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Beer In Ads #4066: Meet McSorley Says Miss Rheingold 1947

Thursday’s ad is for “Rheingold Beer,” from 1947. 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 introduced the winner of the Miss Rheingold 1947 contest, Michaele Fallon. I couldn’t find much information about her. She appears to have been born in 1920 as Bernice Kathryn Fallon and changed it when she started working as a model. She also appears to have two married names, Barros and Neagle. In this ad, also from February, she’s helping to introduce a new bottled beer from Rheingold, a contract beer for New York mainstay McSorley’s Old Ale House. When I would frequent the bar in the late 1970s, when I was stationed on Staten Island, they had two house beers, light and dark, but my understanding is they’ve had several different breweries make their beer for them, starting with Fidelio Brewery, who made McSorley’s Cream Stock Ale for them, then supposedly in the basement during prohibition, but returned production to Fidelo after prohibition ended. When Fidelo tried to expand, they overextended themselves and went out of business, so Rheingold stepped up in the 1940s, and continued making beer for McSorley’s for over thirty years, so perhaps that is whose beer I drank in the late 1970s.

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