Thursday’s ad is for “Rheingold Beer,” from 1946. This ad was made for the Rheingold Brewery, which was founded by the Liebmann family in 1883 in New York, New York. At its peak, it sold 35% of all the beer in New York state. In 1963, the family sold the brewery and in was shut down in 1976. In 1940, Philip Liebmann, great-grandson of the founder, Samuel Liebmann, started the “Miss Rheingold” pageant as the centerpiece of its marketing campaign. Beer drinkers voted each year on the young lady who would be featured as Miss Rheingold in advertisements. In the 1940s and 1950s in New York, “the selection of Miss Rheingold was as highly anticipated as the race for the White House.” The winning model was then featured in at least twelve monthly advertisements for the brewery, beginning in 1940 and ending in 1965. Beginning in 1941, the selection of next year’s Miss Rheingold was instituted and became wildly popular in the New York Area. This ad, which ran in December, is introducing the new Miss Rheingold for 1946, Rita Daigle.” She was born in New York, July 31, 1927, and started modeling when was seventeen (lying about her age) and was Miss Stardust of 1944 and Queen of the 1945 Photographers Ball. The same December she was crown Miss Rheingold, she married a well-known singer, Jimmy Saunders, who sang with Harry James, among others, and co-wrote songs with Frank Sinatra. Her modeling career both before and after 1946 was fairly robust, with her appearing on the cover of such magazines as Cosmopolitan, Life and Vogue. In this ad, from February, she’s sitting on a sofa with yarn doing some knitting. This is undoubtedly at the “knitting bee” she was at in yesterday’s newspaper ad.
Archives for March 24, 2022
Today is the 49th birthday of Jim Crooks, who is currently the Master Blender at Firestone Walker Barrelworks in Buellton. But before that, Jim was the QC manager, and was one of the original brewers there when it was still SLO Brewing when Adam Firestone and David Walker bought the brewery. When I wrote an Innovator’s Series piece for Beer Connoisseur magazine on Matt Brynildson, naturally, Jim came up when re-telling the story of the transition:
But Matt and another SLO brewer, Jim Crooks, weren’t ready to give up quite so easily. What happened next is local legend. The bank didn’t lock the doors or turn off the power. Maybe it was an oversight, maybe not. So Brynildson and Crooks came in and kept making beer while the brewery was still in receivership, and continued filling orders. The idea, they thought, was to just hang on. They both loved the area and the brewery that they’d poured so much of themselves into. The pair hoped that if they kept it alive, that someone would come to the rescue, buy the brewery and give them both jobs. The gamble paid off and their harebrained idea actually worked. Both Matt and Jim Crooks continue to work there to this day, with Jim leading the Barrelworks production in Buellton.
I’ve run to Jim several times over the years, and since heading up Barrelworks in 2013, he’s been knocking it out of the park. Join me in wishing Jim a very happy birthday.