I’ve been trying to research the United States Brewers Foundation for something I’ve been working on, but haven’t been able to find out very much. I believe they were formed on October 14, 1944 through a merger between the original United States Brewers Association (USBA), which was formed in 1862 (sort of, that’s was when the first meeting took place, at least), and the upstart United Brewers Industrial Foundation (UBIF), then only seven years old. The newly combined trade group was called the United States Brewers Foundation (USBF). What happened to them after that I can’t say. I’m sure somebody knows. The Encyclopedia of Beer (Rhodes, Christine, ed. The Encyclopedia of Beer. New York: Henry Holt & Co., 1995) claims the USBA is “now defunct” but also details how getting some legislation passed in October 1976 was its “crowning achievement.” By that I infer that they believe they were still a going concern at least as late as 1976, but that after that they “unofficially” merged with the Brewers Association of America (BAA), which was formed in 1941.
Even the Wikipedia entry for the USBA is contradictory. The first sentence claims the USBA existed from 1862 to 1986. But in the last paragraph, the 1944 merger is also recounted. I know the BAA “officially” merged with the Association of Brewers to create the present-day Brewers Association around four years ago. But if the USBA merged with the UBIF in 1944 to create the USBF, how was it possible they were still around in 1976 or 1986? Something is wrong there, I just don’t know which account is right.
Anyway, that’s almost pointless — except in the hopes that someone can set the record straight and has some authority to back it up — what’s important here is that I also stumbled on a great little propaganda film promoting the brewing industry produced by the USBF in the 1950s. It’s called As We Like It, and runs just over ten minutes. Parts of it are unintentionally funny, in the way all documentary films were during this time period. But perhaps more interesting is that some of the arguments they make about the positive aspects of the brewing industry are ones we’re still having to make today, which is a little sad. But since the New Drys keep ignoring them, we have to keep reminding them. That’s the nature of their propaganda, to simply not address uncomfortable or inconvenient truths. Here is, or rather was, ours. Enjoy!
For extra credit, guess how many times the words “clean” and “friendly” are used, including variants. Those seem to be the big selling points, that the beer industry is “clean” and “friendly.”