Beer In Ads #1385: The ‘A And Eagle’ Has Learned To Fly


Tuesday’s ad is for Budweiser, also from 1943. Another World War 2 ad, it’s again a very patriotic ad showing the Anheuser-Busch eagle soaring with wartime airplanes, or more specifically gliders, which were apparently helped along by A-B’s refrigeration division making parts for them to help with the war effort.

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Beer In Ads #1384: The Ammunition Is Being Passed


Monday’s ad is for Budweiser, from 1943. A World War 2 ad, it’s a play on the poplar song “praise the lord and pass the ammunition,” written the year before. It’s also a very patriotic ad, and mostly soft sell, just celebrating the technology of the navy during the war, and then finishing with an offhand suggestion that Anheuser-Busch similarly uses cutting edge technology, too, to make their beer.

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Anchor Christmas Day 2014

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Time was when today, the Monday before Thanksgiving, was the traditional day on which Anchor’s Our Special Ale — a.k.a. their Christmas Ale — was released each year. Every year since 1975 the brewers at Anchor Brewery have brewed a distinctive and unique Christmas Ale, which is now available from early November to mid-January.
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From this year’s press release:

“Every year we’ve changed our Christmas Ale. It hasn’t just been for change’s sake, though,” said Mark Carpenter, Brewmaster at Anchor Brewing Company. “For the past few years we’ve evolved the recipe to perfect a particular style of dark spiced ale and I believe we succeeded. So this year we went on a different path, exploring new possibilities and making larger changes. I’m happy to say we’re very pleased with the results. This year’s ale is aromatic with hints of citrus fruit, spices, and subtle piney hop notes. The flavor has a sarsaparilla-like sweetness with rich caramel maltiness and a pleasantly balanced back-end bitterness. The mouth feel is smooth with a full, velvety texture. The beer pairs well with rich meats, thick saucy dishes, roasted vegetables, and even your aunt’s fruitcake! We’re happy with this year’s Christmas Ale and while I don’t yet know where we’ll take it next year, we’ll continue to keep Anchor fans guessing as we do every year.”

Since ancient times, trees have symbolized the winter solstice when the earth, with its seasons, appears born anew. The tree depicted on the 2014 Christmas Ale is the Giant Sequoia. It was hand-drawn by James Stitt, who has been creating Christmas Ale labels since 1975, to look as a “Big Tree” planted in 1975 might look today.

Anchor Brewing chose the Giant Sequoia for the 40th annual Christmas Ale in celebration of the 150th anniversary of the Yosemite Act. Signed into law by President Lincoln during the Civil War, it granted the Yosemite Valley and the Mariposa Big Tree Grove to the State of California “for public use, resorts, and recreation.” The first such land grant in American history, it marked the beginning of the California State Parks.

Anchor first began their active support of the California State Parks when they announced in 2012 that proceeds of Anchor California Lager would benefit the California State Parks Foundation. This year’s Christmas Ale continues the celebration of one of the Golden State’s most precious institutions and its natural heritage.

Christmas Ale is a traditional “Wassail” of medieval England. In the olden days, brewers often used delicious blends of natural spices to give their Christmas ale a distinctive character. Similarly brewed, the Anchor Christmas Ale recipe remains a closely guarded secret every year. It’s always brewed using malted barley, fresh whole hops, and a true “top-fermenting” yeast. Its deep, rich color is produced by using a blend of roasted malts, carefully selected to achieve not only the deep color of this ale, but also to provide much of its distinctive malty flavor. The whole-cone hops provide a balanced back-end bitterness and subtle piney hop aroma. This is accompanied with aromas of citrus fruit and herbal spices.

Even though for the last few years, Anchor’s Christmas Ale is released in early November, I continue to observe Anchor Christmas Day on the Monday before Thanksgiving. I know I’m a sentimental old fool, but I liked that they used to wait that long to release it, even though I understand why they had to abandon it. But some things are worth waiting for. If you agree with me, please join me in drinking a glass of this year’s seasonal release tonight. Happy Anchor Christmas Day!

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Beer In Ads #1383: Don’t Drink The Wrong Beer


Sunday’s ad is also for Schlitz, from 1908. The ad is part of a series from that time highlighting different aspects of the beer’s process, its healthfulness and other factors. In this one, there’s no headline but it can be summed by saying “Don’t Drink the Wrong Beer,” and I love the path they take to get to that conclusion. Here’s the beginning of the equation. “Barley and hops — a food and a tonic. A trifle of alcohol — to aid digestion. That’s beer. If you get a pure beer — well aged — nothing is better for you.”

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Beer In Ads #1382: Beer Keeps One Well


Saturday’s ad is also for Schlitz, from 1904. The ad is part of a series from that time highlighting different aspects of the beer’s process, its healthfulness and other factors. In this one, the headline is “Beer Keeps One Well,” and in the text they note that brewer tend to be healthier than the general population. That was certainly true in the time of Cholera, but they go on to make some hilarious claims. Among brewers, according to the ad, you’ll find no “dyspeptics, nervous wrecks” or even any “wasted, fatless men.”

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Beer Birthday: Brett Joyce

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Today is the 42nd birthday of Brett Joyce, President of Rogue. Joyce grew up in the brewery, which his father Jack founded when Brett was sixteen. Having gone off to college and made a name for himself working with Adidas, building their international golf shoe business from the ground up, he returned to work for the brewery a number of years ago. I’ve gotten to know Brett much better since his return, beginning with when I interviewed him a few years ago for an article profiling him. Join me in wishing Brett a very happy birthday.

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Brett at the Full Sail Smoker during OBF, after a quick interview I did with him for Beer Advocate magazine.

The wedding party: Vinnie, Dave, Jennifer, Natalie, minister Brett Joyce and me, who gave the bride away
At Dave & Jen’s wedding during GABF a few years ago: Vinnie, Dave, Jennifer, Natalie, minister Brett Joyce and me.

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Brett, me and Brian Dunn, from Great Divide, at SAVOR a few years ago in Washington, DC.

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Me, Brett and Rogue’s maltster at their floor malting facility in Portland.

Beer In Ads #1381: The After-Effects


Friday’s ad is for Schlitz, from 1906. The ad is part of a series from that time highlighting different aspects of the beer’s process, its healthfulness and other factors. In this one, the headline is “The After-Effects,” and in the text they talk about spending “more than half the cost of our brewing is spent to insure purity.” Anything, apparently, to avoid biliousness, the scourge of beer drinking.

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A Beer Bestiary

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A Bestiary is an old-fashioned idea, from the Middles Ages, where various animals and other creatures, often fanciful, mythical and fictitious, were illustrated, and then there was a detailed description of each beast, usually accompanied by an allegorical story with a moral or religious teaching. You can see examples of many of these imaginary creatures at the Medieval Bestiary. A Los Angeles illustrator and graphic designer, Ian O’Phelan, has created a modern version, which he calls a “Beer Bestiary.” With just four mythical creatures in his bestiary, his fantastic four you’ll likely recognize, if not individually, at least for what they can become as a superhero team, your next beer.

Barley Beast
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Virginal Hops
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Water Bear
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Cockatrice d’Yeast
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Beer In Ads #1380: We Spend More


Thursday’s ad is for Schlitz, from 1907. The ad is part of a series from that time highlighting different aspects of the beer’s process, its healthfulness and other factors. In this one, the headline is “We Spend More,” and in the text they talk about the “extremes” they go to, like washing “every bottle four times by machinery.” After going through a list of these, the ad finishes with a question. “Don’t you want it.”

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Beer Birthday: Craig Cauwels

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Today is the 48th birthday of Craig Cauwels, who started brewing at Schooner’s in 2003, when his longtime friend Shawn Burns needed his help, and he continuing brewing there until after Burns sold the brewpub to a new owner. He’s currently brewing at E.J. Phair brewing, and recently went back to brewing at Schooner’s part-time, splitting his time between the two East Bay breweries. Originally a molecular biologist, Craig was running the core lab facility at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute at Harvard University when he gave it all up to become a professional brewer. And that’s certainly been good news for people who love great beer, because he’s a very talented brewer. Join me in wishing Craig a very happy birthday.

Craig Cauwels, from Schooner's, with Vic Krajl
Craig with Vic Krajl at the 2009 Bistro Barrel Aged Fest.

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Craig with Sam Calagione (from Dogfish Head) and Dave McLean (from Magnolia’s) at the Double IPA Festival at the Bistro a couple of years ago.

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Craig with Steve Altimari, from High Water Brewing at the Celebrator’s 18th anniversary party in 2007.

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Craig with Brian Yaeger, the Beer Chef Bruce Paton and me at a Schooner’s beer dinner at Cathedral Hotel in 2008.