Red White and Brew Beer Company
Rosie's Red Ale
Rosie the Riveter served as a model of American patriotism during WWII, one that not only helped support the troops but also changed the American workforce and, therefore, the face of the country. Rosie the Riveter’s message was so powerful that it is still used today as a symbol of strength and unity amongst women all across the country and even around the world.
Approximately 16 million Americans served in WWII, about 11% of the country’s population, and by far, most of them were men. About 350,000 of those servicepeople were women and they mostly worked in jobs that were traditionally considered female such as nurses, clerks or secretaries, but some women also worked in military applications like the Coast Guard or even as pilots in the famed Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP) program. The sudden departure of so many men from the country’s workforce left a serious employment gap in the U.S. and especially in jobs that required hard labor. These jobs were particularly important during wartime and not just because they kept the country running; many of these workers made supplies for the soldiers both at home and overseas.
American women were called on to fill the labor gap left by their male counterparts and their response was incredible. Over three million women signed up for new jobs during the war and they did not shy away from hard work either. In total, about 19 million women were a part of the workforce during WWII and about six million of those jobs were directly war related. At a time when it was still culturally inappropriate in many parts of the country for women to even wear pants, it was especially unheard of for women to work in dirty, sweaty, difficult and strenuous jobs, but they did it anyway, and Rosie the Riveter was their inspiration.
The first use of Rosie the Riveter was in a song of the same name in 1942. It was inspired by Rosalind P. Walter from New York who, although she came from a wealthy family, worked on military aircraft in the evening. She was said to break records on the assembly line as well as fight for equal pay for her female co-workers. The song became a nationwide hit. Rose W. Monroe also became a famous “Rosie” and was seen on many posters and in movies. She was actually a riveter and worked on B-24 Bombers in Ypsilanti, MI. In their advertising campaigns, the U.S. Government specifically catered to housewives (and their husbands) with pictures of many different “Rosies” and slogans like, “If you can use a mixer, you can use a drill”. Some were professional photo shoots of women on the job, others were professional paintings like Norman Rockwell’s famous 1943 Saturday Evening Post cover, and some were just simple photos of real women at work, each powerful in their own way.
But one image of Rosie the Riveter still stands above all others, the iconic poster created by J. Howard Miller in 1943 that features a woman in a bandana and blue collared shirt with rolled up sleeves, proudly flexing her bicep and declaring, “We Can Do It!”. The woman in the picture is Naomi Parker who worked at the Naval Air Station in Alameda, CA. Ironically, the poster was not distributed during WWII and at the time was not even considered a part of the Rosie the Riveter series. It wasn’t until the picture resurfaced in the 1980s that it turned into the iconic symbol we know today.
The women who rose to the occasion during WWII were inspired by the men who fought on the front lines, and those men were equally inspired by the women who not only took on strenuous jobs but also went home after work and took care of their household chores as well. Rosie the Riveter continues to inspire people all across the country and her image has become one of the most commonly used symbols in the women’s rights movement. She also inspired one heck of a good beer from Red White and Brew Beer Company in Audubon, NJ - Rosie’s Red Ale.
From the Brewer: A Classic Red Ale with Cascade and Centennial hops. The hops help to balance the flavor, but take a back seat to caramel and Munich malts. Partially inspired by Rosie the Riveter, who represented the American women working in factories and shipyards during World War II. The work done by these women was the crux of the effort to defeat fascism and promote freedom, liberty, and democracy. ABV 6%, IBU 37
Erik Hage & Stephen Picone - Founders, Christopher Bauman - Founder & CEO