Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Technology brings back an extinct Northwest species

Sooner or later, everything makes it online.

A few weeks back I met a couple of old friends after work. Both are professional photographers and we were photo colleagues back in college at Oregon State. We were doing our own version of VH1's "I love the '80s," reminiscing about people, places and things we once knew.

Perhaps since we were in a bar, the subject of beer came up. Now, beer is often a favorite topic in the Northwest, which has long been reknowned as a hop growing region. Of course Portland and the Northwest led the microbrew revolution, which introduced so many people to beer that actually had flavor -- not that American-style pilsner that mass market breweries spit out by the oceanful.

But before the microbrew revolution hit, the Northwest had several regional breweries known mostly for making inexpensive versions of an American pilsner. These were the original Northwest microbreweries before the macrobreweries swallowed them up and in most cased killed them off. Names like Henry Weinhard's, Blitz and Olympia were some of the more popular brands.

One of the cheapest -- in price as well as taste -- was Rainier. But their advertising campaign was pure quirky gold. Everyone in the region knew the RainBeers, large Rainier bottles with legs that were chased all over the Northwest by men equipped with oversized bottle openers.

And, of course, there was the one with the motorcycle.

My friends and I, somehow got on the topic of Nothwest beers from back then and someone says: Remember Rainier. One of my old friends and I break into the tagline in unison, doing our best talking-motorcycle impersonations, winding up through the gears.


It was worth a smile and a laugh and one of those "those were the days"-type coments.

Well, tonight, while cruising around the Internet, what did I find, but that very commercial, posted on Thanks to The Brew Site and Beervana for showing the way.

Fun commercials, but bad, bad beer.

Yep, sooner or later everything ends up posted online.

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