Friday’s ad is for Budweiser, from 1914, No. 2 in another series they did in 1914-15 called the “National Heroes Series.” The second one features Giuseppe Garibaldi, who “was an Italian general and politician and nationalist who played a large role in the history of Italy. He is considered, with Camillo Cavour, Victor Emmanuel II and Giuseppe Mazzini, as one of Italy’s “fathers of the fatherland.”
I don’t really like malternatives, alcopops, malt-based beverages, or whatever you want to call them. I find them too sweet, the latest overly sweet concoction to take the wine cooler segment of the market. But the one thing I hate more than alcopops in prohibitionists telling me only kids like comic book characters and that if anything appeals to kids in any way, shape or form, then it must be stopped, even if adults happen to like that thing, too. Honestly, it’s a fucked up way to view the world.
It would be pretty hard to miss the news that the latest Marvel Comics film adaptation opens today, and it’s the antihero Deadpool. I just learned, from the sheriff of not-having-fun, Alcohol Justice, that Marvel’s done a collaboration with Mike’s Hard Lemonade and created several flavors with Deadpool on the cans and packaging. Deadpool, the character, has been around since 1991, and while he started out as a villain, he’s become more of a wise-cracking antihero, and as such appeals to young adults and, undoubtedly, precocious teens.
As a result, the cross-promotion has Alcohol Justice (AJ) screaming bloody murder, accusing everyone involved of actively “threatening” kids. Why? Because “comic books,” of course. If there are comic books, then anything to do with them is about the kids. As the sheriff of AJ claims, “Kids are inherently targeted, PR damage to the brands is substantial, and shareholders should scream for heads to roll.”
For that reason, he’s placing both companies in the “Alcohol Justice Doghouse.” Oh, the humanity! How will they survive their banishment? Here’s a taste of just how out of touch AJ is about this.
A superhero’s mission is to champion good over evil and stand-up for those who can’t defend themselves. Superheroes appeal to many young boys and girls who dream of being one. It’s often reflected in how kids act and dress. But those dreams come crashing down fast when Big Alcohol capitalizes on the popular cartoon imagery of the latest superhero to sell booze.
Obviously, AJ has never before encountered Deadpool. He’s about as much a role model superhero as I am, which is to say not at all. Those values AJ espouses have nothing to do with this film, the character or, frankly, reality. Superman he’s not. He’s not even Spiderman. But what it really comes down to is their unshakeable belief that comic books are only for children. To which I can only say, grow up. Maybe that was true in the beginning or possibly after the Comic Code was instituted insuring family-friendly fare. But it hasn’t been the case since independent comic stores starting popping up in the late 1970s and 80s, creating a market for non-code comics, allowing for a much richer range of stories aimed at all ages. And that’s meant that for several decades there has been sequential art aimed squarely at older kids and even adults. They used to be called “underground comics,” but these are in the mainstream now, and have been for a long time.
I read comics as a kid, of course, but then stopped when I reached my teen years, because in the 1970s there wasn’t much that appealed to me. Most of the comic books were pretty sanitized, with only a few notable exceptions daring to include real current issues and societal problems in their books. But all that changed again in the 1980s when a flurry of creativity created an amazingly mature and complex body of work that was aimed squarely at an older, more mature audience. Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns, Alan Moore’s The Watchmen and V for Vendetta, or Neil Gaiman’s The Sandman, are good examples, to name just a few.
The point that seems lost on AJ is that there are comics that are for children, but there also comics for adults, and everyone in between. Just because something is drawn or animated, doesn’t automatically make it “inherently targeted” at kids. Try Art Spiegelman’s Maus, John Lewis’ March or Joe Sacco’s Palestine and see if you still think comics are only for children.
But here’s where they go off the rails again, where they just make shit up, and create their own reality.
“Though the alcohol industry claims ‘Millennials’ are their target alcopop audience, their promotions and campaigns effectively target youth who are years younger than the minimum legal drinking age,” said [Bruce Lee] Livingston. “As a result of the low prices, wide availability, and marketing tactics like this one by 21st Century Fox & Mike’s Harder Lemonade, alcopops are very popular among underage youth and responsible for a disproportionate share of underage alcohol-related harm.”
So the industry just “claims” they’re marketing to legal adults. Of course, if that weren’t the case they’d be breaking the law, not to mention they’d have an incredibly stupid business model. Don’t you think that if Alcohol Justice could prove actual targeting of underage people, that they’d have tried to put them out of business years ago? This is just propaganda and hyperbole, and not exactly the high moral kind that they so often pretend to be following, usually from atop their very tall horses.
But even if, for the sake of argument, Mike’s was breaking the law, hoping underage teenagers were loitering around their neighborhood convenience store, trying to entice the homeless man living in the alley to buy them some booze, that would not change the fact that kids under 18, and adults under 21, are not allowed to buy alcohol. This is in reality two problems. The first is that AJ believes alcohol companies are actively trying to illegally sell to minors. Given how illegal that is, if they could prove it, they would have by now. The second problem is that even though it’s illegal for minors to buy alcohol, they sometimes still manage to get their hands on it, and they blame the alcohol companies for creating the desire for them. But so what? Seriously, so what?
Before I was sixteen, I definitely wanted to drive a car. I even drove my stepfather’s Corvette around the block when I was 14 or 15. But I still knew I had to wait until I was sixteen before I could get a driver’s license and legally drive. But boy those car ads sure made driving look sexy, and made me want the hot new cars even before I could drive. Maybe we should ban all automobile advertising because it might appeal to kids who don’t have a driver’s license. But, no, we let car companies keep targeting our youth, causing teens to steal cars, go for joyrides and break the law. Obviously, the car advertising is causing the harm, because it appeals to children. Oh, sure, the car manufacturers “claim” that licensed drivers “are their target audience,” but we know better. Just watch how much fun it looks to drive their cars.
So I’m taking my son Porter to see Deadpool tonight, over his Mom’s objection. Not because of the alcopops, of course, but her concerns are because it looks really violent. But Porter loves what he’s seen of the dark humor that’s been shown in the various trailers, and I think he’s old enough. Of course, the film is Rated R, which given that he’s fourteen “requires [an] accompanying parent.” And that’s another reason it’s easy to see that the Deadpool Mike’s are marketing to young adults, 21 and over, since the rating further limits it being seen by minors looking to get buzzed on alcopops. But I’m old and still read comic books. AJ would do well to remember that there are a lot of us, and we drink, too.
Today is the 47th birthday of Jennifer Talley, former brewer at Squatter’s Pub & Brewery, an oasis of good beer in Salt Lake City, Utah. Jen left Utah a few years ago to become the Brewing Operations Manager for RedHook in Woodinville, Washington, and more recently joined Russian River Brewing in Santa Rosa, California. Unfortunately, Jen’s left Russian River to care for her ailing mother in Grass Valley and has more recently joined Brian Ford brewing at Auburn Alehouse. Jennifer’s a terrific brewer and one of the coolest people in the industry. Join me in wishing Jennifer a very happy birthday.
In town to shoot a television pilot in 2007, Shaun O’Sullivan (21st Amendment), Dave McLean (Magnolia) and Jennifer outside Magnolia.
After a panel discussion at GABF on women in brewing. From left: Carol Stoudt (from Stoudts Brewing), Jennifer Talley (from Squatter’s Pub Brewery), Natalie Cilurzo (from Russian River) and Teri Fahrendorf.
At a beer dinner put on by The Lost Abbey near San Diego, Jennifer and Matt Brynildson stopped by our table for a visit with Adam Avery and Vinnie Cilurzo.
At CBC in San Diego, 2008. From left, Fal Allen (Asia Pacific Breweries), Jennifer and Geoff Larson (Alaskan Brewing).
Today in 1935, US Patent 1991264 A was issued, an invention of Jesse F. Thomas and Claud R. Brown, for their “Beer Dispensing and Carbonating Apparatus.” There’s no Abstract, although in the description it includes this summary:
What is claimed: 1. A device of the class described comprising single fitting, said fitting having an inlet passage and an outlet passage, a pipe extending from one of said p through the other passage, fastening means on the pipe preventing downward displacement from the fitting, and cutting it direct communication between the passages, a pipe about the first mentioned pipe in communication with the other passage, means supported by the rest mentioned pipe at` its lower end in supporting contact with the second mentioned pipe and ports through one of said pipes and said means for discharge and intake purposes.
2. A device of the class described comprising a single fitting, pipes depending therefrom and spaced one within the other, the innermost pipe being a discharge pipe, fastening means at the upper end of the inner pipe preventing removal thereof downwardly from the fitting, the outermost pipe terminating below the upper end of spaced one within the other, the innermost pipe being a discharge pipe, fastening means at the upper end of the inner pipe preventing removal thereof downwardly from the fitting, the outermost pipe terminating below the upper end of the innermost pipe and providing passages between the same and the other pipe for the inlet of gas, a thimble extending into and supporting the outermost pipe at the lower end and into which the innermost pipe is screw-threaded, and said thimble having inlet passages communicating with the interior of the innermost pipe, the outermost pipe having outlet portions for gas communicating with the passages between the pipes, valve-controlled outlet means on the fitting contacting with the discharge end of the innermost pipe, said fitting having a chamber communicating with said passages between the pipes, and an inlet valve structure for the last mentioned chamber.
Thursday’s ad is for Budweiser, from 1914, No. 1 in another series they did in 1914-15 called the “National Heroes Series.” The first one features Otto von Bismarck, who “was a conservative Prussian statesman who dominated German and European affairs from the 1860s until 1890. In the 1860s he engineered a series of wars that unified the German states, significantly and deliberately excluding Austria, into a powerful German Empire under Prussian leadership.” They also noted his love of liberty, and how much he would have hated “the insolent tyranny of the most odious kind” that would tell its citizens “Thou shalt NOT eat this — thou shalt NOT drink that.”
Today is the birthday of Daniel Jung (February 11, 1822-December 2, 1877). A member of one of several Jung families in brewing, Daniel was born in Rheinland-Pfalz, Germany, but settled in the Cincinnati area of Ohio, where he founded a brewery that eventually would bear his name.
When it was first opened in 1857, along with partner Peter Weyand, it was called the Western Brewery (some sources say 1854). In 1879, they added a third investor, and it became the Weyand, Jung & Heilman Brewery. It 1885, with Jung apparently sole owner, it is renamed the Jung Brewing Co., which it remained until 1908, when it went back to being the Western Brewery, before closing due to prohibition in 1919.
But I’ve been unable to find much about Jung personally, about his life. The only obituary I uncovered was in German, and was a scan, meaning I couldn’t just copy it into Google Translate. I know he came to New York from Germany in his early 20s, but returned home for a number of years, before returning via New Orleans and making his way to Cincinnati, where he stayed for the rest of his life.
I do really love their branding, though. They marketed their beers under the name “Red Brand Beer,” with a bright red heart. So many labels of this time period are dull and similar, while this one really seems to stand out. I’d love to see more of their labels and artwork, but unfortunately there doesn’t seem to be much out there lurking on the interwebs. Even their slogan is pretty awesome. “Creates & Sustains Life.”
Here’s yet another account of his brewery history.
In 1857, Peter Weyand and Daniel Jung established the Western Brewery on Freeman and Bank Streets in Cincinnati, Ohio. In 1879, Weyand and Jung partnered with Max Hellman and operated the brewery until 1885. In 1885, following the deaths of Peter Weyand and Daniel Jung, the brewery was renamed the Jung Brewing Company. The Jung Brewing Company operated from 1885 to 1890. In 1890, the brewery was sold and merged with Cincinnati Breweries Company.
A Jung Brewery glass from 1895.
A label from their Old Lager.
Today is also the 44th birthday of Chris Rice, who led a group that not too long ago bought All About Beer magazine. Chris had worked at the magazine for many a moon, and in fact I got to know him much better during a press junket to Belgium a few years ago when I learned, among other things, that he’s a shark card player. He’s also a former brewery owner, having co-founded the Carolina Brewery in 1995, shortly after graduating from UNC. Having gone back to school for an MBA, he joined the staff of All About Beer and a couple of years took over as president and publisher. Join me wishing Chris a very happy birthday.
Today in 1998, US Patent EP 0823384 A1 was issued, an invention of Baswinder Singh Dhillon, for his “Beer Keg Cap.” Here’s the Abstract:
A beer keg cap 10 comprises a continuous cup shaped member to receive the neck of the beer keg. The cup shaped member comprises a top 12 and a depending skirt 14. The skirt 14 includes lines of weakness 20 extending upwardly from its lower edge to provide tamper evidence by breaking. The cap 10 further includes a plurality of inwardly directed tabs 16, to engage under the neck of a beer keg. The tabs 16 are elongate in the circumferential direction.
Today is the 44th birthday of Dylan Schatz, brewmaster at Mad River Brewing in Blue Lake, which is where he’s originally from. Dylan started in 1999 in the brewery’s packaging department, on the bottling line, and immediately fell in love with the beer industry. He took classes at UC Davis and became a brewer, and in 2005 was named head brewer. He’s a terrific person, one who often doesn’t get all the credit he deserves, especially since he’s been making some amazing beers. Please join me in wishing Dylan a very happy birthday.
Behind the bar at Mad River’s tasting room during a visit there last summer, when I was in the research phase for my latest book, California Breweries North.
Dylan and Vic at the Double IPA Fest
Today in 1913, US Patent 1052704 A was issued, an invention of Robert E. Wenzel and William M. Shouler, for their “Beer-Package.” There’s no Abstract, although in the description it includes this summary:
Our invention particularly relates toA a package adapted to be to receive draft beer, or beer drawn from the original wood package.
One object of our invention is to provide a package into which draft beer can be drawn from the original cask and from which ,such beer can be again drawn in quantities desired without allowing the beer. within the package to part with the carbonic acid gas contained therein, thereby keeping the beer fresh and in the same` condition as when drawn from the original keg or cask.
Another object of our invention is to projections adapted to form hand holds to venable the cover to be screwed from or on to the beer package.
Another object of our invention is to provide a beer package which when serving all the purposes above stated will be provided with a convenient handle which can be folded out of the way when the package is not being carried.