Budweiser, with its iconic Clydesdales, monotonous frogs, and alcoholic, skirt-chasing dog Spuds MacKenzie, is the beer brand most associated with animal mascots.
But St. Paul-launched Hamm's boasts the best beer-shilling beast: The loveable, klutzy Hamm's bear. Introduced in the 1950s, the bear charmed TV audiences for decades, and collectors continue to hunt his likeness on throwback promotional items.
Wanna meet him? Get down to Skinner's Pub & Eatery in St. Paul on Thursday. That's where the grinnin', saggy-eyed legend will be from 5-7 p.m., handing out schwag, posing for photos, and offering $1 Hamm's beer. Bingo to follow; RSVP here.
"The bear takes photos with kids, adults, senior -- I always say it's like seeing Santa!" says Sue Kelly, social media/marketing manager for Skinner's. "It is one of the favorite monthly specials we run. Hamm's is a big seller year-round in our bar."
A few things that rule about the Hamm's bear:
1) As you'll notice in the above photo, he's clearly buzzed off sweet, sweet Hamm's, the brew "Born in the Land of the Sky Blue Waters"; 2) His tummy is dirty, which probably relates to item No. 1, but is also punk AF; 3) At Skinner's, he'll be providing us with Hamm's, that resurgent and historic American beer, at a killer price.
Now it's time to do your homework before meeting him. Please study the following vintage clips of his wacky woodland hijinks (plus, in the last ad, casual mid-century racism).
Hamm's debuted way back in 1865 in St. Paul's Swede Hollow neighborhood; MillerCoors acquired the brand in 1999. Flat Earth Brewing Co. now calls the old brewery home.