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Bevo

Bevo was a non-alcoholic malt beverage, or "near beer", manufactured in the United States by the Anheuser-Busch[?] company. It enjoyed its greatest success during prohibition, when actual beer was illegal.

The Anheuser-Busch company started brewing Bevo in 1916 in order to have a product to market in the states and communities where alcohol was illegal. Production rose greatly with national prohibition in 1919, and Bevo was by far the most popular of the many "cereal beverages" or "near beers" of the time. At the peak of its popularity in the 1920s, more than 5 million cases of Bevo were sold each year.

A contemporary advertisement read "Cooling and invigorating, Bevo the Beverage. Order by the case from your grocer, drugist, or dealer." Despite the coining of the brand name from the word "beverage", the product was pronounced "Bee-vo". Some Bevo advertising featured the character "Renard the Fox" (based on the protagonist of a medieval French folk-tale), and promotional mugs with this character were manufactured.

Bevo became part of the popular culture of the time, and is mentioned in various popular songs and Vaudeville skits of the era. This lead to secondary slang uses of the word, for instance in American military slang a young inexperienced officer was called a "Bevo".

See also:

Near beer
Non-alcoholic beer


Bevo is also the name of the mascot of The University of Texas at Austin. Originally, a Texas longhorn steer was chosen as the mascot, and given the name of "Varsity." After the University lost a football game against Texas A&M University in 1916, A&M students kidnapped Varsity, and branded it in large characters with the losing score, "13-0." UT students recovered the animal, and with branding irons[?] changed the mark to read "Bevo," which was a near beer popular on campus at the time. The mascot's name has persisted ever since.



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