Tuesday, October 4, 2011

A Coupla Brewskis

I'm from Wisconsin.  I currently live in Wisconsin.  And we really like our beer.

It's very enjoyable to hear non-natives talk about their reactions to our culture - they are ASTOUNDED at the amount of beer that we drink (actually, the amount of anything we drink, but that's another story).

Aside from the REAL native peoples of this area, the settlers were mainly German (with pockets of Polish, Belgian, Norwegian and other European countries).  Indeed, the only other place where I've seen people enjoy their "adult beverages" as much as we do is in Germany/Austria.

Because there were (and are) so many people of German descent here, it would stand to reason that they would take their trades from the "old country" and apply them here.  Let's think about some popular last names and how very German they sound:  Pabst, Schlitz, Leinenkugel, Heilmann, Blatz, Miller, Sprecher....the list goes on and on.  And these hearty German men are (or in the case of Miller, were...but that's a whole other story) based in Wisconsin.

This time of year is prime drinkin' time.  It's October, so you know what that means (if you live around here) - OKTOBERFEST!  La Crosse, which is in the western part of the state right on the Mississippi River, is probably most famous for its Oktoberfest celebration.  But there are O-fests popping up everywhere.  Hey, it's an excuse to get hammered!  In Wisconsin!  Check out this AMAZING Oktoberfest program from 1966, in nearly pristine condition, complete with a matching pin-back!  I got it at an estate sale back in June of last year.  I just love it!  The inside is more boring than you'd expect, but this is the days before 4-color printing.

          I do find myself getting nostalgic for beer labels, especially from companies that no longer exist.  And the old labels are so festive!  Here are some of my favorites (the Grain Belt, et al labels are actually miniatures from a promotion back in the 60s):

I've also done some collages with beer labels!  They are so versatile and they always get their point across.  If you enjoy beer labels, I highly suggest picking up some (get more than one of each) and collaging with them.  Better yet?  Use the beer labels that you've peeled from your own bottles!  I've done that too, in the case of the "Strawberry Blonde" and "312 Skyline" ATCs, below! :D


  1. "We like it here." What a great statement!

    I am going to have to make some attempts to remove labels from bottles. Thanks for your suggestion of using very hot water. I think I'll start with labels I don't care about though. Some of the labels are pretty neat and I'd like to keep them.

  2. Oh, you MUST! It's really fun. There are so many microbrews out there now that you could find any theme you'd like and begin there. I don't drink beer (not since college anyway!) but my husby does. I always choose bottles that I like. :D

    I loved the "We like it here" statement too! And I DO love La Crosse! :D

  3. What? No Iron City or other PA Beers. I'll collect some for you!

  4. Wow, my husband actually enjoyed this post, which is funny, 'cause he usually teases me about looking at blogs. He says he used to deliver Grain Belt beer when he was a beer delivery driver.
    P.S. this post made me thirsty!