Rheingold Beer, founded in 1883, is a New York beer that held 35% of the state's beer market from 1950 to 1960. The Company was sold by the founding Liebman family in 1963. According to the New York Times, "Rheingold Beer was once a top New York brew guzzled regularly by a loyal cadre of workingmen who would just as soon have eaten nails as drink another beer maker's suds." At the center of its media campaign was the "Miss Rheingold" pageant. Beer Drinkers voted each year on the you lady who would be featured as Miss Rheingold in advertisements. In the 1940s and 1950s in New York, the selection of Miss Rheingold was as highly anticipated as the race for the White House!
When Nat King Cole became the first major black entertainer to host a television show, advertisers stayed away - but not Rheingold! Rheingold was the New York regional sponsor Cole's show. As early as 1965, Rheingold aired television ads featuring African Americans, Puerto Rican and Asian actors, to appeal to its racially diverse customer base.
The Company's headquarters was in the Bushwick section of Brooklyn. Rheingold was the official beer of the New York Mets, and its advertisements included John Wayne, Jackie Robinson and the Marx Brothers.
The label was revived in 1998. According to an October 18, 1999 New York Observer report, The Rheingold Brewing Company LLC bought the brand. When Rheingold re-launched, they revived the Miss Rheingold Pageant. The new Miss Rheingold contestants no longer wore ball gowns and white gloves - they had tattoos.
In 2005, Drinks Americas of Wilton CT purchased Rheingold Brewing and reformulated the product for follow through distribution throughout the US.