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.
Thursday’s ad is for Anheuser-Busch, from 1945. A World War 2 ad, showing a modern soldier — a Sergeant First Class — in which he compares himself to a suit of armor, most likely while liberating a European castle. The tagline reads “When Knights were Bold .. they were not so Big.” I guess the big strapping enlisted man is taller than the knight would been, based on the armor’s size.
Wednesday’s ad is for Anheuser-Busch brand Natural Light, from 1996. The ad depicts a scene from the Battle of the Little Big Horn, more commonly known as “Custer’s Last Stand,” which took place today in 1876. The ad can be found, oddly enough, in the Autry Library in southern California. Anheuser-Busch apparently created a reproduction of an 1892 pamphlet with the lengthy title Authentic history of the Indian campaign which culminated in “Custer’s last battle,” June 25, 1876 : from comments by General Fry, Captain E.S. Godfrey (Seventh Cavalry, U.S.A.), (volume XLIII, the Century monthly magazine, January, 1892), Captain Charles King, Adjutant-General State of Wisconsin, Olin D. Wheeler, of the Northern Pacific Railroad, and others. The “specially numbered reprint” was done exclusively for the 23rd annual conference of the Little Big Horn Associates, July 18-21, 1996, which was held in St. Louis, Missouri, and included the “Natural History Lesson” ad. The original pamphlet was distributed with another painting, Otto Becker’s Custer’s Last Fight in 1896,” which was used to create a poster in 1896 that AB distributed to its customers and bars, making it the first example of brewery advertising. As a result, it has become one of the most highly sought after pieces of breweriana. This newer painting appears less serious in tone, and there’s no additional information I can find about who created the illustration for the Natural Light ad.
Sunday’s ad is for E. Anheuser Co., from 1879. It’s a beautiful ad, from back when child labor wasn’t an issue. They were probably able to maximize profits by employing kids, who work for milk and cookies. Although a few of them are taking a break at a picnic table and enjoying bottles of E. Anheuser Co.’s St. Louis Lager Beer. Or perhaps they’re Oompa-Loompas? But what a gorgeous lithographic ad.
Sunday’s ad is another one for Michelob, this time from 1967. Another Michelob ad, in this one apparently “In Beer, Going First Class Is Michelob. … Period.” According to the ad it’s “Brewed just like the famous Michelob draught,” which had been first introduced as a pasteurized version in 1961, and is the same year they also introduced the distinctive teardrop bottle.
Saturday’s ad is for Michelob, from 19677. I love the jacket of the man seen in the bottle enjoying his weekend with a lobster dinner. I remember that decade, and had quite a few of my own fashion disasters. “Weekends were made for Michelob” was an inspired tagline, it’s just too bad the beer didn’t live up to the hype. It wasn’t exactly “an unexpected pleasure.”