Beer In Ads #1616: Only When It’s Pabst

Tuesday’s ad is for Pabst Blue Ribbon, from 1913. Showing a woman almost completely covered by a head scarf, and wearing what looks to be a raincoat or overcoat, the tagline “Only When It’s Pabst” seems inscrutable. What does that even mean? She’s also wearing leather gloves holding her glass of beer. My guess is that it was meant to represent a driving outfit for one of those new fangled horseless carriages.


Beer In Ads #1615: Harrison Ford For Kirin Lager

Monday’s ad is for Kirin Lager, from the early 1990s, probably 1994. I’m guessing 1994, because Ford also did a television commercial for Kirin that year. Featuring actor Harrison Ford, whose birthday is today, the poster is advertising Kirin Lager. According to one account, here is a translation of the poster, which was seen in a convenience store window:

Harrison Ford endorsing Kirin beer, Fukushima 福島

“Kono aji ga, biiru.” = “This taste, beer.”
“Kire aji, daigo aji” = “cutting edge taste, the epitome of taste”
“Kirin ragaa.” = “Kirin lager.”

And apparently the small letters at the bottom here translate as: “You have to be 20 years old for beer and recycle the empty cans.”

Beer In Ads #1614: For That Smoother Taste —

Sunday’s ad is for Pabst Blue Ribbon, from 1950. Featuring actor William Bendix, who did mostly character roles but also played the Babe in The Babe Ruth Story, it shows him relaxing in his den, pipe in one hand and a mug of beer in the other. Pabst must have been a sponsor of his radio show at the time, “The Life of Riley.” Bendix tended to play everyday guys, blue collar toughs with street smarts, masculine men, so that may be what Pabst was trying to associate themselves with, especially in that setting with its leather chair, and other manly accouterments.


Beer In Ads #1613: The Swing Is Definitely To Labatt’s

Saturday’s ad is for Labatt’s, from 1956. “Confused by a crazy canvas?” Yes, modern art is tough to understand, isn’t that hilarious. Of course, in the 1950s, there was a lot of modern art that challenged notions of what it meant to be art, so it was a pretty easy target for the beer drinking demographic, I would imagine.


Beer In Ads #1610: Slow-Brewed For Mellow Flavour

Wednesday’s ad is for Brading’s Ale, from 1956. Brading’s was a Canadian brand that in 1930 merged with two other breweries to become part of Canadian Breweries Limited. The creepy man with the pipe looks like Laura Palmer’s father from Twin Peaks, played by Ray Wise. The tagline “At the flip of a cap, friendly pleasure,” seems somewhat odd, and I’m not quite sure what they were getting at. The unseen person was obviously flipping the cap like you would a coin, but what did the winner get? The beer? Did they have to pay the tab? Aren’t they in a fishing lodge, cabin or somewhere private, not a bar? “Mighty refreshing,” indeed. But the funniest of all is that last sentence. “Try a case!” While most marketers are happy if you try just one of their product, Brading’s is starting out by suggesting a case. After all, you can’t really be sure with just one bottle, or even ten. To really give it a fair chance, you need at least twenty-four bottles.