A man, a goat & a very dark beer.

Geo. Bauer Schmidt’s Bock ad, 1887.
Unknown New York publisher, c1900.
Emil Rothengatter, was the artist responsible for the goats. Born in Switzerland in 1849, he left for the United States as a young man and served as a drummer with the Union Army in the Civil War. He lived in Philadelphia, New York and Cincinnati. Rothengatter almost always signed his work “E. Roe.”

In addition to his standout work with goats, Rothengatter created posters for Barnum & Bailey Circus and designed the Cincinnatti City flag in 1896. The flag still flies. His finest creation however, has to be the archetypal Bock Beer goat. In 1935, with the repeal of Prohibition, the revival of the Bock Beer tradition brought him out of retirement at the age of 86 to paint his posters again.

In 1939 Emil Rothengatter died in New York at 90 years old.
His goats live on.

If you were from Bavaria, as many American immigrants were in the mid 1800s, it wouldn’t be at all strange if when you thought of goats you thought of beer. And vice versa. 

First brewed in the dark ages of 14th century Germany in the town of Einbeck, Bock beer was a dark, malty, lightly hopped ale.  Brewed and consumed exclusively by Bavarian monks, Bock was an obscure beer back then. The monk’s apparently needed their Bock to give them the essential nutrition they required during times of fasting. So it was that Bock bacame associated with religious festivals; Christmas, Easter and Lent (which became known as Lentenbock). No goats yet.

Munich brewers stole the monk’s recipe in the 17th century and adapted the beer by using a new-fangled style of brewing they called “lager”. Due to their Bavarian accent, the citizens of Munich pronounced “Einbeck” as “ein Bock” (a billy goat), and so the beer became known as “bock”. 

And so, suddenly it makes sense. 

GOAT = BEER & BEER = GOAT.

A simple, completely mental, visual pun.

So. A goat marketing beer to Bavarian Germans in the U.S. that understand their little capracornian joke.

It’s good marketing by accident. If you didn’t understand, at least you’d remember it.

Published in Brooklyn, N.Y. c.1879.
Celebrated Bock Bier, 1887.
Head of Bock Goat, unprinted advertisement. (1898).
Bock Beer (1875).
For F. Klemm’s Bock (1880).
New York, (c.1900).
Bock beer, poster no. 8 (1883).
New-York, unprinted advertisement. (1900).
Bock Beer publicity (1894).

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