Guinness is Good for Nips

Read Bros. Dog's Head, found on Jess Kidden's Guinness in America site.

Read Bros. Dog’s Head, found on Jess Kidden’s Guinness in America site.

Our old friend Jess Kidden dropped in to share this nip nugget: “The word NIP is a trade-marked name owned by Read Bros. And may not be used on any other brand than Dog’s Head.” The full clip can be found on his Guinness in America site. He added that he:

Came across a booklet put out by one of the US importers of Guinness and Bass in the immediate post-Repeal era the other day.  Alex B. Shaw, Inc. imported the Guinness bottled by Read Bros., Ltd. of London under the Dog’s Head label (from my research, it seems that the Guinness bottled and imported from E. J. Burke might have been more prevalent in the US market).

Funnily enough, the day after we received this email, we saw a replica metal sign for Dog’s Head. Glad to know that, had we been around exactly 80 years ago, we could’ve bought a carton of either 4-dozen nips of Guinness or Bass.

This claim by Dog’s Head also made Kidden remark, “Makes me want to go through my files and see how many US brewers’ ads used ‘Nip’ specifically (as opposed to the casual use by consumers, bars, etc).  Off hand, the first one I thought of was this Butte ad:”

Thanks for keeping the nips slippin’, Kidden.

Submitted by Jess Kidden

Submitted by Jess Kidden

All the Nips Fit to Print #4: Yuengling Porter

Taking a page (yes, pun intended) from Jay Brooks’s Beer in ads series, we welcome you to a series on vintage nip (or ponies, splits, pocket torpedoes, etc) print ads, sales sheet, and labels.

We came into this wellspring courtesy of a home-historian by the nom de bière Jess Kidden. Here we have two different labels from Yuengling, America’s Oldest Brewery (1829) as well as the largest independent brewing company in the country (which you might only know of if you live in one of the 13 eastern states they’re distributed in or you’ve read about them). Both labels are from their Porter. Curiously, the 8-oz bottle is referred to as a “Brownie” package. My only guess is that rather than their usual green bottle, they put the brown porter in a better, brown bottle. The other one is also curious and I wish I knew which came first. Instead of a whopping 8 ounces, the other one touting the beer as “wholesome and refreshing” was packaged 7 ounces at a time. Either way, it’s sure more responsible than the quart bottles you still can find in Pennsylvania to date.NIPYuenglingPorter2

All the Nips Fit to Print #3: PA nip sales

Taking a page (yes, pun intended) from Jay Brooks’s Beer in ads series, we welcome you to a series on vintage nip (or ponies, splits, pocket torpedoes, etc) print ads, sales sheet, and labels. We came into this wellspring courtesy of a home-historian by the nom de bière Jess Kidden. Here we have a sales sheet from a Pennsylvania distributor from 1954.

ImageInteresting to note that of the 19 “Premium Beers,” only 4 of those breweries remain (Coors wouldn’t reach that market for another 27 years.) But best of all, Jess Kidden has highlighted the “7-oz bottle beers” section! 21 different nips featured on their sales sheet including some well-known brands like Bud and Rolling Rock (now owned by ABI) to revered brands of yesteryear like Ballantine to ones lost in the Dustbin of History such as Goebel, Catasaqua Old Dutch, and one I’d love to try just for the name, Short Snorter.

“57 Famous Brands.” And over a third were available in nips.

All the Nips Fit to Print #2: Goebel Beer

Taking a page (yes, pun intended) from Jay Brooks’s Beer in ads series, we welcome you to a series on vintage nip (or ponies, splits, pocket torpedoes, etc) print ads, sales sheet, and labels.

We came into this wellspring courtesy of a home-historian by the nom de bière Jess Kidden. Here we have Goebel Beer, from the brewery that operated in Detroit from 1936-1964, before its eventual acquisition by Stroh’s. We love the copy in this ad from 1948:

It’s Goebel Beer…the good-tasting beer in the original Bantam bottle

Try it for size…it’s 7 ounces, one good glassful!

Try it for taste…it’s right from the cypress casks at Goebel!

Taste the reason why Goebel outsells all other beer in small bottles! Learn why Goebel is nationally famous for good taste!…

Image!

All the Nips Fit to Print #1: Anchor Old Foghorn

Let’s say that some great brewer devised a clever beer, say, adding orange peel and coriander to a wheat beer and next thing you know, everyone’s making a Belgian Witbier. In this vein–but on the beer blogger side–taking a page (yes, pun intended) from Jay Brooks’s Beer in ads series (presently well over 500 posts strong), we welcome you to a new series on vintage nip (or ponies, splits, pocket torpedoes, etc) print ads, sales sheet, and labels.

We came into this wellspring courtesy of a home-historian by the nom de bière Jess Kidden. It’s only proper to start with an early label of Anchor Old Foghorn, the first craft Barley Wine brewed in America and still one of the absolute best. Anchor first brewed it in 1975 and sold its first bottles in 1976. In keeping with the tradition of English Barley Wines, Old Foghorn came in 6.3-oz nips, I believe for the first 30 years. Behold the tiny glory.