Free Beer For Life – 1950

Drink Up, While It Lasts

Free Beer For Life 11 18 1950

Free Beer For Life

New York – Chief Petty Officer Kenneth Slamon, 33, of Portland, OR, samples first installment of a lifetime’s supply of beer, which a brewery President awarded him. The beer biggie was watching a television quiz show on which Slamon was co-winner of a $6,350 prize. The sailor said he’d spend his share on “an annuity for life — in beer.” This impressed the beer exec so much that he has arranged for Slamon to get free beer for life. Credit (ACME) 11-18-50

The beer company was the Jacob Ruppert Brewery famous not only for its Knickerbocker and Ruppert beer, but for its longtime owner Jacob Ruppert (1867-1939) who also owned the New York Yankees.

As the news caption notes, Fred Linder, president of the Jacob Ruppert Brewery happened to be watching the program Chief Slamon appeared on and said, “If Chief Slamon wants cold beer so much, then we don’t want his money. He’ll get free beer for the rest of his life.”

The brewery then began sending him a free case of beer every month no matter where he was stationed by the navy.

Unfortunately for Chief Petty Officer Slamon, the Ruppert Brewery closed its doors in 1965 shortchanging his lifetime supply of free beer.

Slamon, a Pearl Harbor survivor and veteran of World War II, Korea and Vietnam, lived another 32 years without his free beer, and passed away August 4, 1997.

4 thoughts on “Free Beer For Life – 1950

  1. Mark Blocksom


    This is an interesting story.

    I am a researcher on the USS Midway and was wondering if your dad, Chief Petty Officer Kenneth Slamon, ever happened to serve on the Midway? If so, when did he serve, and what was his job?

    If not, and if you have the information, what ships was he on, and when?


    Mark Blocksom
    USS Midway Museum Researcher

  2. Patrick Slamon

    My father actually cashed out his prize when we were stationed in Virginia in about 1955 because the beer could not be moved into that state which had a “3.2” maximum alcohol content for beer. One of the greatest things about the prize was that when we were stationed in Alaska the beer acumulated when it was sent to my uncle Pat Murphy in Portland, OR. When we returned to the states after about 2 years there was a mighty accumulation of Rupert’s beer stored at uncle Pat’s house. Accordingly, they threw a beer bust for everyone in the neighborhood. The quiz show was “Break the Bank” with Bert Parks as host. Pop and his shipmate won the top prize in the category of “Best Sellers.” During one broadcast Mr. Parks asked pop what his he liked to do in his spare time. He replied “I like to drink beer.” “What’s your favorite beer,” asked Bert. Pop wisely answered “Rupert’s.”
    BTW, the best selling book of all time was (and I think still is) the Christian Bible, King James version.

  3. Kenneth Slamon, Jr.

    My father sold the rights to the case of beer for life back to Ruppert Brewery in 1955 or 1956. He was stationed in Norfolk, VA. Virginia would not allow Ruppert beer to be shipped into the state because of the alcohol content was to strong.

    Appreciate the story. The photo was tobe used in a TV Beer spot but US Navy will not allow members to appear in Uniform and hock a product.


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