As is well known, the US military began its conquest of the Philippines in 1898. Not long after the first soldiers landed, the supplies that they needed to survive in the Philippines followed.


For instance, the S.S. Knivsberg soon arrived with a load of chicken tamales, evaporated peaches and Eagle Brand condensed milk. . .

Is that really what soldiers wanted?


Probably not. . . Instead, my guess would be that this shipment of Cyrus Noble Whiskey, Schlitz Beer, Mumm’s Champagne and James Watson’s Scotch Whiskey was more to their liking.


And that’s why Pabst Beer didn’t forget the soldiers. . . Neither did a lot of businessmen. Within months of the American occupation of Manila, soldiers could go to a wide range of establishments where they could consume Pabst Beer: The Senate, Olympia Cafe, American Bar, Baltimore Bar, Pabst Cafe, Hotel Luneta, Restaurant de Paris. . .


The American Brewing Company of St. Louis, meanwhile, produced a kind of beer that was “brewed especially for the tropics.” It was supposed to be good because it was “pure, pale and sparkling.”


Yes, apparently “purity” was of particular importance, as you didn’t want to consume some contaminated product that would make you sick. That’s why “In the tropics PURE WHISKY is indispensable.”


While that is all probably true, in the end “San Miguel Beer is the best beer.” And apparently you could find it all over Manila.


So alcohol was readily available, but man can not live on alcohol alone. Occasionally he needs to eat. And on those rare occasions when the need for something other than alcohol arose, there were Oxford, Vienna and Bologna sausages, German pickles, California prunes, clam chowder and pie fruit in tin. . . What a cosmopolitan diet!