Monday, 27 April 2020

Old Beer Ads #15 - Oranjeboom (1983)

Continuing the lockdown-inspired practice of blog grave-robbing, I'm digging up a series I've not posted on for 5 years.  This is also partially inspired by the return of Van Der Valk to the UK's TV screens.

Belying it's current reputation a black-tinned cornershop-stocked super-strength filth, Oranjeboom pilsner was once quite popular in the UK, and was promoted with ads such as this, rammed full of all the Dutch stereotypes the copywriters could think of.  And as we all know, the only tune to come out of the Netherlands was "Eye Level", used as the theme tune to the aforementioned Amsterdam-set detective show.  One presumes the agency couldn't get a whole Edam cheese to ride a bicycle next to a canal, so they went for animated kitchen tiles.  No doubt a similar effect could be acheived by drinking several cans of Oranjeboom 8.5 at home.

Ironically, despite the Low Countries overload presented here, the end of the ad proudly proclaims it's now brewed in the UK, joining the plethora of faux-Eurolagers that were depressingly common in the 80s.  Just like "Eye Level" itself, a 'Dutch' tune orchestrated by a man from Market Harborough.

As a bonus, here's the Simon Park Orchestra on Top Of The Pops in 1973, when the BBC had to have them on as "Eye Level" had got to #1.  And of course they had to wear orange jumpers.  Because Holland, y'know?


  1. Thanks for settling a very old argument. Years ago I ordered an Oranjeboom, and my OH spontaneously came out with "Oranjeboom, Oranjeboom, it's a lager not a tune". She swore that this was a genuine slogan, but it's such a terrible bit of doggerel that I was convinced she'd made it up, or at least misremembered it. Apparently she was right all along.

  2. If you're going down this avenue; I should let you know that Oranjeboom is now being brewed and packaged in Germany [Hofbrau Wolters; Braunschweig] in 500 mL cans, exported to the U.S.A., and sold in Trader Joe's markets.
    Trader Joe's is itself intriguing. It annually sells an excellent Winter Spiced Ale brewed at Unibroue in Quebec, Canada, of which I buy a case. However, it also offers beers from the Minhas Brwy. (formerly Huber) of Monroe, WI. - the second oldest brewery in the U.S.A. - but which is now owned by a Canadian corporation. Its beers typically get poor ratings on Beer Advocate, but I'll keep buying them because a 6-pack of 354 mL cans of its beers are only $3.99 at TJ's. If I am going to sleaze out on a cheap beer, I want it to be from a brewery that doesn't have multi-national ownership.