Feb 26, 2019

Posted by in Blog | 0 Comments

The Great Beer Sign Bamboozle

The Great Beer Sign Bamboozle

“There’s an old saying in Tennessee — I know it’s in Texas, probably in Tennessee — that says, fool me once, shame on — shame on you. Fool me — you can’t get fooled again.”

About a year and a half ago I was doing the usual internet search for some long lost Hamm’s pictures, hoping to come across something I have never seen before and long and behold, I did!

Sadly what I did see made me take a double look, download the picture, blow up to see what I thought I was seeing and then say out loud “What the f%$K?”. You must wondering what I’m talking about, well I’m talking about fake Hamm’s stuff. Yep since Hamm’s is now currently making a comeback in popularity due to this website talking about it for almost 9 years now…ok maybe not but it is making a coming back in a huge way and forgers are taking note.

It started with a random image of a 1950’s era fisherman holding up his prize fish and someone decided to make it into an apparent Hamm’s ad of some sort.  I’ve seen most ad’s from this era, but not all of course but ALOT. The first give away was starting the sentence off with a lowercase letter. I will say its one of my pet peeves and that right there was a dead giveaway. Then I looked closely at the lines of the shot and it was very much added to a modern looking background. Then the big one was they decided to add a Hamm’s cooler to the ad. I will say I have never seen a Hamm’s branded cooler in any ad (unless they were actually using it in the photo). The beer bottle and or can is always there for product recognition, but never a cooler.

Now you may be saying so what, some guy is a fan of Hamm’s and wanted to appreciate the beer by making an ad, wrong. Because I found this picture of all places on ebay! Yep you guessed it, as if there wasn’t a ton Hamm’s ads floating around out there some guy had to try and sell a fake. Here it is in all it’s knockoff glory…



















I’m sure they got inspiration to make this ad from many of the great 1950’s ads that were out during that era. And if you are wondering what style, here is one of those ads…


















Wouldn’t you like a nice cold Hamm’s right about now?

Yeah me too. It’s a great image to mimic but I spotted your rip-offery! ( I just made that word up).  So to add insult to injury, I spotted this ad at the Hamm’s collector show in Medina last week…Yep people are now selling this shit at collector shows!

Example number two. The fake rusty signs…(.sigh). The worse offense of these signs is that most are not even using an old advertisement for it and are just straight up throwing Barry from ibuyoldbeer.com’s handcrafted bear on it and using the new polished Hamm’s logo from Miller and slapping it on a cheap thin aluminum slab with the fake rust…..oh boy.













Yep that one is super easy to detect. You might remember the new tacker signs that Miller Brewing put out last year for the new Hamm’s product line and well someone thought about stealing that and throwing it on their crappy knockoff.

Some people actually decided to just use a real old school ad but whoops they didn’t think anyone would notice the big line smack dab in the middle from the magazine where the two page ad was taken from. I will admit I have posted these on my page and instagram and etc but I’m not selling it to make money, and if I was I’d do a little better job at cleaning it up….also note the fake frikin rust again….ahhhh.






















Are you starting to feel my anger now? Reproductions of posters and other items are also starting to appear at shows now too. My advise would be to ask where something came from, what year they think it is, and to feel the actual item. Most motion and light up signs were made of 1960’s plastic and it can be brittle now so dont go bending and or body slamming anyone’s things trying to see the authenticity. But if you can recognize 60’s style plastic as being fragile, you will be ahead of the game.

Same goes for metal signs. Old signs had some weight/girth to it. If you can bend it no problem its probably modern crappy thin aluminum. Also feel the rust, if it comes off on your finger its real, if nothing happens its cheap China crap.

These new signs can be really convincing to the untrained eye, so I’m not bashing anyone who bought one, I’m just here to let you know that they are out there and I’m writing this article because I really dont want anyone to get ripped off by buying knock off merch, especially when Hamm’s and other common beer items are fairly easy to get a hold of these days with all the shows around…so beware before handing over your hard earned money. If it looks too good to be true it probably is.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *