While attending the annual Bay Area Firkin Festival in Berkeley a few weeks ago at Triple Rock, I was again struck by this beautiful old ad for Genesee beer in upstate New York.
It’s a great play on words, and got me thinking about the phrase it’s based on: the midnight ride of Paul Revere, which in turn was the inspiration for another beer.
Anchor’s wonderful Liberty Ale, a favorite of mine, was first released today, April 18, in 1975. This date was chosen because it was the 200th anniversary of Paul Revere’s ride, as immortalized in the Henry Wadsworth Longfellow poem Paul Revere’s Ride, which begins:
Here’s how Anchor describes the beer:
As historians will tell you, the poem takes quite a few liberties with the true story, but because of it, Paul Revere is the only one of the three riders that night that is remembered. You can read an account on Wikipedia and there’s also ones on the Patriot Resource and Travel & History.
But anything that inspires so fine a beer as Liberty Ale can’t be all bad, so let’s drink a bottle or draft of Liberty Ale tonight and toast Paul Revere. Cheers.
And to add a little culture into the discussion, this is one of my favorite paintings by Grant Wood, called The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere, also based on the poem. Grant Wood is best known for his iconic painting American Gothic but there are some other great works in his oeuvre.
Jim Smith says
Nice job Jay!
This has always been my favorite beer sign at Trip Rock, and I pointed it out to several friends at the Firkin Fest there several weeks back…
I swear I still chuckle at that bad pun everytime I see that sign…
The guy on the poster has always reminded me of my high school Latin and Civics teacher, Mr. King. Here’s to the midnight raid!
In my never-ending quest to persuade Americans that history CAN be interesting: if you’re interested in learning more about Revere’s life, times, and “the ride,” I recommend David Hackett Fischer’s book titled PAUL REVERE’S RIDE. It’s a two-thumbs-up kinda book.
All I can say is my ancestor was robbed! (I kid, but still… Revere was on his horse for a lot shorter a period of time)
Love Triple Rock and all the cool memorabilia, and that sign is etch-a-sketched into my head. Have a chance to get there on a trip to San Fran in April .. Red Rock Ale, here I come !