The Budweiser Ganymede


Budweiser advertising art, 1906.

Hard to believe that the self-styled King of Beers used to advertise itself using a gay episode from Classical mythology but here’s the evidence. Zeus falls in love with the beautiful youth and, in the form of an eagle, bears him away to Mount Olympus. In some depictions this event is called The Rape of Ganymede which suggests there was some other “mounting” taking place as a result; maybe the eagle had drunk one too many beers?


Budweiser advertising art, 1892.

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One thought on “The Budweiser Ganymede”

  1. The thing to remember about Ganymede is that once he was placed in Olympus, he became cup-bearer for the Gods. While it’s undoubtable that sex was the motivation for his abduction, it’s good to keep in mind what people knew and thought a hundred plus years ago. At that time, myths were quite popular in America (at least; I’m not sure about the rest of the world), and in Hamilton’s book, which was the authorative version for Greek myths, Ganymede was brought to Olympus just to be that cup-bearer.

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