Tuesday’s ad is for the Green Tree Brewery of St. Louis, and specifically their Buck Beer — apparently a bock — from 1906. Weird that they called it “buck” but then again perhaps they were thinking ahead and believed it was be easier to own or trademark the name which I confess I didn’t even notice was buck when I first looked at this ad.
Monday’s ad is for Heineken, from, I think, the early 1990s. I confess I don’t remember this ad campaign from Heineken, but I recently discovered that they had a reasonably long-running series of ads with the tagline “When You make a great beer, you don’t have to make a great fuss.” They’re all minimalist in design with witty text and that fussy tagline. I haven’t been able to find a lot of specifics about the campaign, apart from a few suggestions that it may not have run in the United States. But it’s pretty funny in the context of the ABI Super Bowl ad that accused craft beer drinkers of being to fussy about their beer.
Sunday’s ad is for the British ad campaign “Beer is Best,” from 1938. Part of “A Calendar of British Beer” from that year, March features a wonderful illustration of a farmer sowing his field with barley, and the text explains that this is the month for it, with some statistics of how much of the grain it takes each year to create all of England’s beer. “All the year round. Beer is Best.” Happy March.
Saturday’s ad is for Anheuser-Busch, from 1892. Apparently shortly after the competition of a new brewhouse in St. Louis, they celebrated by sponsoring “pen and sunlight sketches of Omaha and environs” with this ad. One curious feature of the otherwise simple image ad, is this line. “No Corn or Corn Preparations are used in the manufacture of Anheuser-Busch beer. It is, therefore, the highest-priced by the most wholesome and really the least expensive for its superior quality.” Funny they didn’t mention rice.
Wednesday’s ad is another one for Anheuser-Busch’s “Malt-Nutrine,” also from 1908. Malt-Nutrine was promoted not as a non-alcoholic beer, but as a “pure malt tonic” and sold by druggists and grocers. “The Health of the Farmer” that the ad is touting comes from Malt-Nutrine containing “the combined juices of germinated barley and selected Saazer Hops.” Is that all? Hell, no. “Every bottle is charged with the strength and glory of the golden grain. Its aroma is the fragrance of the clinging hop vine and its living vigor is the cream of ripened barley. It infuses life into the blood — sustains all the vital powers and to the feeble, aged and run down it is a veritable restorer of recreative and soothing potency.”
Tuesday’s ad is for Anheuser-Busch’s “Malt-Nutrine,” from 1908. Malt-Nutrine was promoted not as a non-alcoholic beer, but as a “pure malt tonic” and sold by druggists and grocers. “The Bloom of Health” that the ad refers to apparently only “blossoms” if you have enough “life-giving blood.” Luckily, Malt-Nutrine is “a blood and strength maker.” Here’s the best bit: “Every drop of it is alive with the health-bringing juices of barley and the vigorous tonic powers of imported Saazer Hops.” You’ll feel good enough to play golf or plow a field.
Monday’s ad is another one for Budweiser, this one from 1910. The headline is “The Wise Trainer of Athletes,” but that’s just the start. It continues. “The Wise Trainer of Athletes Knows that the moderate use of a mild stimulant is beneficial to his charges. The vast majority of such men recommend Budweiser Because it is nourishing and refreshing and quickly relieves the tired feeling that may result from physical activity.” My son Porter just joined his middle school’s track team, but I think I’ll hold off on adding beer to his workout regime, at least for now.
Sunday’s ad is for Budweiser, from 1913. Showing an idyllic suburban porch setting, with a tray of beer bottles, and this question. “Where’s more real enjoyment? The shady home-porch, a comfortable chair, a good cigar or pipe, a congenial friend, and a cool, refreshing bottle of Budweiser.” Apparently, in 1913, the St’ Louis brewery was producing 3 million bottles each week. But I wonder how many people in 1913, well before the post-war suburban boom that occurred after 1945, even had a porch like this one?