Between 1951 and 1953, P. Ballantine and Sons Brewing Company, or simply Ballentine Beer, created a series of ads with at least thirteen different writers. They asked each one “How would you put a glass of Ballantine Ale into words?” Each author wrote a page that included reference to their beer, and in most cases not subtly. One of them was James A. Michener, who’s best known for Tales of the South Pacific.
Today is the birthday of James A. Michener (February 3, 1907–October 16, 1997), who “was an American author of more than 40 books, the majority of which were fictional, lengthy family sagas covering the lives of many generations in particular geographic locales and incorporating solid history. Michener was known for the popularity of his works; he had numerous bestsellers and works selected for Book of the Month Club. He was also known for his meticulous research behind the books.
Michener’s novels include Tales of the South Pacific for which he won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1948, Hawaii, The Drifters, Centennial, The Source, The Fires of Spring, Chesapeake, Caribbean, Caravans, Alaska, Texas and Poland. His non-fiction works include Iberia, about his travels in Spain and Portugal; his memoir titled The World Is My Home, and Sports in America. Return to Paradise combines fictional short stories with Michener’s factual descriptions of the Pacific areas where they take place.”
His piece for Ballantine was done in the form of a letter of recommendation:
Ale, as Ballantine brews it, is one of man’s noblest drinks, and I speak from more than a passing acquaintance with the great beers and ales of the world.
In Ballantine Ale one finds the refreshing thirst-quenching qualities so welcome on a warm day; but hidden in its amber depths is a goodness, a character, a strong satisfying flavor, found in no other brewed beverage.
I commend Ballantine Ale to you as a thirst-quencher, a lesiure-time glass eminently designed to promote sociability.