These are rich days for beer: there's never been more variety, innovative small breweries, and great drinks at our fingertips. And while we don't miss the lack of variety, we do miss seeing our favorite beers compete for the spotlight with great commercials. Although the way companies try to sell us beer on television has evolved over the years — with more money and better technology to produce commercials — the message has always been the same: buy this specific brand of beer over all the others. Whether through gags, catchy songs, celebrity endorsements, or tugging at the viewer’s heartstrings, these classic advertisements represent the best of the art of beer commercials.
Patrick Swayze Disco Dancing for Pabst Blue Ribbon, 1979
Long before Dirty Dancing, even longer before Point Break, and over 30 years before cool kids in Brooklyn and Portland were toasting cans of PBR, the Milwaukee beer tried to convince drinkers that they were hip by featuring a then-unknown Patrick Swayze dancing the night away to promote the brand.
Dos Equis Gives Us The Most Interesting Man in the World
You know a beer commercial is truly great when you walk into a bar, see the beer, and instantly repeat the tagline. When you see Dos Equis, it's difficult not to think of the most interesting recurring beer commercial character in the world.
Lone Star Shows Us Texas in the Early-1980s
When you think Texas, BBQ, football, and cowboy hats usually spring to mind. This 1980s commercial for the state's official beer, Lone Star, hits a lot of those things, making sure you know where the beer comes from.
Errol Morris Gets Artsy With The Champagne of Beers
One of the greatest living documentary filmmakers made a series of commercials for "The High Life Man" from 1998 to 2005. Watch them all if you have some time.
Michelob and the Ultimate 1990s Beer Commercial
A Los Angeles hockey team winning an unnamed trophy nearly twenty years before the Kings would kiss the Stanley Cup, a quick shot of a lady with apes hanging all over her, three guys dancing in sync: yeah, this came out in 1992.
The Red Stripe Ambassador's Island Wisdom
Just like the bottles of beer they're designed to sell, these spots featuring The Red Stripe Ambassador are short and do the trick, and make you wish you could drink beers on the beach.
Guinness Teaches You How to Round Up Your Mates
Getting your friends together to have a few beers can sometime prove a more difficult task than it should be. For this St. Patrick's Day spot from a few years back, featuring the Irish countryside and a lot of great Barbour jackets, the world's most famous stout shows you it's easier than you think. All you need is a herding dog.
Narragansett's Catchy Jingle
You could see the New England staple in bars everywhere this summer, proof that 'Gansett is experiencing a new cultural appreciation the way PBR did a decade ago. But before that, the beer that's "Sold on Merit" got the word out with this catchy jingle that will pop back into your head when you least expect it.
The Party Animal
First appearing in a 1987 Super Bowl commercial, the most popular Bull Terrier ever was named Honey Tree Evil Eye in real life.
All of the Budweiser Clydesdale Commercials
The famous clydesdales have been galloping for Budweiser since the 1930s, but starting in 1986, the horses have been as big a part of Super Bowl tradition as just about anything you can think of.