Sunday’s ad is a trade ad, by the United States Brewing Industry Foundation, from 1939. 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, which is almost entirely text, the United Brewers Industrial Foundation was proposing a voluntary program whereby they were trying to clean up beer’s image, so they created a “Brewer’s Code of Practice,” a part of which was to undo the anti-social aspects and images of drinking beer. The new foundation apparently represented over half of total beer production at that time, so they felt like this was a goal they could tackle, I suppose. They also invited consumers to help them by rooting out bad beer places. And I love this bit of wisdom, which sounds so modern. “There is nothing more promising to combat the evil of too much alcohol than the opportunity of drinking good beer.” In other words, drink less, but better beer.