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June 19: Miller High Life Is Unleashed

On this day in 1903, Miller High Life was unleashed on the drinking public. Did you know that the Girl on the Moon, who you’ll find on every bottle of High Life, is the longest-lived icon in the history of American brewing? Generations of High Lifers know her well, and they should: she’s been giving them the eye from the neck of The Champagne of Beers for over a century. The mysterious belle raising a toast from the Moon was reputedly modeled on the granddaughter of company founder Frederick Miller. In her first appearance in 1903 she stood tippy-toe on a crate of beer with a whip in her hand, apparently working as an animal tamer of sorts. She traded the whip for a tray of beer shortly thereafter and seemed doomed to remain in that uncomfortable position until A. C. Paul, of Miller’s marketing division, got lost in the woods during an outing and had a “vision” of a “girl in the Moon” pointing the way back to civilization. Paul eventually found his way out of the woods (perhaps after sobering up a bit) and in 1907 the Miller girl found herself with a one-way ticket to the Moon. True story: At the peak of its popularity, in 1979, Miller high life was was the number two beer in the land. It has since sunk to ninth place, well behind its upstart sibling Miller Lite.

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Editor/Publisher of Modern Drunkard Magazine.