The Vintage High Life | A Continuous Lean.

The Vintage High Life

Jul 1st, 2009 | Categories: Americana, Drinking | by Michael Williams

You see that? That’s “a man’s world” there. Guys out on the town drinking suds and smoking butts in a wood paneled room. Never mind the fact that a few years later our pal Bob (on the left there), probably had a run-in with the old heart disease. At least he has all of those memories of after-work drinking with his good buddy Jack, who seems to be busy chugging that frosty mug. Eventually I bet the fellas loaded into Bob’s 1986 Chrysler station wagon and headed home before their wives got angry.

High_Life_ 02

It is always amusing to look at advertising from days past. The below vintage ads from the 1950s and a few gems from the eighties are interesting. Call me crazy, but I sort of think that the preppy / working 1980s aesthetic (think Sierra Designs meets Mr. Mom) is pretty cool right now. All that aside, check out these ads from my most loved Milwaukee brew and feel free to disagree with me in the comments.

Comments: 26

26 Comments to “The Vintage High Life”

  1. lanceunemode
    on Jul 1st, 2009
    @ 12:56 PM

    That lady serving up a “Western style feast” is about to spoil the High Life with a tossed green salad. As any High Life man will tell you, salad only comes in four varieties: chicken, ham, potato, and macaroni.

  2. Justin
    on Jul 1st, 2009
    @ 12:57 PM

    I love the agony of the man in the bowling one.

    While I too am a highlife man, the coolest advert I’ve seen for a beer hangs on the wall in a local bar called Manuel’s Tavern in Atlanta. It shows a donkey and elephant (I think they’re wearing suits) each holding a Budweiser. The title says “When Gentlemen Agree”.

  3. james fox
    on Jul 1st, 2009
    @ 12:58 PM

    cant get enough of this brandbeer.

  4. Dan
    on Jul 1st, 2009
    @ 1:00 PM

    My friends and I had a half year fling with High Life. The guy burning his mortgage has inspired me to start it up again.

  5. Jeff
    on Jul 1st, 2009
    @ 1:40 PM

    Maybe I’m wrong about this, but the only cans you find with the foil tab are those mini pineapple juices. Always wondered why no company has brought that back. Maybe that’s how I’ll make my first million. I can’t imagine being in a supermarket and not choosing that type of can while looking for a beer. Obvious choice.

    I’m sure there’s a good reason for it, but it’s not one that I care to know.

  6. Aaron
    on Jul 1st, 2009
    @ 1:52 PM

    Those old ads are really good, bring back those old days!

  7. TexasDeb
    on Jul 1st, 2009
    @ 2:35 PM

    I’m stumped – who is that woman in the weirdly short skirt in the mortgage burning and the football watching ad supposed to be? The wife? The maid in costume? No comprendo, amigos.

  8. TexasDeb
    on Jul 1st, 2009
    @ 2:36 PM

    Ah, nevermind. I see who she is – she is THE Miller HL girl. D’oh!

  9. Charles
    on Jul 1st, 2009
    @ 2:50 PM

    The french cuffed button down shirt jumped out at me in the first picture. Love HL, but always seem to grab a ‘Gansett when beer shopping.

  10. Keith
    on Jul 1st, 2009
    @ 3:21 PM

    I love these vintage ads. It doesn’t get much better than this. Cheers!

  11. Rico
    on Jul 1st, 2009
    @ 4:19 PM

    Oh Hell Yes.

  12. Rico
    on Jul 1st, 2009
    @ 4:21 PM

    What’s up with burning the mortgage, btw? Good times.

  13. anotherKeith
    on Jul 1st, 2009
    @ 5:57 PM

    All the food looks great and would not be out of place in summer 2009, except for maybe the fondue. Neither would the gentlemen’s attire, can’t say the same for the ladies. Classic food like classic clothing don’t go out of style. Is Miller HL really good or is it a nostalgia purchase?
    P.S. Dude, keep you fingers off my LP. (That black round thingie near the record player… oh never mind.)

  14. JMA
    on Jul 1st, 2009
    @ 7:19 PM

    No carbonation in pineapple juice, would be my guess.

  15. Lovegasoline
    on Jul 2nd, 2009
    @ 2:13 AM

    There is something sordidly surreal – if not entirely delusional – with the notion of drinking this swill out of Champagne glass in a bowling alley.

    I’m not a beer snob, I’ve paid many a dues with fellow dirtbag climbers drinking Schlitz Master Cylinders, King Cobra, and the venerable OE. But Miller ( a form of drinkable piss) as the ‘Champagne’ of beers is too absurd to contemplate.

  16. nick
    on Jul 2nd, 2009
    @ 8:59 AM

    Grabbing a ‘Gansett means lining the pockets of the world’s worst human. Switch to Highlife Charles.

  17. Kevin
    on Jul 2nd, 2009
    @ 9:02 AM

    Growing up we had an Olds station wagon with wood panel sides. More import though was the built in CB radio. I remember my dad and all his buddies comparing there CBs during the craze. I guess we were rednecks, I even had one in my room I used to talk to truckers with on the interstate. We eventually had the faux wood removed.

    Highlife is good enough but I’ve always been partial to Colorado coolaide, the banquet beer.

  18. Charles
    on Jul 2nd, 2009
    @ 9:41 AM

    Rico – Burning the mortgage meant it was paid off.

    Nick – I thought the old Nantucket Nectar prez owned ‘Gansett. Why is he so bad? Enlighten me.

  19. nick
    on Jul 2nd, 2009
    @ 10:26 AM

    Other investors… I have personal issue with them.

  20. Clint
    on Jul 2nd, 2009
    @ 10:42 AM

    Don’t forget the more recent commercials from Errol Morris

  21. Keeneyefortheobvious
    on Jul 2nd, 2009
    @ 1:00 PM

    This post brings back the memories. While in college, I had a “job” as the Miller Beer campus representative. Imagine getting paid to drink the High Life while in college. Had I not had the job, perhaps I would have graduated quicker.

  22. casper bangs
    on Jul 2nd, 2009
    @ 3:29 PM

    did don draper come up with campaign?

  23. larkabout
    on Jul 2nd, 2009
    @ 11:16 PM

    Does Miller make a twist top?

  24. Eve
    on Jul 3rd, 2009
    @ 1:30 PM

    For six generations has it always been “the champagne of beers”?

  25. Tintin
    on Jul 4th, 2009
    @ 7:18 PM

    I like some Real Lemon squirted in my Hi Life. It’s a take on a British Lemon Lager and while I agree the Hi Life is not a very complicated beer, it does have a place in Summer.

  26. Shawn
    on Jul 6th, 2009
    @ 11:03 AM

    High Life is an American Classic! Goes great with anything and at anytime, no need to wait for the ‘sprin/summer’ to enjoy the ‘Red Lady’. It is the only ‘branded’ beer I stock in the fridge. My father-in-law turned me onto it, he is a REAL MAN, lives his life the way real men should! Here’s to you Mike!!!