Beer Ads – From the DJN Davidson Digital Archive

The Jewish News
Mike Smith

Mike Smith

While writing about the JN from 1942-43 over the past year, several times I referred to fascinating advertisements from Schmidt’s Beer, the beer that (per its ads) contributed so mightily to the effort to win World War II. I guess I miss writing about Schmidt’s beer ads, so this week, I decided to see just what I could find about beer in the pages of the Davidson Online Archives.

Detroit Jewish Chronicle April 7, 1916 beer ads beer ad for Goebels Beer.Now, I will admit, I don’t know a lot about beer. I know the difference between Budweiser and a craft beer, but when it comes to on-the-spot decisions, I have to rely on sage advice from my good friend and outstanding beer adviser, Don Cohen, also a JN contributing writer.

When entering “beer” into the search box for the archives, you will find more than 9,000 entries. That’s a lot of reading about beer. Unfortunately for the historic Detroit community, there were only 13 entries that cited “Free Beer.” I also found entries for Israeli beers, Gold Star and Maccabee. The first article about these beers appeared in the Dec. 2, 1977, issue of the JN about Gold Star and Maccabee winning gold medals at the Monde Selection, a world judging of beers in Brussels and Luxembourg.

The best beer news, however, can be found in the Apr 7, 1916, issue of the Jewish Chronicle. On page 9, the advertisement for Detroit-made Goebels Beer had some very useful “scientific” information for readers. Did you know that doctors will tell you “there is not a more efficient strength-builder for the convalescent — nor a more nourishing food for the young mother — than Pure Beer?” And, of course, any “physician who has studied the beers … will unhesitatingly recommend Goebel Pure Food Beer.” Who knew? I feel a bit slighted. My mom only gave me Vernor’s Ginger Ale when I was sick.

Want to learn more? Go to the DJN Foundation archives, available for free at www.djnfoundation.org.

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