Documenting the remaining vintage beer signs from Pabst Blue Ribbon, Old Style, Blatz, and other similar brands from the 1960s and 1970s that remain hanging outside of taverns throughout Wisconsin and nearby states. Spoiler, there are hundreds of them!
Having been raised in Wisconsin tavern culture, I feel that a perfect symbol for my upbringing is probably the large Pabst Blue Ribbon or Old Style name signs that every single bar in the region had displayed outside of their establishment.
After I decided I wanted to photograph as many of these signs along with the urban landscapes around them, I started prowling on Google maps looking for their locations and began building a map of where these bar signs might still exist. Many of the signs I have found tend to exist outside of densely populated areas. Rural towns and regions that the Google street view team hasn't seemed to have passed through since 2008. I soon came to realize that these signs seem to be dying off at a pretty rapid rate. The very first time I drove out to where I found a cluster of signs, the entire block of buildings at the location had been razed. Every outing I have done since has led me to one or more places where the sign no longers exists that was there the last time the Google Street View car had driven past. Suddenly this whole quirky collection of photographs feels like a race against time.
The first ten photos of this collection were posted in March 2018. I expect it to grow very large over the coming years.
Georgia's Happy Place, Barnes, Wisconsin, September 2018
Things you don't see every day: A pair of legs hanging out of a window. Behind the scenes footage of taking the photo of this Old Style sign can be seen in part 1 of my photographing bar signs video from September 2018.
Higgins Lakeview Lodge Bar & Grill, Solon Springs, Wisconsin, September 2018
The Pabst Blue Ribbon sign that gave me a scare because the other side had been replaced with custom sign for the lodge. You can learn all about that in Part 1 of my Photographing Bar Signs video from September 2018.
Elkhorn Lodge, Clam Lake, Wisconsin, September 2018
A Polaris RZR parked in front of another Old Style sign with the missing red stripe. The taking of this photograph can be seen in part 1 of my September 2018 photography adventure video.