Cardboard Beer Bottles?

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Well here’s a strange one. The Drinks Business is reporting that Carlsberg has created a new bottle made of “sustainably sourced wood-fiber” and “all materials used in the bottle, including the cap, will be developed using bio-based and biodegradable materials.” Known as the “Green Fiber Bottle,” it was announced at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, “as part of a three-year project with packaging company ecoXpac, and in partnership with Innovation Fund Denmark and the Technical University of Denmark.”

From the Drinks Business article:

Andraea Dawson-Shepherd, senior vice president for corporate affairs, said: “At Carlsberg we are firm believers in the importance of a circular economy in ensuring sustainable future growth and development on our planet, and today’s announcement is excellent news. If the project comes to fruition, as we think it will, it will mark a sea-change in our options for packaging liquids, and will be another important step on our journey towards a circular, zero-waste economy.”

The article notes that “Carlsberg’s bottles are planned to be produced in one piece using an inner coating that will decompose naturally.” I can’t but help thinking this has about as much chance of catching on as the plastic bottle, something Carlsberg, along with several other larger beer companies, dabbled with over the last decade.

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Patent No. 3788538A: Beer Carton

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Today in 1974, US Patent 3788538 A was issued, an invention of William A. Kuenzi, assigned to Miller Brewing, for his “Beer Carton.” Here’s the Abstract:

The entry of light into the interior of a beer carton through the handholes thereof is prevented by flaps, one of which is hingedly attached to the inner surface of each end panel above the upper margin of the handhole. The flaps are preferably wider than the handholes, extend downwardly below the lower margin of the handholes, and have a free lower edge. The flaps are preferably deflectable inwardly along a fold line opposite the upper margin of the handholes to permit entry of fingers around the upper margin of the handhole and between the inner surface of the end panel and the adjacent surface of the flap. Each end wall panel is preferably made of triple-folded material with the flap being cut out of the inside face of the material and the handhole being cut through the other two thicknesses.

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Patent No. 692170A: Apparatus For Aerating Wort And Improving The Quality Of Yeast

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Today in 1902, US Patent 692170 A was issued, an invention of Max Wallerstein and Hans H. Freund, for their “Apparatus for Aerating Wort and Improving the Quality of Yeast.” There’s no Abstract, but this is from the description.

Our invention relates to apparatus for aerating Wort during fermentation and improving the quality of yeast, and has for its object to provide an apparatus of this class by the use of which wort is aerated with filtered air in any desired quantity during fermentation and yeast of healthy growth and great purity is obtained.

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The Ultimate Beer Glass Guide

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Okay, the title may be more hyperbole than actual fact, but it’s a decent starter of common beer glassware. Some of the information seems overly generalized, as well, but it provides a decent explanation of each beer glass type. It was created by a hangover cure marketed in Australia called Revivol to promote their product.

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Click here to see the original infographic full size.

Patent No. 2229875A: The Art Of Wort Cooling

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Today in 1941, US Patent 2229875 A was issued, an invention of Robert Schwarz and Fred L.A. Schmidt, for their “Art of Wort Cooling.” There’s no Abstract, but here’s the general idea.

Generally speaking, the invention involves cooling the wort by evaporation in a cycle which includes the passage of clean, filtered air or air 2o rendered germ-free by other methods, along or across the path of a flat expanded stream in which the wort is introduced into a closed chamber. Where the cooling after such operation is inadequate, the wort or some of it is pumped in go one or more repetitions of said cycle until the desired cooling has been effected.

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Firestone Walker To Introduce Cans

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Firestone Walker Brewing announced today that they will be offering three more of their beers in cans shortly. According to the press release, “Union Jack (IPA), Easy Jack (session IPA) and Pivo (hoppy pilsner) [are] all being introduced in six packs starting in mid February.”
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From the press release:

“We could have rushed into canning a few years ago, but we wanted the timing to be right,” said brewery co-proprietor David Walker. “The market for canned craft beer is now hitting its stride, and canning technology has come a long way in a short period. Also, cans are a perfect fit for life here on the Central Coast. All of these factors converged to finally reach a tipping point for us.”

The brewery’s new canning line was made by leading beer packaging company KHS based in Dortmund, Germany.

“It was the best—and most expensive—solution,” said Brewmaster Matt Brynildson. “You can make the best beer in the world, but if you run it through a substandard packaging line, you end up with a beer-wrecking machine. With this KHS line, there are no worries about beer integrity.”

The canning line was first fired up last year to produce cans for the brewery’s 805 brand. The cans are dry-rinsed with ionized air and purged with CO2, then filled. The cans next run through a bubble breaker to remove any air bubbles before being surface purged with CO2 to eliminate oxygen from the head space. They are then seamed with a Swiss-made Ferrum seamer and inverted for a short period to detect any leaks as they exit the seamer. After a final rinse, cardboard carriers are auto-assembled around the cans. At full speed, the canning line produces 400 cans (12-ounce) per minute.

“I think there are advantages to both cans and bottles,” Brynildson said. “Cans do a great job of blocking UV light and maintaining a great seal, but on top of that they’re just fun. They’re light and they carry anywhere. I get goosebumps just thinking about having these beers in cans.”

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Patent No. 135245A: Improvement In Brewing Beer And Ale

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Today in 1873, US Patent 135245 A was issued, an invention of Louis Pasteur, for his “Improvement in Brewing Beer and Ale.” There’s no Abstract, but Pasteur explains in the description that this is a “process of brewing without the presence in the wort of atmosphericair, my invention has for its object to produce a better quality and greater quantity of beer from the same quantity and quality of wort, and to afford a beer which shall also embody the quality of greater degree of unalterableness during time and changes of climate, &c., in transportation and use; and to these ends my invention consists in expelling the air from the boiled wort while confined in a closed vessel or closed vessels, and then cooling it by the application of sprays of water to the exterior of such vessel or vessels, as will be hereinafter more fully explained.”

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The Next Session Goes To A Beer Festival

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For our 96th Session, our host is Joan Villar-i-Martí, who writes Birraire, which is also his nickname. He’s asking us all to attend a beer festival, either in person or virtually, and take a position one way or the other, or even somewhere in between, on this question, which, if you haven’t guessed, is the topic. “Festivals: Geek Gathering or Beer Dissemination?.”

The discussion at hand is “Festivals: Geek Gathering or Beer Dissemination?” I guess it is pretty much clear, but apart from exposing whether the answer is A, B or C (the latter being “it depends”) I expect participants to give us some insight into their local beer scene to better understand the importance or irrelevance of Festivals in each area. My guess is that it can be quite different depending on the popularity of beer in different countries and cultures.

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The Great American Beer Festival in 2002.

So get thee to a beer festival, or search your memory banks for your festival experiences. To participate in February’s Session, just wax on and/or off about your take on the humble beer fest. Then on February 6, post your thoughts in the comments section to Birraire’s announcement.

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At the Toronado Barleywine Festival in 2013.