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Beer In Ads #6: Biere d’Alsace

The artist for today’s ad was born in the Alsace, in 1873, in what is today part of France. But two years before he was born, it belonged to the German Empire, who had annexed it after the Franco-Prussian War that began in 1870. Why is that relevant? Because Jean-Jacques Waltz, better known as “Hansi,” grew up hating the Germans and early in his career drew editorial cartoons poking fun at them. This won him few friends in Germany and in fact he even spent time in jail, “imprisoned several times by German authorities for making fun of the German military and professors.” In addition to putting down his captors, he wrote and drew scenes extolling Alsace’s virtues. One of his most famous works was a history of Alsace for kids by “Uncle Hansi,” L’Historie d’Alssace. The ad today features a girl in the traditional costume of the Alsace, and in fact it shows up in a number of Hansi’s works. I’m not sure if the illustration is advertising for a specific brewery of just beer from the Alsace generally. There is a brewery in Luttenbach (near the border between France in Germany in the Alsace) today known as Les Caves de la Brasserie. The date in the star, 1648, seems to suggest an older brewery, one that perhaps is no longer with us.

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