Beer In Ads #2032: The Man in Black Curls


Tuesday’s ad is for Miller High Life, from 1960. In this ad, one of a series featuring a nearly black and white ad, with only the beer in color, and the same man engaged in various activities. This time, he’s watching the sport of Curling. It originated in Scotland in the 16th century and spread to wherever Scottish people settled, like New Zealand or Canada. It looks the curling team he’s watching is wearing formal military uniforms, with loads of medals on their jackets. And not a few, but there are so many they must be weighing them down with the extra weight.

Miller-High-Life-1960-curling

Ballantine’s Literary Ads: J.B. Priestley

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Between 1951 and 1953, P. Ballantine and Sons Brewing Company, or simply Ballentine Beer, created a series of ads with at least thirteen different writers. They asked each one “How would you put a glass of Ballantine Ale into words?” Each author wrote a page that included reference to their beer, and in most cases not subtly. One of them was J.B. Priestley, who’s best known novel was probably The Good Companions, though I think he’s more well-known in Great Britain than in the U.S. His ad ran in 1952.

Today is the birthday of John Boynton Priestley, better known as J.B. Priestley (September 13, 1894–August 14, 1984), who “was an English novelist, playwright, scriptwriter, social commentator, man of letters and broadcaster. Many of his plays are structured around a time slip, and he went on to develop a new theory of time, with different dimensions that link past, present and future.”

ballantine-1952-Priestley

His piece for Ballantine was done in the form of essentially listing all of the things he likes about the beer, point by point:

This is what I like, first of all, about Ballantine Ale: It’s a wonderful thirst-quencher. It passes smoothly over the palate, creating at once a fine feeling of refreshment.

At the same time, because it’s got body and flavor, it’s something a man can offer another man when the two of you begin to expand in talk, and perhaps boast a little.

Ballantine Ale is what I like to call “a clean drink.” You take another glass for the sheer pleasure of drinking it, and not because the first glass has failed to fulfill its promises and left you still feeling thirsty.

Finally, I like my Ballantine cold, but not too cold, please. Deep chilling, to my taste, tends to destroy the flavor. And the flavor’s worth keeping.

ballantine-1952-Priestley-text

Beer In Ads #2031: The Man in Black Rides


Monday’s ad is for Miller High Life, from 1958. In this ad, one of a series featuring a nearly black and white ad, with only the beer in color, and the same man engaged in various activities. This time, he’s leaning on a saddle, in a stable. Although he looks more like someone who was just betting on the horses rather than the jockey riding them, but who knows. He’s certainly looking intently at something.

Miller-High-Life-1962-jockey

Beer In Ads #2030: The Man in Black Golfs


Sunday’s ad is for Miller High Life, from 1958. In this ad, one of a series featuring a nearly black and white ad, with only the beer in color, and the same man engaged in various activities. This time, he’s leaning on his golf bag in the clubhouse, apparently fresh off a round of eighteen, with a beer in one hand. He’s looking rather pensive, too. Maybe he didn’t shoot a very good round.

Miller-High-Life-1958-golf

Beer In Ads #2029: The Man in Black Skis


Saturday’s ad is for Miller High Life, from 1959. In this ad, one of a series featuring a nearly black and white ad, with only the beer in color, and the same man engaged in various activities. This time, he’s leaning against the stone fireplace in a ski lodge, apparently fresh off the slopes, and in need of both warmth and a cold beer.

Miller-High-Life-1959-skiing

Beer In Ads #2028: As If It Were The Only One


Friday’s ad is for Miller High Life, from 1969. In this ad, a half-empty bottle sits next to a full glass of beer. I like the minimalism of the ad, lots of negative space, although the text doesn’t make a lot of sense. I know Miller knows they don’t brew beer in a bottle, or a bottle at a time, but apparently their ad agency isn’t so sure.

Miller-1969-champagne

Ballantine’s Literary Ads: James Hilton

ballantine
Between 1951 and 1953, P. Ballantine and Sons Brewing Company, or simply Ballentine Beer, created a series of ads with at least thirteen different writers. They asked each one “How would you put a glass of Ballantine Ale into words?” Each author wrote a page that included reference to their beer, and in most cases not subtly. One of them was James Hilton, who’s best known for a few novels turned into films. His ad ran in 1952.

Today is the birthday of James Hilton (September 9, 1900–December 20, 1954), who “was an English novelist best remembered for several best-sellers, including Lost Horizon and Goodbye, Mr. Chips. He also wrote Hollywood screenplays.”

ballantine-1952-Hilton

His piece for Ballantine was done in the form of his reminiscences about his first Ballantine Ale, and why he continues to recommend it or serve it to friends:

I first tasted Ballantine Ale on a mountain. We left a few bottles hidden in the first snow on the way up, and when we came down they were a treasure trove — deliciously iced and full of the flavor of fellowship and happy hours.

Since then I have enjoyed Ballantine Ale and offered it to friends on many far different occasions — lower in altitude but just as high in satisfaction. For Ballantine Ale is a good drink at all levels — and by a good drink, I mean that I’ve always found it thirst-quenching, smooth and comfortable, kind to the senses and nourishing to the memory.

ballantine-1952-Hilton-text

Beer In Ads #2027: Framed In Gold


Thursday’s ad is for Miller High Life, from 1948. In this ad, on a bright red background, a drawing of a Miller High Life tavern or inn sits in a golden frame, with a glass and bottle of beer sitting in front of it. And lo and behold, it’s another one of those magic bottles, where even though the bottles is only half-empty, the glass is completely full. So it’s either a tiny glass or a giant bottle. Or possibly both?

Miller-1948-village-frame

Ballantine’s Literary Ads: Henry Morton Robinson

ballantine
Between 1951 and 1953, P. Ballantine and Sons Brewing Company, or simply Ballentine Beer, created a series of ads with at least thirteen different writers. They asked each one “How would you put a glass of Ballantine Ale into words?” Each author wrote a page that included reference to their beer, and in most cases not subtly. One of them was Henry Morton Robinson, who was reasonably well known in 1951, when his ad ran.

Today is the birthday of Henry Morton Robinson (September 7, 1898–January 13, 1961), who “was an American novelist, best known for A Skeleton Key to Finnegans Wake written with Joseph Campbell and his 1950 novel The Cardinal, which Time magazine reported was ‘The year’s most popular book, fiction or nonfiction.'”

ballantine-1951-Robinson

His piece for Ballantine was done in the form of his reminiscences about how Ballantine Ale has helped him relax over the years:

If Ballantine Ale didn’t exist, it would be necessary to invent it.

The tensions generated by modern life begin to lessen for me whenever I pluck a dewy-cold bottle of Ballantine Ale from the refrigerator. Anticipation mounts as I snap off the cap with its familiar three rings. There’s a promissory gurgle in the neck of the green bottle, then a swirl of full-bodied amber ale into my tilted glass. I watch the creamy collar rise to the brim — and the ritual of pouring is complete.

A sip, a swallow, a draught — according to my mood. Deep speaks to deep, as thirst and tension vanish together. Relaxed, I savor the distinctive after-tang prized by everyone who has ever tasted this hefty brew.

I lift glass and bottle to gauge my remaining measure of enjoyment. I’m prolonging, not scanting, an experience that will be repeated when I open another bottle of Ballantine Ale to be my companion at lunch or dinner.

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