Subject: Re: Rolling Rock Beer; what does +quot;33+quot; mean? Date: 8 Sep 1993 01:38:04 G

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From: ldoering@engin.umich.edu (Laurence Doering) Subject: Re: Rolling Rock Beer; what does "33" mean? Date: 8 Sep 1993 01:38:04 GMT In article <26jagk$chk@panix.com> alight@panix.com (Alan Light) writes: >In <26i89n$8po@apakabar.cc.columbia.edu> jas30@konichiwa.cc.columbia.edu (Joseph A Schwartz) writes: > >>I must have missed most of this discussion. I would guess that "33" might >>refer to 1933, the year in which prohibition was repealed. > >I believe that the Rolling Rock label predates 1933, so the number of words >on the label theory would seem to hold. Nope. Rolling Rock was introduced in 1939. That's probably why (C) 1939 appears prominently on the label. >P.S. I better explanation (and one with some precident in the alcoholic >beverage industry) would be that the current version of Rolling Rock is the >33rd recipe that had been attempted. This is the same reason that >bottles of Jack Daniels are labeled "Old Number 7" In _More of the Straight Dope_, ISBN 0-345-35145-2, Cecil Adams addresses this very question. He got his information from one James L. Tito, who used to be CEO of the Latrobe Brewing Company, and whose family owned Latrobe from 1933 to 1985. On pages 45-46, we find: "... Mr. Tito believes that putting the 33 on the label was nothing more or less than a horrible accident. It happened like this: "When the Titos decided to introduce the Rolling Rock brand around 1939, they couldn't agree on a slogan for the back of the bottle. Some favored a long one, some a short one. At length someone came up with the 33-word beauty quoted above ['Rolling Rock from glass-lined tanks ... etc.], and to indicate its modest length, scribbled a big '33' on it. ... Unfortunately, no one realized that the big 33 wasn't supposed to be part of the design until 50 jillion returnable bottles had been made up with the errant label painted permanently on their backsides. ... This being the Depression and all, the Titos were in no position to throw out a lot of perfectly good bottles. So they decided to make the best of things by concocting a yarn about how the 33 stood for the year Prohibition was repealed." Larry "read the book!" Doering

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