Beer In Ads #1976: Love At First Sight


Monday’s ad is entitled Love at First Sight, and the illustration was done in 1955 by Haddon Sundblom. It’s #107 in a series entitled “Home Life in America,” also known as the Beer Belongs series of ads that the United States Brewers Foundation ran from 1945 to 1956. In this ad, someone brought a basket full of puppies to a backyard party. I suspect the owner is now plying them with beer in the hopes that the guests will drink enough that they’ll take one of the puppies home with them.

107. Love at First Sight by Haddon Sundblom, 1955

Beer In Ads #1975: Showing Off The New Kitchen


Sunday’s ad is entitled Showing Off the New Kitchen, and the illustration was done in 1955 by Douglass Crockwell. It’s #106 in a series entitled “Home Life in America,” also known as the Beer Belongs series of ads that the United States Brewers Foundation ran from 1945 to 1956. In this ad, they almost look like they could be twin sisters. A woman is showing off her new kitchen to another woman, while their husbands ignore the kitchen, beers in hand, and look as if they’re talking about anything else. It’s weird to see the center island made of brick.

106. Showing Off the New Kitchen by Douglass Crockwell, 1955

Ballantine’s Literary Ads: Erle Stanley Gardner

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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 Erle Stanley Gardner, whose most well-known character was Perry Mason.

Today is the birthday of Erle Stanley Gardner (July 17, 1889–March 11, 1970). He “was an American lawyer and author. Though best known for the Perry Mason series of detective stories, he wrote numerous other novels and shorter pieces, as well as a series of non-fiction books, mostly narrations of his travels through Baja California and other regions in Mexico.” His Ballantine ad ran in 1952.

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His piece for Ballantine was done in the form of a Perry Mason script, written on his personal stationary from his home in Temecula, California:

If you are calling upon me to put a glass of Ballantine Ale into words, I’m inclined to retain Perry Mason to state the case for me:


Mr. Mason:

“We offer in evidence this green bottle containing an amber beverage, bearing the famous three-ring label.

“We propose to prove that the content of this bottle is accepted as the nation’s outstanding ale, from the standpoint of purity, body and flavor.

“In fact, your Honor, we contend that Ballantine Ale begins where other brews leave off! And the whole country knows it.”

The District Attorney:

“I object. How can you prove that the whole country knows it?”

Mr. Mason:

“That fact already has been proved, your Honor. Ballantine Ale is America’s largest-selling ale … outsells any other 4 to 1!

“And, if the Court please, may I suggest that the Court try a glass of Ballantine Ale? And when you do, may it please the Court!”


At this point, Mr. Mason and I rest our case.

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This one is definitely one of the cheesier ones in the series. I’ll feature the rest on their respective authors’ birthdays throughout the year.

Beer In Ads #1974: Indoor Barbecue


Saturday’s ad is entitled Indoor Barbecue, and the illustration was done in 1955 by Haddon Sundblom. It’s #105 in a series entitled “Home Life in America,” also known as the Beer Belongs series of ads that the United States Brewers Foundation ran from 1945 to 1956. In this ad, maybe it’s raining outside. Because for some reason they decided to grill steaks on the fireplace. I guess if you drink enough beer it makes sense.

105. Indoor Barbecue by Haddon Sundblom, 1955

Beer In Ads #1973: Chess


Friday’s ad is entitled Chess, and the illustration was done in 1955 by Douglass Crockwell. It’s #104 in a series entitled “Home Life in America,” also known as the Beer Belongs series of ads that the United States Brewers Foundation ran from 1945 to 1956. In this ad, a couple is enjoying a couple of beers while playing chess. Based on body language, I think the woman has the upper hand in the game. She’s sitting back in her chair, relaxed, and smiling, while playing with her necklace. The man, by contrast, is sitting cloer to the table, head down, staring down at the game with an expressionless face. He’s going down.

104. Chess by Douglass Crockwell, 1955

Beer In Ads #1972: After A Day On The Slopes


Thursday’s ad is entitled After a Day on the Slopes, and the illustration was done in 1955 by Douglass Crockwell. It’s #103 in a series entitled “Home Life in America,” also known as the Beer Belongs series of ads that the United States Brewers Foundation ran from 1945 to 1956. In this ad, several young people are in the lodge starting a fire and handing out beers. Through the giant picture window we can see a few stragglers still coming in After a Day on the Slopes, waving to one another. It’s nice to see one of the dudes being the server for a change, but then he’s probably just hoping to get lucky.

103. After a Day on the Slopes by Douglass Crockwell, 1955-2

Beer In Ads #1971: Getting Ready For Christmas


Wednesday’s ad is entitled Getting Ready for Christmas, and the illustration was done in 1954 by Haddon Sundblom. It’s #102 in a series entitled “Home Life in America,” also known as the Beer Belongs series of ads that the United States Brewers Foundation ran from 1945 to 1956. In this ad, a family is wrapping their presents, Getting Ready for Christmas. Pop is opening their received Christmas cards, while sonny boy is serving beer to everyone. Mom and daughter are wrapping the presents. Hopefully, they’ll get some beer, too.

102. Getting Ready for Christmas by Haddon Sundblom, 1954

Beer In Ads #1970: Thanksgiving Dinner


Tuesday’s ad is entitled Thanksgiving Dinner, and the illustration was done in 1954 by John Gannam. It’s #101 in a series entitled “Home Life in America,” also known as the Beer Belongs series of ads that the United States Brewers Foundation ran from 1945 to 1956. In this ad, a young woman carries a very large turkey to the table, and all the man sitting there can think to do is get out of the way. Which is essentially what all the men are doing, staying out of the way while the womenfolk do all the work putting on the Thanksgiving Dinner. It was certainly a different time. That’s how I remember Thanksgiving, which growing up was always at great-grandmother’s home (and then later by great aunt who live there, too) when the men would be in the living room watching television (usually sports) while all the women would be in the kitchen. Then we ate in two shifts because it was a small house but a large family. Then we’d split up again by gender as the women cleaned everything up, and the men watched football. It seemed strange to me, even then.

101. Thanksgiving Dinner by John Gannam, 1954

Beer In Ads #1969: After The Game


Monday’s ad is entitled After the Game, and the illustration was done in 1954 by Haddon Sundblom. It’s #100 in a series entitled “Home Life in America,” also known as the Beer Belongs series of ads that the United States Brewers Foundation ran from 1945 to 1956. In this ad, the kids are back from the football game, and Mom has the salad and jello mold ready for them. Thankfully, someone also set our beer, which is the only thing on the table they really want.

100. After the Game by Haddon Sundblom, 1954

Beer In Ads #1968: Friends From The Country


Sunday’s ad is entitled Friends From the Country, and the illustration was done in 1954 by John Falter. It’s #99 in a series entitled “Home Life in America,” also known as the Beer Belongs series of ads that the United States Brewers Foundation ran from 1945 to 1956. In this ad, some yokels from the boondocks are visiting their city friends. They brought flowers and home-grown vegetables, but the city-dwellers have beer. City 1, Country 0.

099. Friends From the Country by John Falter, 1954