This marvelous vintage lithograph advertising a French beer shows a big red rooster perched on one leg on the rim of a glass of beer. His head is turned backward, and his beak is wide open. He’s clearly crowing mightily, and what he is crowing about is, no doubt, the biere (French for “beer”) which he’s presiding over. He thinks it’s pretty darn tasty and wants the world to know.
The beer, as this poster from 1933 tells us, was brewed by the St. Nicolas de Port brewery. This brewery, which took its name from the town in France where it was located, is no longer in operation. But the town of Saint-Nicolas-de-Port, in the Lorraine region of France, is still there and now boasts of a beer museum in an old brewery, so the rooster still has much to crow about.
A rooster might seem like a strange spokesman for a beer, but in France this is not the case. The Latin word for rooster is gallus, and in Roman times, the area called “Gaul” was an area that now includes present day France. The similarity of these Latin words has resulted in the rooster being adopted throughout parts of France as an unofficial symbol of the country.
Marcellin Auzolle (1862-1942) designed this poster, and his signature appears in the plate on the right side. The poster was printed by Vercasson in Paris in 1933.
The bright red of the rooster and the golden color of the beer and the text below it stand out in sharp contrast to the dark background, making this lithograph visually stunning. If you love vintage posters advertising beer and other alcoholic drinks made in the past but no longer produced, this poster may be irresistible. It would be a fun addition to such a collection.