Monday’s ad is a trade ad, by the United States Brewing Industry Foundation, from 1939. After prohibition ended, the industry started doing PSA-type ads in an attempt to create goodwill for beer and brewers. They would later go on to do a fairly sophisticated series of ads between 1946 and 1956, known unofficially as Beer Belongs. Officially, they were “The Home Life in America” series, consisting of 120 ads, with a new ad running in major periodicals each month. Last year, for my Beer in Ads series, I featured every one of them. But in the years before that, the U.S. Brewing Industry Foundation (a precursor to the original Brewer’s Association) dabbled with a variety of similar ads promoting the industry as a whole. These were especially popular during World War 2, and in fact they even won an award from the government for some of these ads. Most of the ads were black and white, although a few were in color, though usually in a minimal way, with a few colors accented rather than being in full color.
In this ad, that “15 Billion Pounds Of Farm Products” the headline refers to barley, corn, rice and hops “from 3 million acres of farm lands” that have been purchased by American breweries since the repeal of prohibition six years before. I believe their point was that it was good for the economy, but it’s so subtle I’m not quite sure. And I love that inset explaining that 3 million acres is roughly “All the potato fields in this great country put together.” It’s also “all the crop lands harvested in five New England states!” So that’s a lot of land.