Pitch perfect: beer and ale

As part of our ongoing series of collections of old advertising slogans, culled from a 1949 book called American Slogans, we today share a list of slogans that were utilized by companies that manufactured and marketed brews (beer, ale, etc.).

It’s interesting to note, as one peruses the list, how often beer is referred to as “brew.” You don’t hear that usage nearly as often in today’s advertising.

Actually aged longer (Leisy Brewing Co.).
Aged by Father Time himself (Hyde Pk. Brewers Assn.).
Aged extra long for extra flavor (Breidt Brewing Co.).
Aged in natural rock caves (Ebling).
All-American ale, The (Cleveland-Sandusky Brewing Corp.).
All-American beer, The (Cleveland-Sandusky).
All year ’round soft drink, The (Anheuser-Busch).
Always in good company (Standard Brewing Co.).
America has gone Budweiser (Anheuser-Busch).
America’s beverage of moderation (U.S. Brewers Assn.).
America’s largest-selling ale (Ballantine).
America’s oldest lager beer (F&M Schaefer).
Any time is STANDARD time (Standard Brewing Co.).
As good as it looks (Barvarian Brewing Co.).
Ask your doctor (All-American Premium Beer).
As of yore (Harvard Brewing Co.).
As tonic as sunshine itself (Aetna Brewing Co.).
As you like it (Rubsam & Horrmann).

Backed by a century of brewing experience (Gerhard Lang Brewers).
Be ale-wise (Old Colony Brewing Co.).
Beer at its best (F&M Schaefer).
Beer belongs, enjoy it (U.S. Brewers Foundation).
Beer flavor at its peak (John F. Trommer).
Beer for good cheer, The (Potosi Brewing Co.).
Beer is as old as history (Budweiser).
Beer is no better than its ingredients, A (Hammerschlag Refining Co.).
Beer of friendship, The (Jax Brewing Co.).
Beer that grows its own flavor (Edelbrew).
Beer that made Milwaukee famous (Schlitz).
Beer that made the nineties gay, The (Potosi).
Beer that made the old days good, The (Jacob Ruppert).
Beer that makes friends, The (Lubeck Brewing Co.).
Beer that’s brewed the natural way, aged the natural way, The (Breidt).
Beer that’s extra-aged, the (Hyde Park Breweries Assn.).
Beer that’s time-ripened, time-tempered, The (Breidt).
Beer that wins awards, The (Jacob Hornung Brewing Co.).
Beer with millions of friends, The (Hyde Park).
Beer with the flavor as different as day from night, The (Breidt).
Beer with the 4th ingredient, The (Breidt).
Best beer by far at home, club, or bar, The (Jacob Hornung).
Best of all, Edelbrew costs you no more.
Best tonic, The (Pabst Corp.).
Better because brewed solely of malt and hops (Trommer).
Beverage of moderation for the nation, A (United Brewers Ind. Foundation).
Born in Canada, now going great in 48 states (Carling’s Ale).
Bottled beer with the draught beer flavor, The (Globe Brewing Co.).
Breidt’s for TIME, the part of beer you taste but never see.
Brewed in the British manner (Conn. Valley Brewing Co.).
Brewed on the same site since 1840.
Brewed solely of malt and hops (Trommer).
Brewer of better beer (Blatz).
Brewery goodness sealed right in (Pabst).
Brew for me in ’43, The (Wiliam Gratz).
Brewing better beer for the 96th year (Blatz).
Brew of quality, The (Pabst Blue Ribbon Brew).
Brews that satisfy, The (Ruppert).
Brew that brings back memories, The (Pabst).
Brew with a head of its own (Krueger).
Brew with small bubble carbonation, The (Heurich Brewing Co.).
Brew that holds its head high in any company (Senate Beer), Heurich.
Bubbles of health (Queen City Bottling Co.).
But the greatest reason of all is that Guinness is good for you.
Buy the Big Boy (Trommer).
By the glass, by the bottle, by the case, Buy Hyde Park.
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On being popular—and popularly priced

We spent much of yesterday poring over vintage tchotchkes, clothes, and ephemera at various flea markets and vintage emporiums, and one yellowed poster-board advertisement for beer (Pabst Blue Ribbon — not Piels, as pictured) caught our eye.

Piels Beer coaster“Now at popular prices!,” the poster announced proudly — which brought two or three things to mind for us.

First, we wonder when and how the term “popular prices” fell out of use. It’s a usage that was once quite frequently seen, and we kind of like it. Prices people can get behind!

And we were taken aback a bit by the notion that PBR, a beer now widely thought of as bargain beer, was ever sold at anything higher than “popular prices.” We know that products often sink in the collective esteem of the public, and sometimes they rise, mostly on the strength of savvy marketing, but touting a beer as now available at newly lower prices strikes us as admitting defeat, in marketing terms.

Though, we suppose, if a product was long viewed by average Joes and Jills as high-end and pricey, making it available at popular prices might have been viewed as purely a positive thing and a surefire way to boost sales. But that strikes us as a panicky move likely to yield only a short-term benefit. It seems unlikely a product, having surrendered its status as a luxury item, could ever regain its high-end cachet.

But as we said above, sometimes it works the other way around. We read somewhere that Cutty Sark, for years positioned as a budget-priced scotch, was transformed into a premium whiskey merely by marketing it as such. The price was increased significantly, and an extensive ad campaign was launched with the intent of altering the imbibing public’s perception of the Cutty Sark brand.

It worked. While Cutty is far from being the current “it” brand of scotch (and hasn’t been for a long time), it’s still perceived as a premium whiskey and has a small but loyal following it might never have acquired if that marketing makeover hadn’t been undertaken all those years ago.

That campaign moved Cutty from being popularly priced to the top shelf, and the whiskey itself went unchanged. Only the public’s perception of it was altered.

Of course, that’s nothing compared to the 180-degree turnaround managed by Philip Morris with their Marlboro cigarettes. Once marketed as a “lady’s cigarette” to women of refinement everywhere — the brand’s slogan in the 1920s was “Mild As May” — Marlboro eventually came to be positioned, instead, as the smokes purportedly preferred by rough, tough cowpokes.

That drastic a transformation requires some serious marketing muscle and know-how.