Forbes

Posted on 4/7/14

1705

Beer: the reason sleepy people congregate under the dimly-lit lights of a bar, an acceptable excuse for scrawny men to watch the Superbowl, and the leading creators of advertising gold since the Flintstones were caught smoking. We gathered up some of the greatest beer commercials from the 1950s onward and ranked them on a scale from awesome to mega-awesome. These are twenty beer commercials that just totally nailed it. 

Youtube/ChrisFranklin
20. Pabst Blue Ribbon
Well, now you know about the time Patrick Effing Swayze was in a PBR commercial. You can die in peace. Damn, that man could lay some pipe on the dance floor. Figuratively... but also probably literally. 
Youtube/85AussieMan
19. Carlton Draught 
"At normal speed, men look really ugly. Is this ad still going? When will it end. I still keep singing, because I love slow-motion." That's some nice social commentary there, Carlton. 
Youtube/ChrisDorph
18. Colt 45
Honestly, we would drink battery acid if 80s-era Billy Dee Williams told us to. His smooth voice just radiates badassery and we'll forgive him for what he did to Han Solo. 
Youtube/RonaldoCunha
17. Coors Light
This commercial pioneered the movement of loving twins — before then, we just viewed them as biological anomalies. 
Youtube/Videos0wnit
16. Guinness 
It's a little tacky to label things as "epic" these days... but there are no other ways to describe the magnificence that this commercial is. It's literally a journey through time!
Youtube/IWantMooreRetro
15. Rheingold
Not only did these guys cater to the NYC-loving neighborhood junkies, but they also used stop-motion animation which was like... equivalent to the CGI madness of Transformers back in the 1950s.
Youtube/JessiePulgarin
14. St. Ides
"Get your jimmy thicker with St. Ides malt liquor." This line actually made it onto national television. Oh, Ice Cube, is there anything you can't do? Aside from not starring in awful movies, that is. 
Youtube/Rtrt67
13. Budweiser 
Making fun of the bougie imported beer-loving WASPs of the upper-class and the bro-heavy culture of Bud all once, this commercials totally gets it. 
Youtube/BeingHumansAds
12. Dos Equis
Sure, it's pretty much a ripoff of those "Chuck Norris facts" that circulated the Internet in the 2000s, but this man is just so damn good. More importantly, Dos Equis sparked a "most interesting man" meme that's still making the rounds on websites, texts, and probably sexts?
Youtube/Graffiti62
11. Miller High Life
It's hard to really pin down what the "high life" is, but this series of spots by the legendary documentarian Errol Morris helped show us what it was all about. Manly without the bro and tough without the bully, it's a look into the manly world of the MHL lover. 
Youtube/KaDo92
10. Red Stripe
Sometimes, as a brand, you've got to go the metaphysical, self-aware route to properlyrepresent yourself. Red Stripe knows their game and they know that it's what inside that counts — or whatever. 
Youtube/RobatSea2009
9. Hamm's
This is literally a commercial about a guy chilling with a bear. WHO APPROVED THIS AND CAN WE SHAKE THEIR HAND?!
Youtube/MikeJacobs
8. Bud Light
Bleeping out swears is never not funny and the last scene just kills us.  
Youtube/OldCommercials
7. Carling Black Label
It's like Mad Men before Mad Men was a thing! The kicker is the psychiatrist who thinks it's cool to break for a beer midway during a session, and also the apron-clad wife character. Oh, how times have changed. 
Youtube/AdAgencyTV
6. Keystone Light
You're lying if you say this hasn't happened to you at one point in your life. LIAR. 
Youtube/CoorsLightQuincy
5. Stroh's
Woooooo! Pizza! Friday night! Bowling! Hot chicks! Pool! We're pretty sure this commercial was playing on an endless loop in the head of every high-level Wall Street exec during 1983. Also, has anyone else heard of Stroh's beer? Because it looks like a typo. 
Youtube/ChromeFunny
4. Heineken
Look, say what you will about sexism — but it cancels itself out when it happens on both sides at once. Hooray for sexism! 
Youtube/MediaBistro
3. Old Milwaukee
Will Ferrell literally says one word and has us cracking up. That man is made out of good vibes and dad-shorts.
Youtube/SuperbowlAdsMan
2. Budweiser
Think about it: some person probably casually suggested a commercial where frogs just say "Budweiser." And now that person sleeps with a quilt woven with hundred-dollar bills. 
Youtube/Aguachicorio
1. Budweiser
This is the one that started it all. It was like Budweiser execs were like: "Oh yeah, let's make a thing people will say throughout the entire decade of the 1990s." Nailed. It. 


The only thing Jeremy Glass enjoys more than writing about beer is ice cream. Check out the Vice section for some visual gold. 

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