Do you pay attention to the beers featured in old movies?

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by BanquetEnjoyer, Jul 22, 2022.

  1. BanquetEnjoyer

    BanquetEnjoyer Initiate (26) Jul 14, 2022 New York

    I watch a lot of 70s and 80s movies and I always pay attention to the beers they drink in bars and clubs. It seems like 80% Budweiser, I'm not sure if it's product placement or if Bud was really that dominant back then.

    I watched Cruising (filmed in 1979) not too long ago and at the club, almost everyone was drinking regular Budweiser and the rest Miller Lite (which I figure must have been quickly gaining popularity around that time). It's crazy to me how different things are now, you would never go to a club these days and see 90% non-light beer in people's hands (in America at least). Even Bud Light is noticeably losing popularity to Michelob Ultra, which is an even lighter beer.

    I try to look for beer in modern movies/TV too, but it seems like they typically avoid showing brand names (which is disappointing to me).
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  2. jesskidden

    jesskidden Poo-Bah (2,515) Aug 10, 2005 New Jersey
    Society Trader

    In '79, #1 Budweiser had 17.5% share of the US beer market (it'd peak in about a decade at just under 27%) and the #6 beer in the country, Miller Lite's share was 6.5% - far and away the largest selling light beer, accounting for around 57% of the segment the previous year (1978). #2 light beer- Anheuser Busch Natural Light (25%) and #3 - Schlitz Light (12%).
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  3. BanquetEnjoyer

    BanquetEnjoyer Initiate (26) Jul 14, 2022 New York

    Was Budweiser's popularity in the 60s and 70s driven by the young/hip crowd? It seems like the percentage of beers consumed by hippie types in that era (based on photos and videos from back then) is much higher than just 17.5% Budweiser

    Even these homeless counterculture youth in 1968 are all drinking Buds
  4. jesskidden

    jesskidden Poo-Bah (2,515) Aug 10, 2005 New Jersey
    Society Trader

    Well, sure - why else would AB pick the hippest cat around to be their spokesman during that era? Dig those crazy threads!

    As for the hip kids, the industry was worried that they were losing their traditional largest segment of the market - see WILL POT REPLACE BEER? (Lots of young people also preferred a cheap, sweet wine like Ripple or that Apple-flavored stuff as an accompaniment with marijuana. Or so I've read.:grin:)

    As for beer in movies, there's 20 pages of discussion on the topic from the past decade or so over at Beer in TV shows & movies (and I suspect the Mods will soon move this thread over there).
  5. Flashy

    Flashy Devotee (486) Oct 22, 2003 Vermont

    70's and 80's are old movies?!
  6. steveh

    steveh Poo-Bah (3,574) Oct 8, 2003 Illinois

    :grin: I've been watching the collected series of The Rockford Files and Starsky & Hutch for my workout distraction -- 1974 thru 1980 (+/-). I'm surprised at how old they seem, yet how much certain subjects haven't changed.

    To the beer being supped from cans and bottles, they're all fake-label containers, but there are a lot of old signs in the backgrounds of bar scenes.

    I just avert my eyes when the camera pans a gas station and the price signs. :wink:
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  7. Providence

    Providence Champion (815) Feb 24, 2010 Rhode Island

    I have nothing to contribute beyond this:

  8. jesskidden

    jesskidden Poo-Bah (2,515) Aug 10, 2005 New Jersey
    Society Trader

    Hey, me, too. Some early episodes had Rocky and Jim drinking Coors (or a look-a-like, like the one below right) but they later switched to those red, sometimes blue, fake beer cans that are supposed to mimic Budweiser (similar to the below cans). Same brand Oscar drank on The Odd Couple.
    But there's a scene at a Mexican restaurant with bottles of Dos Equis w/the old foil neck in a later episode.

    A favorite beer scene - in one of the episodes with Isaac Hayes playing an ex-con who was in prison with Rockford, the Hayes character gets mad and crushes a beer can with his bare hand. Jim says something to the effect of: "Hey, beer cans are made out of aluminum these days. Anybody can do that."
  9. steveh

    steveh Poo-Bah (3,574) Oct 8, 2003 Illinois

    I think I remember that one too -- Jim and Angel sitting at a tall bar table, Angel scarfing down food 'cause Jim is paying? :grin:
    Good ol' Gandolph (Gandolf?) Fitch. Only man who couldn't be put down by a Hollywood punch. :wink:

    Wasn't there a fake Oly can, too? I think I remember S&H on a fishing retreat with those cans or bottles.
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  10. cjgiant

    cjgiant Poo-Bah (6,035) Jul 13, 2013 District of Columbia

    Ha! My first thought was about the movies I watch on TCM, but didn’t think that made a lot of sense (don’t also recall much branding, more draught). Then as I further read the OP, I initially thought like you, but then also figured, they are pushing towards 50 years old.
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  11. tolar111

    tolar111 Crusader (779) Aug 17, 2008 New York

    Clint Eastwood was an Olympia fan, he even shared it with his orangutan


    He shared one with George Kennedy in The Eiger Sanction


    Dirty Harry drank Olympia


    He had a few with Jeff Bridges in Thunderbolt and Lightfoot

    #11 tolar111, Jul 22, 2022
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2022
  12. steveh

    steveh Poo-Bah (3,574) Oct 8, 2003 Illinois

    Right turn, Clyde. :slight_smile:

    Eiger Sanction and Thunderbolt -- 2 very underrated Eastwood movies.

    What do you suppose he was drinking in High Plains Drifter? :grin:
  13. tolar111

    tolar111 Crusader (779) Aug 17, 2008 New York

    On set whiskey and just a wild guess, off set Olympia?
  14. steveh

    steveh Poo-Bah (3,574) Oct 8, 2003 Illinois

    Well, I was thinking of the scene outside the tavern when he's watching the practice attack.

    "You're going to look awful silly with that knife sticking out of your ass." :grin:

    Actually looks like it could be Oly. :grin:
  15. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (5,617) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    What!?! :astonished:

    No mention yet of the movie Jaws (1975) and Narragansett beer?


    Crush it like Quint:


  16. HammsMeASAP

    HammsMeASAP Initiate (151) Jun 14, 2012 Minnesota

    Fast Times at Ridgemont High: Spicoli is drinking Hamm's when he crashes Jefferson's Camaro.
  17. Rollmeaway2loadout

    Rollmeaway2loadout Disciple (355) Jan 30, 2016 Illinois

    Miller Lite - Tastes Great, Less Filling commercials showed many actors and sports stars drinking their beer. I thought in this era Budweiser beer was more an old man's beer.
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  18. draheim

    draheim Poo-Bah (3,069) Sep 18, 2010 Washington

    Oh. I thought you meant old movies. I’m a big fan of films from the ‘30s and ‘40s and, while I don’t pay close attention to brands, I’ve noticed that it was far more common back then to serve beer in a heavy, thick chalice than it is now. Much classier presentation. The head on those beers is also always outstanding, though that could just be Hollywood magic.
  19. steveh

    steveh Poo-Bah (3,574) Oct 8, 2003 Illinois

    Call Northside 777 (@draheim) -- watch for Jimmy Stewart to walk into his home, pull a Schlitz (IIRC) longneck out of his fridge, pop the cap on a cabinet mounted (IIRC) bottle opener and toss the cap into the kitchen sink.

    Into the sink? :thinking_face:

    @jesskidden -- you'd love seeing all of the old Southside Chicago taverns in this flick.
  20. draheim

    draheim Poo-Bah (3,069) Sep 18, 2010 Washington

    It was the ‘40s. They’d just beaten both the Nazis and the Japanese. They smoked three packs a day, never wore seatbelts, drank whiskey at work, and put bottle caps down the drain.
  21. steveh

    steveh Poo-Bah (3,574) Oct 8, 2003 Illinois

    Well, it was filmed in the 40s, but the story took place in the 30s -- not sure where the lines blurred.

    But bottle caps into the sink? Even without a disposal that doesn't seem smart. :grin:
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  22. moodenba

    moodenba Defender (603) Feb 2, 2015 New York

    Never wore seat belts? Never heard of them! I was ahead of my time when, in 1970, I had Sears install seatbelts into the front seats of my 61 chev. I'm probably lucky I didn't have occasion to test the quality of the belt anchors.
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  23. mactrail

    mactrail Poo-Bah (12,141) Mar 24, 2009 Washington
    Moderator Society Trader

    As long as we're weaving down Memory Lane, it was Spañada (red) and Tyrolia (white) that were the preferred glug for an after-dark date on the grass in the park.
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  24. jesskidden

    jesskidden Poo-Bah (2,515) Aug 10, 2005 New Jersey
    Society Trader

    Well, check the websites of the old Chicago water analytics for the 1940s results. That thin sheet steel was no match for Lake Michigan water back then, rusted over night. "What are these brown crumbs in the sink - did somebody have chocolate cake last night after I went to bed!" Ditto for the biodegradable cork inner liner glued in with organic adhesive made from Trigger's relatives.

    (Came across one of those "Outdoorsman" newspaper columns from the '60s one day and the writer was complaining about those new e-z-open "aluminum" beer cans. "Take the aluminum beer can, that never rusts away, and the tab-opener, also aluminum, that can be found by bare feet on every beach in the land." Different way to look at it - at least steel cans rotted away... eventually - and needing a church-key, didn't leave sharp little bits all over the ground.)

    The "little woman" (mother, wife or girl friend - who arrives in the early AM, no sleep-overs for her!) will scoop that out in the morning, along with the potato peels, onion skins, pork chop bones and cigarette butts while she's frying bacon and eggs, bakes homemade bread, fresh squeezes some oranges for juice and grinds coffee beans for the percolator while he's still asleep.
  25. jesskidden

    jesskidden Poo-Bah (2,515) Aug 10, 2005 New Jersey
    Society Trader

  26. moodenba

    moodenba Defender (603) Feb 2, 2015 New York

    I liked the Oly commercial from the 70s where the brand was the favorite of a less heralded bunch. After a short clip of a beach tag football game was shown, the announcer proclaimed Oly to be the official beer of the "Stinson Beach Chargers". Oly was premium priced in CA (Coors, Bud), but popular priced in the Northwest (Blitz, Rainier, Lucky, Heidelberg). In Five Easy Pieces, Nicholson and friends drank Lucky in CA too. By the time Five Easy Pieces came out in the 70s, Lucky's popularity had fallen all up and down the coast. I doubt that the thrifty Lucky owners S&P sprung for product placement there.
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  27. cyclonece09

    cyclonece09 Poo-Bah (2,494) Aug 5, 2008 Wisconsin

    There are a few episodes of Cheers where Samuel Adams can be seen. Probably in the later seasons.
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  28. StJamesGate

    StJamesGate Poo-Bah (5,015) Oct 8, 2007 New York

    In The Deer Hunter, Rolling Rock is not just the beer everyone's drinking at the wedding reception, but is endorsed by name as "a good beer" by De Niro's character.

    Reads to me as correct for SW Pennsylvania in the late 60s.
  29. jesskidden

    jesskidden Poo-Bah (2,515) Aug 10, 2005 New Jersey
    Society Trader

    And the Viet Cong (or were they North Vietnamese regulars? Been awhile...) were drinking Miller High Life. :grin: I told people the movie wasn't about Vietnam at all, but was a parable about the brewing industry, the good guys (small local/regional brewers*) vs the bad guys (Oligopolist national brewers, in Miller's case one owned by a tobacco company :astonished:).

    Not many people bought my interpretation, tho'. :wink:

    *Latrobe was still owned by the Tito family - didn't sell out until the '80s - first to an Orange Juice company (blanking on the name, but you know it), which sold to Labatt, one of the Canadian Big 3.

    "Good" - maybe. "Better" would have been Stoney's, Esquire or Straub's. Heck, I'd take fresh Iron City over Rolling Rock back then.

    WCKDVBZ Meyvn (1,491) May 9, 2014 South Carolina

    Thank you all for making me feel young! :grin:
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  31. Ozzylizard

    Ozzylizard Poo-Bah (4,949) Oct 5, 2013 Pennsylvania
    Society Trader

    Regionally correct but never a good beer - then it was Iron City!
  32. Irish_Lush

    Irish_Lush Initiate (75) Jan 2, 2022

    Bud obviously dominates the screen. The namesake beer of your profile Coors Banquet is really popular in '80s action movies like Cobra, Lethal Weapon, Lone Wolf McQuade, Sudden Impact, and low budget exploitation films from the '70s. High Life seems to be more popular in slightly more indie fare like Do the Right Thing, China Moon, but it made it into Road House which is an actionish cult classic. I remember them drinking PBR in Marty from the '50s.
  33. Irish_Lush

    Irish_Lush Initiate (75) Jan 2, 2022

    Love the beverages in Repo Man.
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  34. ChicagoJ

    ChicagoJ Poo-Bah (1,849) Feb 2, 2015 Illinois

    Early Grayce played by Brad Pitt was a Lucky Lager fan in the 1993 film Kalifornia. Sadly, Early never was served a Lucky Lager on-screen, but came close in the second clip.

    1:04 in

    Entire scene
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  35. spicoli00

    spicoli00 Defender (641) Jul 6, 2005 Indiana

  36. zid

    zid Poo-Bah (1,778) Feb 15, 2010 New York
    Society Trader

    This might look familiar to @TongoRad :slight_smile:
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  37. TongoRad

    TongoRad Poo-Bah (2,994) Jun 3, 2004 New Jersey
    Society Trader

    Watch out for bottles with mice, eh!
    Perfect timing! :sweat_smile:
    I just saw @zid on Saturday and I was wearing an Elsinore t shirt. If you weren't familiar with the movie you'd think it was for a real beer.
  38. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (5,617) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    Another 'fake' beer that appears in movies/TV shows is Penzburg:


    I believe this beer made an appearance in the movie Superbad where McLovin discussed:

    “You know, I heard they recently decided to add more hops to it ...”

  39. lastmango

    lastmango Champion (844) Dec 11, 2014 Pennsylvania

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  40. BanquetEnjoyer

    BanquetEnjoyer Initiate (26) Jul 14, 2022 New York

    I thought everyone in Do the Right thing was drinking MGD