Friday’s ad is a trade ad, by the United States Brewing Industry Foundation, from 1941. 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, two elderly gentleman are wearing suits, complete with vests and pocket watches, holding glasses of beer. They’re watching a football game on television, and it appears one of their fortunes has just changed. One of them is sunk low in his char, while the other smiling with his fist raised in cheer. “Defeat and victory … both grow sweeter with a glass of kindly beer or ale.” Ah, a “kindly” glass of beer. What exactly makes a beer kindly?