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.”
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.