Tuesday’s ad is for Blatz, from 1946. Showing a wax seal having just been applied to a document, and the stamp itself, the ad includes the following ad copy. “Public approval is never won forever … It’s seal must be earned anew by every batch you brew.” And at the bottom: “Blatz, Brewer of Better Beer ….”
Monday’s ad is for Budweiser, from 1947. With the tagline “Beer Is As Old As History,” the ad shows scenes from the beginning of civilization to the the present, with select points of history in between. I actually have an original copy of the ad framed in my office. It’s a pretty grandiose ad, especially with the conceit of the Budweiser and glass as the suggested result of all that history.
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.
“Here at Anchor, we strive to capture the spirit of the holiday season with our annual Christmas Ale,” said Mark Carpenter, Brewmaster at Anchor Brewing. “Much like Christmas morning, everyone anxiously awaits for the day that they can finally crack open a bottle of Christmas Ale and see what this year’s ale is going to taste like. We don’t just change the recipe and the label each year for change sake, each year we are trying to improve and make the best spiced ale we can make. We think beer lovers will be pleased when they taste the complex, spiced flavors of the our 2013 Christmas Ale.”
Since ancient times, trees have symbolized the winter solstice when the earth, with its seasons, appears born anew. This year, Anchor Christmas Ale’s tree is the beautiful California White Fir. It was hand drawn by local artist James Stitt, who has been creating Christmas Ale labels for us since 1975.
Not everyone who came to California in 1849 came in search of gold. A few came in search of trees. English botanist William Lobb was one such plant hunter. As a collector of California’s exotic flora for English nurseries, the “lynx-eyed” Lobb (born in East Cornwall in 1809; died in San Francisco in 1864) was responsible for the introduction of fifty-eight species of California plants to English gardens, including Giant Sequoia and California White Fir.
In its youth, the symmetry of California White Fir’s pyramidal form makes it the ideal Christmas tree. Its shade tolerance allows it to thrive at modest size for years amid groves of much taller Sequoias; yet it can attain heights of up to 160 feet when given the opportunity. The winged seeds of the California White Fir are collected not only by botanists, but also by mountain songbirds, chipmunks, and squirrels.
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!
Friday’s ad is still another one for Guinness, this one from 1958, designed to look more like content than an ad. Instead, it’s “A Guinness Guide to Veal on the Menu,” with quite the impressive looking presentation. But again, at least there’s a dish of French Fries on the side, making it, once more, my kind of meal.
Thursday’s ad is another one for Guinness, also from 1957, and was designed to look more like content than an ad. Instead, it’s “A Guinness Guide to Sole on the Menu,” with the flatfish in the photo. Really, with the French Fries as a side dish, it’s really more of an upscale fish and chips. Again, my kind of meal, apart from the fish.
Tuesday’s ad is for Drewrys Beer of South Bend, Indiana. Drewrys was actually a Canadian brand, but for most of its history was brewed in Indiana. The ad is most likely from the 1950s, though this may have been just the illustration for the ad, before any text or ad copy was added.
Friday’s ad is for Rheingold Beer, from 1953, and features Miss Rheingold from that year, Mary Austin. The ad shows Miss Rheingold on a lawn in front of what looks like a southern mansion (or even the White House? Nah) with a basket full of puppies, and poodles, no less. I’m sure this will fire up the ire of the poodle lovers of the world, but those are some ugly dogs. I’m not sure that scene makes me want a Rheingold beer.