Retro Images of the Week: Ballantine Ale

Retro Staff |  2 Comments

Ballantine Beer and Ale Display with Cobalt Cup

Here at we are surrounded by all things retro. Not only the things we sell but original items and collections that decorate our offices. We thought it might be interesting each week to bring you a photo and information of an interesting, and maybe unusual, retro item we have kicking around. Please note these items are not for sale.

This is a Ballantine Beer and Ale promotional item from the 1950s. This item is very rare, therefore there’s not a lot of information out there about it. The base is plastic and holds a cobalt blue glass. Across the base it reads “Ballantine Ale Ballantine Beer Ballantine”. On the top and back of the base is “P. Ballantine & Sons”. The glass is a beautiful cobalt blue and has an uneven bottom with a dimple, making the base a necessity to hold the glass upright. The distinctive Ballantine logo consists of three rings labeled “Purity”, “Body” and “Flavor”. There is a story passed down that says Peter Ballantine got the idea for the logo after seeing rings left on a table while he drank a cold beer.

Ballantine Ale has the distinction of being one of the oldest beers in the US. The company was originally called the Patterson & Ballantine Brewing Company and was founded in 1840 by a Scottish immigrant named Peter Ballantine. When Peter’s three sons joined the business in 1857, the name was changed to P. Ballantine & Sons. Today the Ballantine brand is owned by the Pabst Brewing Company and is still making Ballantine Ale, although it has a limited distribution.

Ballantine Ale was a highly regarded ale in its day. Among its fans were the great American authors Ernest Hemingway and John Steinbeck. Other famous Ballantine enthusiasts were Marilyn Monroe, Joe DiMaggio, Rocky Marciano and Frank Sinatra.

Plastic bottom measures 7”L x 5.25”W x 5”H

Last updated: May 01, 2009
Filed under: Retro Images of the Week Tagged with: Ballantine Ale, Ballantine Beer