Schaefer was, at one point during the first half of the 20th century, the world's best selling beer. By the 1970s, however, it had ceded the top spot to Budweiser.
In Puerto Rico, Schaefer was one of the top selling beers during the decades of the 1970s and 1980s. For a long time, there was a large and quite famous Schaefer beer billboard at the main entrance to the city of Bayamón. The beer, along with the Winston cigarette, was quite famous among Puerto Rican salsa fans and superstars like Frankie Ruiz, Tito Rojas, Lalo Rodríguez and others among the "salsa sensual" movement of the 1980s.
A popular advertising campaign for Schaefer was the tagline, "Schaefer is the one beer to have when you're having more than one." This was put to music and used as a jingle from the 1950s-70s. The music was written by Jim Jordan of BBDO, on his son's xylophone. Louis Armstrong once performed the jingle in a television advertisement campaign. Music composer Edd Kalehoff also appeared in a 1973 advertisement showing off his Moog synthesizer.
An earlier advertising campaign (about 1959) asserted, "What do you hear in the best of circles? Schaefer, all around!"
During the 1939 New York World's Fair Schaefer sponsored Schaefer Center a restaurant with seating for 1,600. Many of the dishes used beer as an ingredient. And above the bar, the Fair's largest at 160 feet long, was a mural of the history of beer and brewing.
At the 1964/1965 New York World's Fair, the company again hosted a restaurant and 100 foot bar complex.
An illuminated Schaefer beer advertisement could be seen in the outfield of Ebbets Field; the letter "h" would light up if the official scorer ruled that a player reached base on a hit; the "e" would light up if the player got on base due to an error.