Friday’s ad is for the Bavarian Brewery, a.k.a. E. Anheuser & Co., from 1860. This, of course, was the brewery that would later be called Anheuser-Busch, but sixteen years before they’d start making Budweiser. Even then, it was a fairly large enterprise, with “bottling for export a specialty.”
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.
Thursday’s ad is for Michelob, from 1967. Apparently, in the late Sixties people still had trouble pronouncing Michelob. It reminds me of the packaging on Lagunitas, which includes “Say ‘lah-goo-knee-tuss'” on their carriers because when the brewery first opened, founder Tony Magee worried that most people wouldn’t know how to pronounce the name of the small west Marin town. So okay, it’s “Mick-A-Lobe,” “Now that’s an order.” Also, “In beer, going first class is Michelob. Period.” Sadly, that is how the brand was positioned. It even seemed to work for a while.
Friday’s ad is for Michelob Light, from 1978. The ad features Monique St. Pierre, who was Playboy magazine’s Playmate of the Month for the November 1978 issue and the 1979 Playmate of the Year. The German-born model is portraying a a member of the ski patrol, but her St. Bernard “Suds” has a six-pack of Michelob Light around his neck, rather than the traditional barrel of brandy. Unfortunately the brandy barrel being carried by a St. Bernard to warm trapped skiers or hikers in the Alps is a myth.
Today is the 53rd birthday of Mitch Steele, production manager/head brewer at Stone Brewing. Mitch started out at the tiny San Andreas Brewery in Hollister, California but spent a number of years at one of the much larger Budweiser breweries when he brewed for Anheuser-Busch, before finding a home at Stone. He’s obviously a terrific brewer but is also a great person and close friend, too. He was also my roomie for GABF judging three years ago and is also the author of IPA: Brewing Techniques, Recipes and the Evolution of India Pale Ale. He’s a big advocate for craft beer and always willing to help out a fellow brewer or homebrewer. Join me in wishing Mitch a very happy birthday.
Mitch picking up his 3rd Place award on the floor of GABF 2009 for Stone’s Levitation Ale on cask at a special judging at the Great British Beer Festival in 2009 (and which I had the pleasure to judge).
And no birthday post is complete without a blast from the past. Here’s Mitch’s high school prom photo in all it’s living color glory. It’s from Northgate High School Class of 1980 in Walnut Creek, CA (special thanks to Mitch for updating the old black & white photo with the glorious color one!). Love the powder blue tux.
Friday’s ad is for Busch Extra Dry, a ginger ale that Anheuser-Busch produced, presumably during prohibition (though possibly not, there is a bottle of Budweiser inset at the bottom of the ad, but I can’t quite make out the text). With the tagline Chambertin [a French red wine] held Napoleon, when Josephine couldn’t, I”m not quite sure how that relates to a ginger ale. If it was champagne, maybe since both a very bubbly and effervescent. Still, it’s interesting to see A-B advertising a soft drink under their label.
Sunday’s ad is for Michelob, from around 2000 (which is a guess, I can’t quite make out the year on the ad). Having just spent a few days in Denver judging at the Great American Beer Festival, this one’s a hoot. “What Beer Judges Drink Between Competitions.” Then at the bottom of the ad, there’s this. “If judging beer were your job, how would you spend your day off?” To which the answer is. “Enjoying the remarkably smooth taste of Michelob.” I confess that’s not what I was drinking after a long day of judging. You?
Sunday’s ad is later one from the United States Brewers Association — and associated industries — from the 1970s. This was part of the “Pitch In!” anti-littering campaign undertaken by Anheuser-Busch and other major brewers during the heyday of Ecology. This one may have been around the bicentennial in 1976, given the Statue of Liberty and the flag-waving.
Sunday’s ad is for Budweiser, from the 1950s. This is a postcard showing the St. Louis brewery complex from above, but is not a photo. It’s an illustration, and these were a common way to advertise a brewery then, used not just as postcards, but as posters, calendars and other large formats that could be framed. I think they’re incredibly beautiful and wish someone would put together a coffee table book of these brewery works of art.