Beer As A Family Beverage

August 22, 2009

The alcohol industry is often accused of preying on the young. Like cigarette makers, brewers and distillers are accused of targeting their advertising at young people in an attempt to bring in new buyers. If you think about it, as the Baby Boomers age, there will be fewer new victims for the smokes-and-beers suppliers.

However, this is nothing new. I have a lot of old newspapers — and by old, I mean 1850-1950 — and while I read them for the articles, it’s the advertisements that always make me chuckle.

Like this one:

This ad is, of course, bullshit. You all know families where “good wholesome beer is regularly used.” We read about them in the news.

There’s a lot of history here, hearkening back to beer’s origin as “liquid bread,” a meal, not an imbibement. Or something. I’m sure there’s a scholarly exploration of this topic available online if you Google it. I just want you to picture for a moment this advertisement appearing today. “It is positively the most wholesome and purest beverage obtainable.” Well, I did grow up in Northern Ontario, so yeah, I can relate.


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