Monday’s ad is for “Rheingold Beer,” from 1958. 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. Miss Rheingold 1958 was Madelyn Darrow, who came from a prominent Hollywood family. Her father was motion picture landscape artist and her mother had been a silent screen actress. She was the youngest of three daughters, and her sister Barbara Darrow was a B-Movie star, mostly with RKO. After graduating from Hollywood High, she became a cover model and landed a small part in the film “Guys and Dolls” in 1955 and the following year in “The Ten Commandments.” But her career as an actress was slowing, so she moved to New York for modeling work, and was elected Miss Rheingold shortly thereafter. After her Rheingold year, she married tennis star Pancho Gonzales and they had there daughters together, divorcing in 1968, remarrying in 1970, but divorcing again the following year. She stayed in California for the remainder of her life, staying out of the public eye, until she passed away in 2015. This ad, from September, Miss Rheingold 1958, Madelyn Darrow, is playing doubles tennis, though I’m not sure who her partner was. Given that she later married Pancho Gonzales, I suspect she may have been at least an okay tennis player in real life.
Archives for June 5, 2023
Today is the 75th birthday of Eddy Cooremans, who is a Belgian frites ambassador. I first met Eddy in 2019, when Navefri/Unafri, the Belgian frites shops trade association (which represents Belgium’s 4,500+ frites shops/stands) brought a frites trailer to our lunch during the Brussels Beer Challenge judging. Eddy frequently works as an ambassador for the association, and has flown around the world to make frites in numerous counties during trade delegations and other international events. Eddy started as a locally famous football player in his youth, but after retiring became active in the frites industry, opening a Belgian frites shop in New York City in the 1980s, helped open the Belgian Frites Museum in Brugges, and writing one of the seminal books on Belgian frites, Van Aardappel tot Friet, with André Delcart. Last year, when I was back in Belgium, Eddy invited me to his home outside of Brussels and I spent the day with geeking out on all things frites. He was incredible generous with his time and it’s rare that I can find someone who will happily discuss the minutiae of frites for hours on end, but Eddy is one of those people, truly a kindred spirit. Join me in wishing Eddy a very happy birthday.
Today is the 62nd birthday of Kevin West, who has worked at Anchor Brewing for just under thirty years, and is currently lead brewer. He started as a bottler, and worked as a tour guide for a time in the late 1990s, but joined the brewing team twenty years ago. I’m not sure when exactly I first met Kevin, but it was a good while ago, and I certainly remember a memorable night at The Falling Rock in Denver watching Giants playoff baseball. But he’s a great advocate for craft beer in the Bay Area and Anchor in specific, of course. Join me in wishing Kevin a very happy birthday.