Illustration of the Hamm's bear with a blue half-circle background on top of a red rectangle with white text. Red text on a white background along the top of the button, blue text on a white background along the bottom of the button.
Theodore Hamm Company, St. Paul, Minn., Los Angeles, San Francisco union bug
The Theodore Hamm Brewing Company was established in 1865 when Theodore Hamm, a German immigrant, inherited the Excelsior Brewery from his friend and business associate, A. F. Keller in St. Paul, Minnesota. The Hamm's bear was incorporated into the first campaign produced by the Campbell Mithun advertising agency, which sought to emphasize the supposedly superior cleanliness and naturality of Hamm's beer owing to its clear water and production in pristine Minnesota, the "enchanted Northland". The first television commercial depicted animated beavers beating their tails to the tom-tom beat of the jingle, as well as live action shots of the forests and lakes of the "enchanted Northland". The second, produced in 1952, introduced the clumsy dancing black-and-white cartoon "Beer Bear," actually named "Sascha," which proved so popular it was used for the next three decades. The "Beer Bear" and other woodland creatures were seen many afternoons as Hamm's was the beer sponsor of the Chicago Cubs, Chicago White Sox, and Minnesota Twins in the late 1950s and early 1960s.