Wednesday’s ad is from the Brewer’s Society’s “Beer is Best” campaign, from 1938. It’s the July image from “A Calendar Of British Beer” for the year 1938. Showing a pair of Shire horses hooked up to a wagon of wooden beer kegs, the idea was that such a scene wasn’t too far removed from “the way [beer] has always been brewed.”
Thursday’s ad is for Great Britain brewers’ “Beer is Best” campaign, from 1935. Part of the British brewers series of ad promoting beer generally, this one focuses on an after work drink as a positive, where a man can “put away the cares of the day; restores his toil-spent energy; revives his flagging spirit.” But what stood out for me was at the bottom of the ad there’s a simple list of beer’s four ingredients, which they list as “Malt · Hops · Sugar · Yeast.” What was that third one again?
Today is the 63rd birthday of Charlie Bamforth, who is the Anheuser-Busch Endowed Professor of Brewing Science at U.C. Davis (and was my teacher when I took the brewing short course there). His two most recent books should be on your must read list: Beer Is Proof That God Loves Us and Grape vs. Grain. He’s a terrific advocate for beer and a great person. He was also kind enough to speak to beer appreciation class that I recently taught at Sonoma State University. Join me in wishing Charlie a very happy birthday.
Charlie with John Dannerbeck from Anchor Brewing, at a reception held there for the launch of Charlie’s new book.
Charlie being courted by both wine and beer on his publisher’s blog, Cambridge University Press.
Thursday’s ad is for beer generally, from the 1950s. It was created for the Brewers Society, presumably a brewing industry trade organization in Great Britain. It appears that the Brewers Society became the British Beer & Pub Association in the 1990s. A quick search reveals that they did a series of ads in the 1950s using a tagline referring to beer as “The Best Long Drink in the World.” This one features a boat, but instead of the coxswain shouting “stroke,” they’re all shouting “good wholesome beer” instead.
Despite this ad being the size I found it, the resolution is terrible, but the smaller one below is slightly sharper, despite being much smaller.
Today would have been Michael Jackson’s 73rd birthday. I first met Michael in the early 1990s, shortly after my first beer book was published. He is all but single-handedly responsible for the culture of better beer that exists today. He began writing about good beer in the 1960s and 70s and his writing has influenced (and continues to influence) generations of homebrewers and commercial brewers, many of whom were inspired to start their own breweries by his words. There are few others, if any, that have been so doggedly persistent and passionate about spreading the word about great beer. I know some of my earliest knowledge and appreciation of beer, and especially its history and heritage, came from Michael’s writings. Michael passed away in August 2007, eight years ago. I still miss him, and I suspect I’m not the only one. A couple of years ago, J.R. Richards’ new documentary film about Michael Jackson, Beer Hunter: The Movie, debuted, which I helped a tiny bit with as a pioneer sponsor.
I did an article four years ago for Beer Connoisseur, for their Innovator’s Series, entitled Michael Jackson: The King of Beer Writers, A personal look back at the man who made hunting for beer a career. I reached out to a number of people who also knew Michael for their remembrances as well as my own, and as a result I’m pretty pleased with the results (although the original draft was almost twice as long).
I’ll again be playing some jazz and having a pint of something yummy in his honor, which has become my tradition for March 27, which I’ve also started declaring to be “Beer Writer’s Day.” Join me in drinking a toast to Michael Jackson, the most influential modern beer writer who’s ever lived.
At the Great Divide Brewing’s media party in Denver over fifteen years ago.
On stage accepting the first beer writing awards from the Brewers Association with Jim Cline, GM of Rogue, Stan Hieronymus, who writes Real Beer’s Beer Therapy among much else, and Ray Daniels, formerly of the Brewers Association.
At GABF in 2006, still wearing the same glasses. But my, oh my, have I changed. Sheesh.
Today is the birthday of British beer writer Tim Webb, who along with Stephen Beaumont recently published the World Atlas of Beer and the Pocket Beer Guide, along with the Good Beer Guide to Belgium, with Joe Stange. I love Tim’s dry wit and his unabashed disdain for America(ns). I like to think I’m tolerated because I know, and like, Canadians. Then again, who knows? Join me in wishing Tim a very happy birthday.
Sunday’s ad is for the British ad campaign “Beer is Best,” from 1938. Part of “A Calendar of British Beer” from that year, March features a wonderful illustration of a farmer sowing his field with barley, and the text explains that this is the month for it, with some statistics of how much of the grain it takes each year to create all of England’s beer. “All the year round. Beer is Best.” Happy March.
Today is the 76th birthday of British beer writer Roger Protz. Roger, of course, if one of Britain’s best-known beer writers, having authored over twenty books on the subject, including being the editor of CAMRA’s Good beer Guide for two decades. He’s also been very active in CAMRA through much of their history. Although our paths cross only occasionally, Roger’s great to share a pint with, and we apparently love a lot of the same British television shows, something I discovered after many beers at Het Anker in Belgium a few years ago. Join me in wishing Roger a very happy birthday.
Monday’s ad is for the Brewers’ Society, from 1956. Similar to the ads in America by the United States Brewers Foundation that ran around the same time, the British ads used taglines like “Good Wholesome BEER” and “The best long drink in the world!” After working in the fields all day, making giant hay bales, who wouldn’t be dreaming of a pint of beery goodness? But I love the way they put it. “Beer refreshes you all right — but it does much more than that. It’s an invigorating drink. Beer bucks you up as well as cools you down.”
I love the Great British Beer Festival, and it’s a crying shame I don’t get over the pond often enough to attend it. Happily, Mark Dredge, who in addition to Pencil & Spoon, has been doing some work for Pilsner Urquell, had a camera crew follow him around the hall at the Great British Beer Festival. He’s created a short video giving a flavor of what it’s like to be there. So if, like me, you missed it this year, here’s at least a glimpse at what being there be like. Enjoy.