During World War II, the brewing-trade industry known as the United Brewers Industrial Foundation worked with the U.S. government to create a series of ads designed to boost morale and highlight the positive aspects of beer.
In Life magazine’s Aug. 4, 1941 edition is an amazing ad. Most of the body of the ad is comprised of an image showing a young couple out on a picnic with (presumably) his or her Mom and Dad – plus, of course, the requisite pooch.
The picture is done in that shadowy 1940’s and 1950’s style of illustration that you can probably visualize. In the image, along with the people, dog, picnic basket and blanket, is a galvanized pail full of beer.
The large-font title below the picture reads, “In a hurrying, scurrying world there’s serenity in beer and ale”. Then, in smaller subtext it goes on to say, “Telephones jangling … radios blaring … auto horns honking … airplanes roaring. In big city or small town, peace is hard to find … and precious”.
Boy … the more things change, the more they stay the same, don’t they? Telephones might not jangle so much, anymore, but otherwise they pretty much nailed a typical day for a lot of us.
The rest of the ad text is even more priceless: “YES! It’s a busy, dizzy world in which we live! And every man and woman in it needs now and then to get away from it all. Needs to sit down quietly and shut out the din and noise for a peaceful hour or so.
“In your needed hours of relaxation, beer can play a pleasant part. For this delicious brew does more than delight your taste. Its mellow, kindly nature helps to unsnarl tangled nerves, helps to refresh a weary body, helps to restore a faltering spirit.
“Made from nature’s choicest grains and flavored with plump, ripe, fragrant hops, beer is a mild, wholesome brew. In fact, from earliest times, men have called beer and ale the ‘beverages of moderation’. Make them part of your own plan of balanced, tolerant, temperate living.”
Just reading that makes me feel mellow. It almost brings a tear to my eye.
I am not sure if we would be able to run a similar ad today. There are lots of rules and regulations about not making any claims that beer will make you healthier or that beer will improve the quality of your life.
But let’s face it, we all need to shut out the din and noise on occasion, and we all like to unsnarl our tangled nerves. And, we have no problem if beer is not part of your own plan for balanced, tolerant, temperate living … but if it is, good on you.
The key (as an ad that is nearly 70 years old says) is balance.
This column is courtesy of the Yukon Brewing Company, an organization that offers the gift of temperance and balance … one keg at a time.