Friday’s ad is our last trade ad for March, by the United States Brewing Industry Foundation, from the early 1940s. After prohibition ended, the industry started doing PSA-type ads in an attempt to create goodwill for beer and brewers. They would later go on to do a fairly sophisticated series of ads between 1946 and 1956, known unofficially as Beer Belongs. Officially, they were “The Home Life in America” series, consisting of 120 ads, with a new ad running in major periodicals each month. Last year, for my Beer in Ads series, I featured every one of them. But in the years before that, the U.S. Brewing Industry Foundation (a precursor to the original Brewer’s Association) dabbled with a variety of similar ads promoting the industry as a whole. These were especially popular during World War 2, and in fact they even won an award from the government for some of these ads. Most of the ads were black and white, although a few were in color, though usually in a minimal way, with a few colors accented rather than being in full color.
In this ad, entitled simply “What is Beer?,” it depicts eleven different people involved in the creation, selling and consumption of beer. Some you’ll expect, like the brewer, of course, along with the farmer and the tax collector. But I wasn’t expecting the poet. But I guess it makes sense. As they suggest. “It is the beverage of friendship, good company and good inspiration.”