholders, unhappy with the appearance of the company's officers' inflated salaries and lack of re-invested funds, began a revolt to wrest the majority from the board. They also threatened litigation but the matter was settled in 1902 when the minority group bought a majority share of stocks and replaced the directors.

The company survived the Prohibition years by producing birch beer and ginger ale but not even an additional $100,000 investments to upgrade the facility and build an ice making facility could stave off decreasing sales and finally extinction, closing in 1938.

The Detroit Free Press, January 29, 1906
The handsome three-story red brick encampment located on Cary Street in the heart of "New Detroit" was thought to resemble a school house moreso than a brewery.

The Detroit Free Press, February 17, 1907
A $50,000 ice plant designed by Mildner and Eisen was under construction in 1907 to increase the brewery's capacity to 50 tons of ice per day.

The Detroit Free Press, June 16, 1907
The advanced ice making technology took 48 hours to complete after the city water was distilled through steam pressurization. The ice was said to be so clear that one's photograph could be taken through a foot thick slab and retain its natural clarity. Horse drawn carriages delivered the ice to both stores and residential customers.

The Detroit Free Press, January 27, 1906
Many of the adverts employed by the company described the beer as a pure, wholesome tonic that also served as a food source with health improving benefits. Going so far as to state that the Bavarian antecedents of the American ilk drank upwards of a gallon of beer per day which aided in their beauty, strength and stature.

The Detroit Free Press, May 19, 1906

The Detroit Free Press, September 29, 1906
The mild beverage was a perfect accoutrement for the dinner table.

The Detroit Free Press, June 23, 1906
It was worthy of both song and poesy. It helped the aged and infirm despite wandering from its rhyme scheme.

The Detroit Free Press, July 7, 1906
But perfection self-corrects even when it doesn't need to.

The Detroit Free Press, March 27, 1907
A bock beer was added to the roster in the early 1900s and served at all first-class cafes.

The Detroit Free Press, July 17, 1907
The pure lager was served everywhere else.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Pabst Blue Ribbon Beer magazine ad (1960)


I don't know if the 1960 version of Pabst Blue Ribbon is the same as today's but if so it's apparently also the 1910 version. Unless, of course, there has been a change in between then and then the only definitive fact that I can confer is that the 1910 and 1960 versions were the same. Confused?

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Old Vienna Beer newspaper ad (1980)

The Windsor Star, June 19, 1980
I'm not exactly sure what the shroud around the ascending beer bottle is all about but it has me convinced of whatever the adman's getting at. Not enough to say "Oh Ya!" but close enough.

City Brewing Company of Wapakoneta, Ohio originally brewed the namesake and later the Koch Beverage Company. In the early 1900s the Carling Brewing Company purchased the brand and produced it through the 1980s. It is now owned by the Molson Brewery and is primarily a Canadian beer though a few American border states carry the product.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Miller High Life Beer newspaper ad (1913)

The Telegraph-Herald, July 2, 1913
Miller might have resembled a Bavarian beer a hundred years ago but not today. It's drinkable but not the most desirable brew. That said, it has history on its side and whether you love or loathe the High Life it's an American classic and so is this ad.

The whole clear bottle advantage is not so classic or convincing. And the fact that no sediment was preferable shows that the beer was probably already tainted with adjuncts by this point.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Stroh's Beer magazine ad (1960)

Ebony, July 1960
Stroh's had a lot of obligations to meet in this ad. First, the black athlete since it was featured in Ebony magazine. Secondly, their home market in Detroit. Lastly, the major sports that black athletes perform in. Seeing it was the 1960s there were probably none in the NHL at the time though I know few played in that era. The obvious exclusion is baseball and I can't think of any reason for that since each decade has had it's share of great black baseballers. Anyway, it's nice to see a Stroh's ad in color just the same.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Beverwyck Beer newspaper ad (1936)

Rochester Journal, August 6, 1936
The Beverwyck Brewery formed in 1878 and operated under various auspices until 1950 when it was sold to the Schaefer Brewing Company. The brewery operated until 1972.

There's sparse information beyond that and I'll seek to correct that despite my lack of ties or any real interest in Albany or its history. I'll start with this following ad and then take this up at a later time.

Schenectady Gazette, December 12, 1947 (enlarge)
As this advert states the original Beverwyck Brewery was founded in 1845 though I'm not sure what the distinction between the two is at this point. Nor have I looked into it but I will sometime next week.

Also noteworthy is the mention of upgrades to the plant that nearly doubled its capacity. A drawing of the "streamlined bottling plant" and large new stock house seemed to speak to new horizons for the company. Perhaps these additions were done under the premise of selling to the highest bidder.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Hamm's Beer magazine ad (1959)

Ebony, December 1959
By the time I was old enough to know what beer was the Hamm's can was changed to the modern version but I do recall the old keg can from my brother's beer can collection. The Beer Bear I don't remember at all.

As for the Hamm's Brewery itself, like many of its contemporaries it opened in the late 1800s, struggled through Prohibition, lost popularity in the 1940s and 50s and felt its demise in the 1960s. Established in 1865 the brewery was sold in 1968 to Heublin, then Olympia Brewing Company, Pabst and finally Miller Brewing Company.

The good news for Hamm's lovers is that it the brand name never went away though it is only sold in limited markets. The bad part of the equation is that it's now a macro swill. I'd still drink one if I came across it.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Oertels '92 Beer newspaper ad (1940)

Kentucky New Era, June 4, 1940
"Cheer up!" was Oertels' ad slogan and was popular enough to form a fan club and produce a joke book. However, it wasn't able to sustain that sort of fandom as the company went belly-up in 1967. A resurgence in the brand name occurred in 1992, with the old brewmaster from the glory days, Fritz Finger (great name!), joining in on the venture, but apparently the beer along with the brewpub that featured it went belly up a few years later. Which is a shame because they missed the craft brewery revolution by just about a decade.

As for the '92 brand, it seems to have arisen from the year the brewery was purchased by the Butchertown Brewery, 1892. A deal that John F. Ortel must have been part of since it carried into his ownership of the brewery. The name changed to Oertel in 1906 when he purchased it outright.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Carling Black Label Beer magazine ad (1962)

LIFE, May 25, 1962
You know, after several long viewings of the previous post with the glowing goblet of Schmidt's beer in full technicolor glory I think I may reconsider my stance on black white print over color. These are amazing. And now if I could only find a fair dealing in fried chicken, Black Label in a steel can and all the people blurred out in favor of food I'd be set for at least one summer.