Tuesday’s ad is for Schlitz, from 1902. 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 is Healthful,” but makes the distinction that “green beer” (defined here as “insufficiently aged, half-fermented”) is not, but that you have to keep your beer and packaging clean. Hard to argue with that.
Today is the day when Steamboat Willie debuted in 1928, the first Mickey Mouse cartoon, the one that made the Disney company the entertainment powerhouse that it is today. But even though Steamboat Willie is the famous one, it actually wasn’t the first Mickey Mouse cartoon created. Plane Crazy was actually the first one made, and The Gallopin’ Gaucho was the second, but both were shelved to work on Steamboat Willie, and specifically to add a synchronized soundtrack, which is what helped make Mickey Mouse so famous.
But the Gallopin’ Gaucho was notable for one other important reason. In the March 1929 cartoon, four years before the repeal of Prohibition, Mickey Mouse can be seen drinking a mug of beer. And not just drinking it, but really putting one away. But as he as south of the border, at the bar and restaurant called “Cantina Argentina,” he probably wasn’t breaking any laws.
The original, of course, was in black and white.
Below is the entire cartoon, though the best version I could find was colorized.
Sunday’s ad is yet another one for Schlitz, this one from 1943. An ice skater glides effortlessly across a frozen pond in the central illustration. Yeah, it’s that smooth. I like that in the ad copy they suggest that Schlitz has “that famous flavor found in no other beer.” Because different beers at that time tasted so differently. Wow, that seems like a tough sell.
Saturday’s ad is another one for Schlitz, this one from 1945. The ads was just before the end of World War 2, and was speculating about all the wonderful things we’d be doing once the war was over, including “giant airliners.” But as for the beer of tomorrow, their position was that it was already there, and it was Schlitz.
Friday’s ad is for Schlitz, from 1949. The ad is 100 years from something, though it’s unclear what. In addition to the gold rush in California, I guess there was a lot of “pioneering” still going on 100 years before this ad ran, but Schlitz itself didn’t start brewing for another 25 years, in 1874. Still, this Oregon Trail-like painting is pretty cool, even if it has little to do with the beer.
Thursday’s ad is for Guinness, from 1955. The ad features Scottish writer Robert Louis Stevenson, who was born today in 1850. R.L.S. — as he’s referred to in the tagline — was the author of “Treasure Island,” the “Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde,” and many others. According to the ad, which ran in the Illustrated London News, Stevenson was aboard a cruise ship in the South Pacific in 1893, when he wrote a letter to a person named Colvin, a portion of which was also part of the ad copy:
Fanny ate a whole fowl for breakfast, to say nothing of a tower of hot cakes. Belle and I floored another hen betwixt the pair of us, and I shall no sooner be done with the present amanuensing racket than I shall put myself outside a pint of Guinness. If you think this looks like dying of consumption in Apia, I can only say I differ from you.
Wednesday’s ad is for Schlitz, from 1962. A sailor at a bar telling tall tales. What are the odds? In this story, “it was rugged, mates,” our intrepid man of the sea begins. “33 days in a lifeboat and worst of all no Schlitz!” No Tiger, either, but can that really be the worst thing? Sounds like this must not be the first retelling.
Tuesday’s ad is for Carling’s Canadian (Red Cap) Ale, from 1934. I like tat the ad is effectively showing one way to get through border security, though I don’t suppose that’s what they had in mind for this Canadian beer that — wait for it — was brewed in Ohio. And I love that the reason they decided to make it was for those “admirable people who have been impatiently waiting for someone in America to brew a real Canadian ale.” And according to the ad copy, “you’re going to like it.” Why? Because “it’s a palatable, hearty, comforting drink for a man’s man. That’s certain.” But what about the ladies, you may be asking yourself? Not to worry. “And for the girl who shoots and paddles and swings a wicked mashie.” Don’t do any of those things? Then stay the fuck away from this beer, you’re not the right kind of girl for Red Cap.
Monday’s ad is for Alloa Aluminum, from 1934. The thirty-nine “Colssi” in the headline refer to three-story tall aluminum fermenters being installed at the Hoffman Beverage Co. of Newark, New Jersey, which brewed from 1934 until it was bought by Pabst in 1946, who kept it going until 1985. But when this ad ran, it was a brand new brewery going into production the year after prohibition ended. And apparently, they were expecting to be pretty successful from the get go, because 39 fermenters is quite a lot to start out.