Beer In Ads #957: Six Appeal

Monday’s ad is for Colt 45, from probably the late 1960s or 1970s. Most of the malt liquors seemed to advertise its sex appeal — god knows why? — so the play on words with “six appeal” is at least a little clever. And how about that hard plastic six-pack holder. I can’t say I remember those, but they must have been used before the softer ones that are ubiquitous today.



  1. Gary Gillman says

    Malt liquor is one of the few untold stories (to my knowledge) in U.S. brewing history. Everyone knows about light, Gablinger, Millet Lite, etc. Dry, Ice, Micro, Designer and Craft. But maybe a Guild member will delve into this one, barley wine estery, sweetish but thin with a light lager colour. Maybe a 1950’s attempt to create a modern strong ale?


  2. beerman49 says

    Those pictured plastic 6-pack holders were an experiment that didn’t last very long in the late 60’s/early 70’s, as the had a tendency to come loose easily.(they literally “torqued off”, especially with the tall cans, if you tilted the 6-er too far from vertical – the plastic wasn’t strong enough to support the weight).

    1st Malt Liquor I recall as a kid was Country Club, which came originally in 8-oz cans. Then came Champale (which was barely over the beer limit ABW/V wise) late 50’s/early 60’s. Colt 45 was the 1st to advertise big (National brewed it in Baltimore under license, I think from Lone Star). Schlitz was the 1st of the 60’s “Big 3″ to jump on the bandwagon w/”the Bull”; Bud & Miller had their branded “Malts”, but neither sold very well compared to Colt 45 & Schlitz. When A-B changed the name to King Cobra (late 70’s/early 80’s I think) & started advertising it more, sales picked up big time. I don’t recall ever seeing Old English 800 during my 16 yrs on the East Coast; someone needs to enlighten me on that brand. Miller went another route on the “wino beers” when they created Steel Reserve, which is sold only (from my observations) in 16- & 24-oz cans. & I don’t recall ever seeing any ML with Coors in the fine print on the label (but I rarely ever drank the stuff once I hit 30 & got into good beer!)

    At my HS (mid 60’s), Colt 45 was the cheap drunk of choice amongst the greaser crowd, as for 10-25 cents more than a 6-er of Bud/Schlitz/Miller, one got 40-50% more buzz … such a deal! (LOL)

    Note to Gary – no ML I’ve ever tried tasted anything like an ale – all were high-alcohol lagers & most had minimal hop flavor; I’d guess that the darkest ones may have some crystal in them, but none was as dark as any “standard” pale ale from either side of the Pond.

      • beerman49 says

        American or Canadian (e.g. Molson Bradour – which I 1st tried when I was in Montreal in ’85, before it made it to the US)? I liked it a lot better than the US varieties, but haven’t had it more than once or twice since (when on the East Coast; it’s not available where I live). What we agree on implicitly is that most are unfit for civilised humans’ consumption (tho our reasons therefor differ).

        • Gary Gillman says

          American. Brador (still made) is different IMO. We do agree that these aren’t the greats of the beer world, certainly. Still, I find the style interesting.


          • beerman49 says

            By any chance did you ever try Mickey Big Mouth (which used to come, & may still, in wide-mouth light green bottles that were almost jars)? That’s one I can tolerate.

  3. Gary Gillman says

    I did and it was quite decent, I agree. My favourite of the genre was Maximus Super from Matt’s Brewing in Utica – I first read about it in one of Jackson’s early books. Although the brewery still makes some of its old-school brands, it’s not listed on the company’s website. However, I think it may still be made, just for local sales. Red Bull beer isn’t bad either, big sweet taste, fruity and not much hop, but good for what it is.


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