Pre-Pro: Before 1919
Advertising before Prohibition (Pre-Pro) was limited to saloon signs, billboard signs and print. Radio wasn't widely used until the 1920's and television was first used in the Cincinnati market in 1948. It can be difficult to find advertising for many brewers before Prohibition. However, several examples have been found for the Bavarian Brewery, as described below.
The ads Bavarian used to promote its beers in newspapers before Prohibition are challenging to find. Many newspapers in the late 1800's and early 1900's were not archived. Those that were, are often not converted to digital format and are unavailable online. Those that have been found include those in the Williams Directory, various newspapers (both English and German) and a theater program. They provide an indication of the type of print advertising Bavarian conducted before 1919. There are a great deal more print ads available after Prohibition, as presented in the other ad periods.
The Williams Directory provided comprehensive listings of both residences and businesses for both Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky. Often businesses would take out an ad that would appear in this directory. These ads help show the progression of the Bavarian Brewery under different owners until it became the Bavarian Brewing Co. in 1889.
1882-3. This ad is for the Bavarian Brewery listing only John Meyer as Proprietor. Besides being a brewer of Lager Beer, the ad also mentions the firm is a maltster and dealer in hops. William Riedlin actually made an investment in Bavarian Brewery in 1882. However, it was probably after the ad was placed.
1884-5. The proprietors of the Bavarian Brewery were officially noted as Meyer & Riedlin in this year. They offered a "Celebrated Meyer & Riedlin Lager." (Please see Pre-Prohibition Signs and the Wm Riedlin Years.) This Meyer & Riedlin partnership lasted unil 1889, when Wm. Riedlin established the Bavarian Brewing Co. and acquired controlling interest.
1904-5. The brewer is no longer referred to as Bavarian Brewery, but as the Bavarian Brewing. Co. (beginning in 1889). This ad refers to Genuine Bairisch Beer and that the brewery also offered Ale, Porter and ice. Additionally, it lists the officers of the brewery.
1908-9. The officers of the brewery list W. Riedlin, Jr., as Vice-Pres., instead of Anton Ruh, as in the previous ad above. However, Anton Ruh remained as the brewmaster. Apparently, the reference to the brewery's beer also changed from Bairisch Beer to Standard Bavarian Beer. At this time, Riedlin's Select Beer was also offered.
There were various newspapers used by Bavarian for ads. Some examples of these are displayed below.
Kentucky Post: In 1907 several ads for Bavarian Beer were placed in this paper, including a few as shown that indicated Standard Bavarian Beer received serial number 8453 under the National Pure Food Law. Some promotional material, as indicated in a pamphlet shown below, promoted that Bavarian beverages were "Pure" and "Good", which may have been connected to Bavarian receiving this serial number under the National Pure Food Law. Interestingly, it is believed that there was an intent to use this number on the barrel that was part of the Bavarian Brewing Co. trademark. However, often the number 6453 appears instead, possibly because over the years it was unclear if the first number was an 8 or a 6. In addition there were other ads during this year as shown below. Within a few years, or possibly as early as December, 1907, as indicated in the last ad below, this brewery omitted the term "Standard" and simply referred to this product as Bavarian Beer. It was also referred to at times as Bavarian Style Beer.