Bull Dog Ale “A Pip of a Nip in Every Sip” was one of the last brews produced by the Acme Brewing company before its sale to Liebmann Breweries of NY in 1954.
Acme began operation in San Francisco in 1907, but its owner Leopold Schmidt made his entrance into the California beer market four years prior. Schmidt was the owner of Olympia Brewing in Washington state and had been shipping casks of beer to agents in San Francisco since 1903, feeling out the beer market in the area. Repeat orders poured in, and soon Schmidt established his own bottling works and eventual brewery in San Francisco.
In 1917, six breweries (including Acme) incorporated into the California Brewing Association (CBA). When the CBA got wind of Repeal it immediately began advertising its beer in the newspapers. The ads appeared well in advance of the 1933 repeal date, and by the time prohibition ended, Acme was the most popular and famous brand, driving its sales higher than ever before.
Acme continued its elaborate marketing campaigns, most of which were directed at women. One advertisement boasted “… and it’s *dietetically NON-FATTENING” with the fine print qualifying the asterisk with “Relatively so, compared with other foods.” This claim got the attention of the Federal Trade Commission which took action against Acme. The brewery switched up the verbiage slightly, and eventually dropped the campaign in 1951. However, by that time, they had approximately 50% of the beer market in the state of California.
With the onset World War II, resources were to be conserved which forced the head brewer to substitute some of its key ingredients. The beer quickly lost its glowing reputation and became known as a “skunky” brew. When soldiers returned from the war, they stayed clear of Acme, so in an effort to revitalize the brewery, Bull Dog Beer – Brewed to a Man’s Taste was created. The marketing campaign was something totally different considering the company had spent decades luring women to its brand. With the former heavyweight champion, Jack Dempsey, as its spokesman Bull Dog Beer quickly gained marketshare. They soon added Bull Dog Ale (the label you’re sporting this month) and Bull Dog Extra Stout Malt liquor.
However, despite the success of the Bull Dog line of beer, Acme sold all of its plants in 1954