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Ad-ventures in beer promotion

Our History: August 1961

Acceptance of advertisements for alcoholic beverages was sometimes a controversial subject for delegates at meetings of Manitoba Pool Elevators, the Co-operator’s former owner. Some argued that it should not carry alcohol ads, but others pointed out that it would be hypocritical for a company to on one hand refuse beer ads while on the other handle and ship malting barley.

Indeed, we reported in August 1961 that MPE had expressed displeasure that the premium paid by maltsters had been cut from five to three cents per bushel.

In any case, in accordance with the law at the time, this advertisement in our August 3, 1961 issue did not mention or promote beer consumption, but by promoting consumption of rolls made from Manitoba wheat and spread with Manitoba butter, Molson’s no doubt hoped farmers would look favourably on its products when visiting their local beer vendor.

The severe drought of 1961 was evident in coverage that month. A photo showed that “reminiscent of the 1930s,” Russian thistle had taken over most of a wheat field a few miles west of Highway 10. Agriculture Minister Alvin Hamilton said that despite the drought, feed grain supply was strong and that cattle had been the “saving grace” of the industry that year. However, he later announced that permits would be issued for importing oats from the U.S. The Manitoba government said straw was in good supply overall for the province, but that “livestockmen” needing supplies should contact others who had a surplus.

The slight upside from the drought was the low infestation of rust that year — as of Aug. 9 none could be found in southern Manitoba.

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