SIGNS: OUTDOOR, PAINTED ON WALLS & BILLBOARDS
A popular means of advertising even before Prohibition was placing outdoor signs on walls, fences or boards. Examples of some of various outdoor signs for the Bavarian Brewring Co.'s beers are presented below.
OUTDOOR LIGHTED SIGNS
Bars were typically located on corners and they often had outdoor signs that would indicate the name of the establishment and/or the name of the beer that was served at the establishment.
Besides the photo of the electric Trolley, on the upper right of the photo is a Bavarian Beer neon sign. It is on the corner of the building and at the entrance to a bar and package liquor store. This sign was extended from the building at an angle so it could be seen from any street on this corner. Outdoor signs, both lighted and non-lighted, were also used for Bavarian Beer before Prohibition.
EXTERIOR WALL SIGNS
One of the easiest ways of creating an outdoor sign is on material that already exist, like a building wall or fence.
One of the earliest outdoor wall signs known was placed on a building wall in 1913 next to Federal Field, the home of the Covington Blue Sox professional baseball team. This sign was recreated on one of the outdoor Roebling Murals, as shown on the right. Interestingly, this is an image of an outdoor sign on an outdoor mural.
It was not uncommon for beer signs to be painted on the sides of taverns in Covington, KY, and elsewhere around the country. In 1964, just a couple years before the Bavarian Brewery closed, some signs were placed on the sides of taverns where Bavarian was served. At that time, the the brewery was operated by International Breweries Inc. (IBI) and their slogan was as shown on the signs below. Even though Bavarian Beer no longer became available shortly thereafter, some taverns located near the former brewery not only let the signs remain, but they occasionally repainted them. Shown is a recently repainted sign and another that has aged over time.
c. 1970s to Present
The photo on the far left below is a relatively recent outdoor sign, created around 2018. Rather than reflect the name and image for a specific year, it actually reflects a medley of images and a saying that was used within two or three years of one another. The slogan "Flavor... at its finest" was used in 1955-56 with Bavarian's Old Style Beer, and it's label is shown on the bottle held by a man. (Incidentally, the inspiration for a man holding a bottle was probably taken from a similar image on a napkin, which can be viewed at Coasters & Napkins.) However, in 1957 the beer was renamed Bavarian/s, (for Bavarian's Select) and provided with a new three flag label. This sign is located on the 800 block of Main Street in Covington, KY, a few blocks from the former brewery.
After the Bavarian Brewery closed in 1966, the site was used for the sale of industrial equipment, but the buildings were mostly unused. However, the Bavarian Tap Room inside the main building was operated as a bar in the 1970s. A sign advertising this use was on the east side of the Mill House, off 12th Street /MLK Blvd. Even though this bar only operated for several years, this sign remained for much longer, as depicted in the middle photo below. In providing a connection with to the heritage of the Bavarian Brewery and this building that was repurposed for office use in the new Kenton County Government Center, a similar sign was added in the same place it existed before. This new sign was added when this office complex opened in 2019. As shown below, the new sign was sightly modified to reference the beer, and not the non-existent Tap Room that was on the previous sign.