When beer was a drink for children

18 Oct

(Translated from the El País Spanish newspaper article here, using Google Translate and Microsoft Translator.)

by Jaime Rubio Hancock – October 13, 2014


The above advertisement for Damm beers in the late ’60s, promoting a contest to win a trip to Cape Kennedy, is illustrated with a family getting ready to sit down to a meal, and making use of four glasses of beer. Yes, four: the children also have theirs.

That is not the only example of advertising featuring children with glasses and beer bottles: for example, the following ad for Cruzcampo, from 1961, according to the company which owns the brand, Heineken Spain. It depicts four children sharing a litre with joy and good humour, “Because Mom always brings home Cruzcampo.”


Why always Cruzcampo? Because it “helps give a rosy complexion.” And it is for everyone. FOR ALL.


Today, these images from half a century ago are shocking, but there is an explanation. “These ads began in the 1960s and 1970s,” said Fede Segarra, communications director for Damm, “when beer started to become popular in Spain” and enter homes, coinciding with the highest number of refrigerators.

In fact, both Damm and Cruzcampo’s campaigns focused on their one litre format. “Above all, they wanted to promote beer as a family drink”, said Segarra, as you can see in the following advertisement for Eagle Beer, also owned by the Heineken group.


In fact, until the mid-90s, it was common for schools to visit breweries. “Beer has always had a very close relationship with the citizen”, explains Segarra, given that almost every large city had its own factory in the 1950s. “Both then and now, breweries supported cultural activities and had and have many links with society.”

Spain was not the only country with this type of advertising. In fact, Spain was late to both beer consumption and ads with children. The following 1906 ad from the American brand Rainier promoted beer as a beneficial drink for both young and old.


And the following Blatz Beer ad from 1916 promoted the nutritional values of beer malt to mothers and babies.


Heineken Spain stressed that such campaigns were from “a time when there was still lack of knowledge about the effects of alcohol, especially on children.” Damm’s Segarra adds that it was “not given so much importance then as now. There was a more open relationship”, which has mostly changed “by the evolution of society, which is more orderly and safe”.

Both Damm and Heineken argue they’ve spent years promoting responsible drinking through the association of manufacturers, Brewers of Spain, since they signed a code of self-regulation in Europe in the mid-1990s. This code stipulates that no advertising will be done depicting children and children’s activities, nor associating drinking with driving motorized vehicles. i.e. everything wrong with the following ad from the 1960s.


Although it is possible that the child is taking the glass of Damm AFTER the race.

In any case, beer is still a beverage for all. For all over 18, of course.



Posted by on October 18, 2014 in Uncategorized


25 responses to “When beer was a drink for children

  1. Will S.

    October 18, 2014 at 4:06 pm

    Reblogged this on Will S.' Random Weirdness Blog.

  2. A.B Prosper

    October 18, 2014 at 4:55 pm

    Fun article.

    Still its not that odd really,low alcohol beer and dilute wine has been given to children since well beer existed, It was safer than the water and probably pretty good for them

    Its only since anti-alcohol temperance loons vetted by their corporate masters in industry (industrialism is greedy for productivity) got hold of the culture was this thought to be wrong.

    Now I’m mostly a teetotaler and even if allowed wouldn’t give it to my kids I also would have any issue with parents giving wine or beer to young people either. If done right it would lead to a healthier relationship with liquor and probably less drug abuse overall.

  3. Will S.

    October 18, 2014 at 5:30 pm

    Indeed, I was surprised how surprised they were. Granted, they’re not Germans, who still, as always, give their children a little beer, but the French have long given their children wine, I’m sure Spaniards have, as well.

    But yes, I blame the rise of the global corporate monoculture – which, because it is Anglo-American, has spread Anglo-Saxon evangelical ‘temperance’ (i.e. abstinence) values across the globe… Thus, we don’t have ‘three martini lunches’ any more, since the ’60s, and a lot of people eschew having a beer or glass of wine when out at lunch on workdays, because of the possible consequences that might ensue back at work if some zealot notices the smell on their breath…

    I think the traditional continental European attitudes of yesteryear were indeed healthier for a society; just compare any continental country with Britain, which went through a temperance movement, yet once again has a huge binge drinking culture among the youth in particular… I’m sure the Spaniards are actually quite temperate, in comparison (there’s the correct meaning of temperance – moderation)…

  4. Eric

    October 18, 2014 at 8:02 pm

    “For all over 18 of course.”

    Except in ‘enlightened’ countries like America, where 21 is the legal age.

    It’s 19 for tobacco here too; although 16 y/o’s can get permits for medical marijuana. The taxes on legal marijuana are lower in Washington State than the taxes on tobacco and alcohol. You can smoke marijuana indoors in Washington, but tobacco smoking is banned.

  5. Eric

    October 18, 2014 at 8:04 pm

    With Halloween coming up, I actually remember getting cigarettes in the trick-or-treat bag when I was a kid. We had to learn to hide those, though, because the adults would confiscate those and smoke them themselves.

  6. Eric

    October 18, 2014 at 8:06 pm

    Good point: the PC loons would freak out if a kid was drinking a good European beer; but have no problem with them gulping down High Fructose Corn Syrup-laden soft drinks and getting obese and diabetic as a result.

  7. Will S.

    October 18, 2014 at 8:10 pm

    Except for Alberta, Manitoba, and Quebec, where the limit for purchasing alcohol is 18, in the rest of Canada, it’s 19.

    For purchasing tobacco, we have a mix of some provinces at 18, some at 19.

    21 for alcohol must really suck, for 18-21 year olds. No wonder they come up to Canada. 🙂

    That’s nuts, that you can smoke marijuana indoors, but not tobacco. But progs aren’t big on consistency, are they…

  8. Will S.

    October 18, 2014 at 8:11 pm

    @ Eric: Ha! “Trick or smoke!” 🙂

  9. sfcton

    October 18, 2014 at 9:45 pm

    Beer is still a drink for children. Sometime by around the age of 8-9 a boy should put childish things a way and drink Bourbon and shooting guns like God intended

  10. Will S.

    October 18, 2014 at 9:52 pm


  11. infowarrior1

    October 18, 2014 at 9:53 pm

    @Will S.

    Its seems such a coincidence that the teetalitarians coincidence with feminism. In addition to the social purity movements in the 19th century.

    Composed of angry ugly women.

  12. infowarrior1

    October 18, 2014 at 11:28 pm

    @Will S.

    Its those same women who would like to continually raise the age of consent increasingly infantilizing women for longer and demonizing men for being: “pedos” or being a child molester for liking younger women. They hate competition they are like a business that does not sell well that uses the law to punish customers that shop at a better store and ensure there is not alternative but them.

    • Will S.

      October 18, 2014 at 11:37 pm


      The sad thing is, how they manage to manipulate other women into going along with their harebrained ideology; at least, the parts that further their perceived interests, following the feminine imperative.

  13. Eric

    October 19, 2014 at 2:21 am

    Will & Infowarrior:

    Here’s a great article on that very subject:

  14. feeriker

    October 19, 2014 at 2:04 pm

    Heineken Spain stressed that such campaigns were from “a time when there was still lack of knowledge about the effects of alcohol, especially on children.” Damm’s Segarra adds that it was “not given so much importance then as now. There was a more open relationship”, which has mostly changed “by the evolution of society, which is more orderly and safe”.

    Pffft. Pure PC verbal vomitus, almost certainly scripted by a Norteamerikano (or more likely, a Norteamerikana).

    In all my many years of living in Europe, I can count on the fingers of one hand, with several left to spare, the number of times I ever saw European teenagers getting blind, stupid, falling-down, wallowing-in-vomit drunk. American teenagers in Europe? They did what they do best: serve as walking, breathing examples of how moronically counterproductive Amerika’s drinking age laws are while at the same time living the “ugly Amerikan” stereotype to its embarrassing fullest.

    I can only conclude that this is an example of the global elites using the worst aspects of Amoricon culture to undermine the best of Europe’s culture.

  15. sfcton

    October 19, 2014 at 2:20 pm

    Oddly enough Free, I did not restrict my kids (with in reason) and so far neither has owned up to drinking as teenagers outside my home and control. My son has had one hangar…. which is saying something for a kid who left home @ 18 and went into the Ranger Regiment

  16. feeriker

    October 19, 2014 at 2:40 pm


    It sounds like you did with your kids what my dad did with me at 16 and what I’m going to do with my grandson in a couple of years when he reaches that age: introduce them to beer and wine, let them drink whatever of it they want at home (within reason) and buy it for them in moderate amounts. Amazingly, I never felt the urge to abuse alcohol, unlike my friends whose parents treated it as something that’s deadly poison to the teenage body until the day they turn 21, at which point it instantly and magically becomes harmless at worst or beneficial at best.

    Americans and their schizopuritanic attitude toward alcohol is the stuff of amusement to the civilized world.

  17. Will S.

    October 19, 2014 at 4:14 pm

    @ feeriker: Indeed.

    It would seem Spain’s business elites have bought into the same prog nonsense as our North American ones, alas…

  18. Will S.

    October 19, 2014 at 8:41 pm

    @ feeriker: “Americans and their schizopuritanic attitude toward alcohol is the stuff of amusement to the civilized world.”

    Indeed. The Brits have the same attitude; somehow, we Canadians managed to excape that, despite having some similar tendencies in our laws, bureaucratic holdovers from our Methodist heritage. These have faded, though, as time has gone on.

    Canadians like to drink, and sometimes to excess, but on the whole, I think we’re fairly moderate.


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