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.
Thursday’s ad may not be a real ad, I’m not entirely sure. It’s for a Brasserie Belden, which I can’t find any information about at all. And the nature of the ad, more like a political attack ad, makes it seem more like a spoof than a real ad that someone might have actually ran. It has the look of an older ad, with the paper staining, at least after World War II, although it’s easy enough to fake that using PhotoShop. I don’t recall where I found this one and the fact that I can’t find any additional information about it on the interwebs further leads me to suspect its veracity, although it’s too funny not to share all the same. “Be a man. Drink Belden.”
Sunday’s ad is for Budweiser, from 1946. From A-B’s “Great Contributions To Taste” series, this one features Luther Burbank, the “American botanist, horticulturist and pioneer in agricultural science.” Although born in Massachusetts, he settled in nearby Santa Rosa, California and you can see his name everywhere here in Sonoma. Although he created over “800 strains and varieties of plants” he doesn’t seem to have had any relationship to beer, not that that stopped the advertising machinery.
Friday’s ad is another one for Budweiser, this one from 1969. Showing a stubbie bottle of Budweiser bookended by a pair of actual Clydesdales bookends. My daughter would love those. As to whether “reading” the label makes the beer better and helps you “appreciate” it more, I’m not terribly convinced.
Thursday’s ad is for Budweiser, from 1958. It’s seedy, steamy setting of seduction. A sultry, well-made up, siren lies on a shag carpet, cigarette in hand, its smoke wafting into the air. Using an LP (remember those, kiddies?) for a pillow, she glances up to see a bottle of beer being poured into a glass for her. She’s apparently hallucinating, too, as a jazz band can be seen floating in the air just above the radio/stereo system behind her head. Does that mean she’s had quite enough to drink already, despite being poured another? Frankly, I think she looks a bit too much like Agnes Moorehead from her later years, circa “Endora” from Bewitched.
Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning famously said a couple of weeks ago after his victory over the Chargers that all he could think of was how soon he could “get a Bud Light in [his] mouth.” It seemed like a slap in the face to pick Budweiser while being the QB in the land of Rocky Mountain spring water-made Coors. Not to mention that Colorado is one of the best beer states in America, so it’s no surprise that a number of smaller craft breweries also called him out for his choice of frosty beverage. But in subsequent interviews, Manning’s stuck to his guns, succinctly explaining the reason for his beer preference.
“My father taught me a number of things, one of which being that Bud Light is the preferred beer of the Manning household”
My only question is this. Peyton Manning is 37 years old. He’s also married with two children, and presumably no longer lives at home but has his own household. At what age did you stop doing everything your father told you? It may be true, but it seems like a bit of a cop out. I thought it was more common to eschew your father’s beer and make your own choices.
I remember a particularly enlightening conversation I eavesdropped on at GABF a number of years ago. I was walking the hall, in a hurry on my way to somewhere, when a group of at least half-a-dozen young men, presumably in their early twenties, blocked my path and forced me to slow up behind them. From just behind their slow-walking row, I could hear what they were saying as we ambled past the Sierra Nevada Brewing booth. One of the them elbowed his friend, and pointing his head toward Sierra Nevada’s booth, remarked. “Sierra Nevada; my Dad really likes that beer.” He put the emphasis on “Dad” when he said it, indicating that it wasn’t necessarily a good thing. I remembered that a while later when I was having dinner and some drinks with Ken and Brian Grossman, and mentioned what I’d overheard. They said they were fully aware of that as a growing problem, having been around long enough that they were becoming the new generation’s Dad’s beer. It’s part of the reason they began doing so many more collaborations, specialty releases and even beer camp. It’s an interesting facet of the craft beer industry as it grows and matures. How do you maintain your image while also remaining fresh to newer, younger customers? Because nobody wants to drink the same beer as their father. I know I didn’t, and don’t.
I know none of this matters and everyone is free to drink whatever the hell they want. Still, I find it fascinating to watch how certain statements play out in the media. Had Manning picked a Coors product, he would have pleased the hometown fans. Had he picked a craft beer, especially a local one, he would have made the hometown fans, and many good beer lovers, overjoyed. Instead he picked Bud Light, coincidentally the “official beer of the NFL,” so most likely the group he pleased the most was the league.
Last fall, Manning apparently bought twenty-one Papa John’s Pizza franchises, all in Colorado. I wonder what beers they serve?
The annual Gasparilla Pirate Festival in Tampa, Florida also includes a parade as part of the festivities. The parade takes place this afternoon, and usually features the Budweiser Clydesdales. But this year, instead they had local artist Terry Klaaren create a float using nothing by recycled beer cans. Klaaren called his work “re-cycle-dales” and it’s a sculpture of two life-size Clydesdale head figures that took him about six weeks and 3,000 beer cans to construct. According to a local news story:
“Every beer can was hand flattened with a wooden mallet,” Klaaren said. “We punched a couple of holes in it and then sewed it onto the mesh with stainless steel wire. I found beer cans to be a great sculpture medium.”
Gieseking said the vision for the float was Clydesdales emerging from a wave of water collecting recyclables in the wake.
“Just a nice image of taking the garbage out of the water,” Klaaren said.
Unfortunately, this is the only photo of it I can find. Perhaps there will be more views after the parade takes place later today.