Wednesday’s ad is a trade ad, by the United States Brewing Industry Foundation, from 1939. After prohibition ended, the industry started doing PSA-type ads in an attempt to create goodwill for beer and brewers. They would later go on to do a fairly sophisticated series of ads between 1946 and 1956, known unofficially as Beer Belongs. Officially, they were “The Home Life in America” series, consisting of 120 ads, with a new ad running in major periodicals each month. Last year, for my Beer in Ads series, I featured every one of them. But in the years before that, the U.S. Brewing Industry Foundation (a precursor to the original Brewer’s Association) dabbled with a variety of similar ads promoting the industry as a whole. These were especially popular during World War 2, and in fact they even won an award from the government for some of these ads. Most of the ads were black and white, although a few were in color, though usually in a minimal way, with a few colors accented rather than being in full color.
In this ad, the impact that the brewing industry was having at the time was neatly illustrated by placing an order with “The Farmers of America” for 3,000,000,000 pounds of barley, 31.5 million pounds of hops, 800 million pounds of corn and 186 million pounds of rice. And that doesn’t even include the yeast wranglers. And that, according to the ad, comes out to a total of $100,000,000, or $1,747,043,170 adjusted for inflation. And that also doesn’t include the $400 million that the beer industry paid in taxes, either.