Sending Utica Club to my Reddit Secret Santa giftie…

I’ve had a love-hate relationship with the social media site reddit for years.  At times, reddit can be a fantastic resource for information and communication; at other times, it can be a place for harassment, impersonation, cyber-bullying and vulgarity.  I’ve seen both sides of it.  Trust me.

That being said, every year I participate in reddit’s ongoing Secret Santa worldwide holiday gift exchange.  Hundreds of thousands of Santas give gifts to each other, and it’s a fun endeavor.

During my eye surgery rehabilitation, I remembered that I had not yet sent my gift to my giftie.  Since every giftie puts down a list of various likes, dislikes and sizes for their online gift profiles – makes no sense to send a 3XL T-shirt to someone who wears a medium – I discovered that this person enjoys craft beer and collecting breweriana.

And I’ve got just the gift for him.

A quick putter through my online connections … and yes, one of my online connections came through.

So right now a set of Schultz and Dooley beer steins, along with some T-shirts, are on their way to my giftie.

Schultz and Dooley.  Certainly you’ve heard of them.  I’ve blogged about them in the past.

They are the 1960’s-era talking beer mugs from Utica Club beer.  What we know as the Saranac Brewery.  During the 1960’s, Utica Club created kitschy commercials with talking beer steins.  The Jonathan Winters-voiced characters won several advertising awards, and were popular enough that the brewery actually manufactured souvenir Schultz and Dooley beer steins.

Eventually, those beer steins became part of an annual brewery tradition – each year the company would manufacture a new beer stein, some based on the characters in the Schultz and Dooley television commercials (yep, they included Bubbles La Brew, Officer Sudds and others).  When they ran out of characters from the TV commercials, the brewery manufactured steins based on other humorous characters – a college graduate, a fireman, a hockey player, etc.

The beer stein commercials ended in the late 1960’s, when Utica Club went to a more “swinging” commercial endeavor.  Instead of talking beer steins, you now had a “Utica Club Natural Carbonation Band” with hip, psychedelic music tracks.  Such as this one.

Oh, that’s a toe tapper right there.

I will say, though, that Utica Club did have one of the most suggestive commercials of their era.  How this ever got past the television censors, I’ll never know.

Holy natural carbonation, Batman…

Eventually Utica Club was surpassed by another brewery product, Matt’s Premium (or as my college classmates called it, “Old Panther Piss”).  Later on, Matt’s Premium was discontinued in favor of Saranac Beer, which still exists today.

Utica Club, however, has returned as a discount beer brand – similar to brands like Pabst Blue Ribbon or Genesee, cheap beers that taste okay.  But the collector’s club lives on, and you can still buy the beer steins at a souvenir shop at the brewery in Utica.  Trust me, it’s probably the ONLY reason to willingly visit Utica. 😀

Over the weekend, I received word from my online supplier that the Schultz and Dooley beer steins, along with the T-shirts, were packaged and shipped to my online giftie.  Aces.

See, this is part of my Christmas traditions – and sometimes it’s just nice to give a gift to a total stranger.

Besides, there’s a total stranger out there who’s probably looking for a gift for me.  Right?