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 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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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 In Ads #1379: Reputation


Wednesday’s ad is for Schlitz, from 1905. 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 “Reputation,” and according to the headline, Schlitz “spend[s] fortunes every year — go to the utmost extremes — to maintain it.” Too bad they forgot about that when the bean counters took over in the Sixties.

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Beer in Ads #1378: Beer Is Healthful


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.

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Mickey Mouse Drinking A Beer

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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.

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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.

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The original, of course, was in black and white.

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Below is the entire cartoon, though the best version I could find was colorized.