Bevo was a non-alcoholic malt beverage, or near beer, brewed in the United States by Anheuser-Busch. It enjoyed its greatest success during prohibition, when beer was illegal.

The Anheuser-Busch company started brewing Bevo when alcoholic beverages were prohibited in 1916 [] by the United States armed forces. Production rose greatly with national prohibition in 1919, and Bevo was by far the most popular of the many "cereal beverages" or "near beers" of the time. At the peak of its popularity in the early 1920s, more than five million cases of Bevo were sold annually.

Labels on the bottles billed it as "Bevo the Beverage". The name "Bevo" was coined from the word "beverage" and the Slavic language word for beer "pivo", and was pronounced "Bee-vo".

Some Bevo advertising featured the character "Renard the Fox" (based on the protagonist of a medieval French folk-tale), and promotional mugs with this character were manufactured. In 1930 Anheuser-Busch built a series of boat-bodied cars in its St. Louis shops called the "Bevo Boats" which were used for promotion. Seven are believed to have been built on Pierce-Arrow 8-cylinder chassis while one surviving example was based upon 1930 Cadillac 353 V8.

A contemporary advertisement read "Cooling and invigorating, Bevo the Beverage. Order by the case from your grocer, druggist, or dealer." The paper label on the back of the bottle read "The All-Year-Round Soft Drink. Appetizing - Healthful - Nutritious - Refreshing. Milk or water may contain bacteria. BEVO never does."

Bevo became part of the popular culture of the time, and is mentioned in various popular songs and Vaudeville skits of the era. This led to secondary slang uses of the word; for example, in American military slang a young and inexperienced officer was called a "Bevo".

Irving Berlin included a paean to the drink, "You Can't Stay Up on Bevo", in his 1917 army revue, "Yip Yip Yaphank".

In the late 1920s smuggled bootleg beer and liquor as well as "homebrew", cut into Bevo's marketshare. With sales flattening to 100,000 cases by 1929, Anheuser-Busch stopped production.

The Bevo building, with the Renard character prominently displayed at the corners, still operates as a bottling facility at their main brewery in St. Louis, Missouri. The landmark Bevo Mill, constructed by Augustus Busch in 1917, remains a popular restaurant.

Bevo is also mentioned in the short story The Killers by Ernest Hemingway.

Decades later, Bevo was mentioned in the song "Trouble" in the musical "The Music Man" as a reference to the culture of the earlier generation.

See also

* Near beer
* Non-alcoholic beer

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • BeVO — Berechnungsverordnung EN computation ordinance (concerning rent) …   Abkürzungen und Akronyme in der deutschsprachigen Presse Gebrauchtwagen

  • bevo — {{hw}}{{bevo}}{{/hw}}V. bere …   Enciclopedia di italiano

  • bevo — A nonalcoholic imitation of malt liquor. State ex rel. Springer v Bliss, 199 Okla 198, 185 P2d 220 …   Ballentine's law dictionary

  • Bevo Mill, St. Louis — Bevo Mill is a neighborhood located in south St. Louis, Missouri …   Wikipedia

  • Bevo (mascot) — Infobox College Mascot name = Bevo image size = 250 caption = Bevo I in 1917 university = University of Texas at Austin conference = Big 12 Conference conference short = Big 12 description = Texas longhorn steer name origin = first seen = 1916… …   Wikipedia

  • Bevo Francis — Born Clarence Francis on 4 September 1932, Bevo Francis went on to become one of the greatest scorers in college basketball history during his career at Rio Grande College. He was 6 9, and was known for his great shooting touch.In 1953, Bevo… …   Wikipedia

  • Bevo Howard — Beverly Bevo Howard (August 11, 1914, Bath, South Carolina – October 1971, Greenville, North Carolina) was an American aerobatic pilot and aviation businessman.LifeHoward learned to fly in 1930 before the age of 16 by working as a lineboy for… …   Wikipedia

  • bevokis — bevõkis, ė adj. (2) be vokų: Akys stangios, bevokės Pč …   Dictionary of the Lithuanian Language

  • Silver Spurs — The Silver Spurs is the honorary service organization responsible for the caretaking and transportation of the University of Texas Longhorn mascot, Bevo. Founded in 1937, the charter members felt that there was need for another spirit service… …   Wikipedia

  • God Street Wine — Infobox musical artist Name = God Street Wine Img capt = Img size = Landscape = Background = group or band Alias = Origin = New York, NY, U.S. Genre = Jam bandProgressive rock Years active = 1988 ndash;1999 Label = Ripe and ReadyMercury/PolyGram… …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.