Beer Birthday: John Mallett

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Today is John Mallett’s 52nd birthday, John is the production manager at Bell’s Brewery in Kalamazoo, Michigan, a post he’s held since 2001. John has a great sense of humor and I recall a particularly side-splitting kvetching evening-long conversation with him and Fal Allen at CBC in San Diego a number of years ago (not the most recent one) and a couple of years we judged together in Japan, which was great fun. In addition, John also recently published the Brewers’ Publications book on Malt: A Practical Guide from Field to Brewhouse. John me in wishing John a very happy birthday.

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Mugging for the camera at GABF in 2007, with Bob Pease, Ray Daniels and Mark Dorber.

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At Bruce Paton’s “Tion” Beer Dinner. That’s John in orange trying to smooch with Peter Bouckaert from New Belgium.

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John, me and other judges in Tokyo to judge at the Japanese Craft Beer competition in 2013.

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John with Fred Bueltmann of New Holland Brewing, at Red Horse Ranch in Michigan (photo purloined from Facebook).

If you’d like to see John wearing lederhosen, click here.

Patent No. 1348139A: Stem Picker

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Today in 1920, US Patent 1348139 A was issued, an invention of Horst Emil Clemens, for his “Stem Picker.” There’s no Abstract, although in the description it includes these claims:

This invention relates to a stem picker and especially to a machine for separating stems from hops and the like.

Picking of hops by machinery is resorted to at the present time in several of the larger hop; growing districts and is becoming more and more a necessity due to the scarcity of labor and troubles connected therewith. Hops picked in this manner contain a considerable quantity of leaves and stems and other foreign matter, the major portion of which are removed by separators of various types. It happens however that while the leaves are comparatively easily removed that there still remains a considerable quantity of stems and it is the purpose of the present invention to provide a machine which is particularly adapted for removing the stems. The invention briefly stated involves a longitudinally extending inclined draper belt from the surface of which projects the hops, from which it is series of pins are delivered desired to remove the stems, to one end of this draper belt and will, during the travel of said belt, tend to roll off the belt and to a conveyer which removes them from the stem picking machine, stems` and other similar material being hung up on the pins and later removed as will hereinafter be described.

The invention also involves a mechanism for maintaining the draper in a state of continuous vibration thereby insuring a perfect removal of the hops deposited thereon While in no way impairing the action of the stem separating mechanism.

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Beer In Ads #1984: Weekend In The Ski Country


Tuesday’s ad is entitled Weekend In The Ski Country, and the illustration was done in 1955 by Haddon Sundblom. It’s #115 in a series entitled “Home Life in America,” also known as the Beer Belongs series of ads that the United States Brewers Foundation ran from 1945 to 1956. This is another duplicate, and it was used the previous year as #90 with only a slightly different title, Weekend in Ski Country, everything else is exactly the same. The only difference is that extra “the.” As I wrote about it the last time, a new couple is arriving at the cabin at the ski resort for the weekend. They must be younger, because in my experience older women do not rush up and hug one another, grinning like cheshire cats, and touching cheeks. The rest of the party is already settled in, drinking beer and eating popcorn by the fire. Out the window, the sun is going down, and skis and poles lean against the cabin, ready for tomorrow’s adventures.

115. Weekend in the Ski Country by Haddon Sundblom, 1955

Patent No. 2124959A: Method Of Filling And Closing Cans

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Today in 1938, US Patent 2124959 A was issued, an invention of William Martin Vogel, for his “Method Of Filling And Closing Cans.” There’s no Abstract, although in the description it includes these claims:

This invention relates to cans and a method of making and filling the same, and has for its object the provision of means whereby a maximum quantity of air may be evacuated from the can prior to the sealing operation.

At the present time beer is being packed in cans and one of the greatest difficulties encountered is that of completely or at least nearly completely evacuating the maximum quantity of air from the can. The failure to uniformly evacuate the air results in lack of uniformity of the contents of the can. In some cases an opened can produces beer of a decidedly fiat appearance and taste; while in other cases, an extremely frothy, aerated fluid emanates. Experiments have shown that this lack of uniformity in canned beer is apparently due to the failure to eliminate or evacuate the greatest possible amount of air from the can during or after the filling operation, and prior to the sealing of the can.

The primary object therefore, of this invention, is to provide a can of such a construction, together with a method of filling and sealing such a can, which will eliminate the maximum quantity of air from the can, thereby completely, or nearly completely, filling the can with the liquid contents only. More particularly, the invention contemplates the provision of a can initially formed with an outwardly distended or dished bottom,

arranged to be reversely curved or distorted under pressure after the can is filled, thereby causing the liquid contents of the can to be bodily shifted toward the top of ‘the can, causing said contents to displace and eject the air out of the can just prior to the sealing of the top of the can.

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Beer Birthday: Mark Ruedrich

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Today is the 65th birthday of Mark Ruedrich, co-owner, and original brewer, of North Coast Brewing in Fort Bragg. Mark was a marine biologist who discovered good beer while living in England. Looking for a spot to build a brewery in Northern California, he was drawn to the tidal pools around Fort Bragg, and built a mini-beer empire there beginning in 1988. His Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout was one of the first truly great world-class beers made by early American microbreweries and helped put the nascent industry on the map. Plus he’s great fun to share a pint with. Join me in wishing Mark a very happy birthday.

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Mark with North Coast co-owner Tom Allen at GABF in 2006.

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North Coast brewer Ken Kelley with Mark at the brewery last year.

Patent No. 2124565A: Liquid Container

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Today in 1938, US Patent 2124565 A was issued, an invention of Frank D. Goll and James K. Wareham, assigned to the Aluminum Co. Of America, for their “Liquid Container,” essentially a keg. There’s no Abstract, although in the description it includes these claims:

This invention relates to metal vessels for storing and shipping liquids. It relates especially to the construction of metal barrels and similar vessels for the storage and transportation of liquids, such as beer and the like.

The primary object of the invention is to provide an improved metal barrel. Another object is to provide a strong but light metal barrel which may be used either with or without an insulating cover of rubber or other material. A further object of this invention is to provide improved fittings for metal barrels of the type specified.

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Beer In Ads #1983: We Won!


Monday’s ad is entitled We Won!, and the illustration was done in 1955 by Haddon Sundblom. It’s #114 in a series entitled “Home Life in America,” also known as the Beer Belongs series of ads that the United States Brewers Foundation ran from 1945 to 1956. This is another duplicate, and it was used the previous year as #100 with a different title, After the Game, everything else is exactly the same. The only difference is, this time we know they won. As I wrote about it the last time, the kids are back from the football game, and Mom has the salad and jello mold ready for them. Thankfully, someone also set out beer, which is the only thing on the table they really want.

114. We Won! by Haddon Sundblom, 1955

Patent No. 3332779A: Neutral Tasting Alcoholic Malt Beverage

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Today in 1967, US Patent 3332779 A was issued, an invention of Erik Krabbe, Webster Groves, and Cavit Akin, assigned to the Falstaff Brewing Corp., for their “Neutral Tasting Alcoholic Malt Beverage.” There’s no Abstract, although in the description it includes these claims:

The preparation of a neutral tasting alcoholic substrate by yeast fermentation of unboiled, unhopped wort containing fermentable sugar.

This invention relates to alcoholic malt beverage and more particularly to formation of an alcoholic malt beverage or substrate or base. which has a relatively neutral taste. More specifically the invention relates to the formation of a neutral alcoholic substrate from malt and cereal products and thereafter flavoring the neutral substrate with various flavoring substances.

Recently, various proposals have been made to provide flavored alcoholic beverages of various descriptions such as Tom Collins, coffee, mint, cherry, etc. The technique of trying to achieve such flavored alcoholic products by the use of fermented liquor have resulted in a rather. undesired feature of having the undesired normal beer or malt liquor flavor superimposed with a second desired flavor as those heretofore mentioned. So tar one proposal is to ferment the normal beer and then eliminate the flavor of the beer by charcoal filtration. Another technique is to add the flavor agent into boiling wort at which time activated carbon is added to the kettle to remove color from the wort. When sufficient time has been allowed for extracting the flavor, the wort was filtered and then fermented.

In contrast to previous techniques, the present invention briefly contemplates preparing a neutral fermented substrate for an alcoholic malt beverage which does not require the step of attempting to remove the’malt liquor or beer taste. Such an ideal neutral substrate or base alcoholic liquor is achieved by fermenting an extract of 10 to 35 weight percent unboiled, unhopped wort and 90 to 65 weight percent fermentable sugar (cerelose for example), based on the extract being water free. On a volumetric basis, one volume of unboiled, unhopped wort at 10 percent solids is added to three volumes of cerelose solution at 10 percent solids. Four grams of yeast (wet cake) per liter is suitable. The yeast may be the normal brewery yeast which has been washed to prevent carry over of hop bitter substances. The wort and cerelose are fermented preferably at a constant temperature of 13 C. After the fermentation is complete, the fermented extract is cooled to 3 C. and remains at that temperature for two or three days to end fermentation. Thereafter, the fermented extract is centrifuged and/.or filtered to obtain the neutral base which then is ready for carbonation and flavoring. At this stage of processing the flavor of the fermented substrate is substantially neutral with no organoleptic impression of malt liquor.

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Beer Birthday: Paul Gatza

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Today is also Paul Gatza’s 52nd birthday. Paul is the Director of the Brewers Association in Boulder, Colorado. He’s held numerous executive positions with the BA and its previous incarnation, the Association of Brewers. An avid homebrewer, Paul is great face for the BA and a terrific person. Join me in wishing Paul a very happy birthday.

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Toasting in New Orleans for CBC.

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Working the AHA booth at GABF.

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At the podium during the opening of CBC in 2008.

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Paul giving his annual state of the industry talk at CBC in 2012.

Patent No. 1919665A: Bottle Filling Machine And Method

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Today in 1933, US Patent 1919665 A was issued, an invention of Frederick W. Muller, for his “Bottle Filling Machine and Method.” There’s no Abstract, although in the description it includes these claims:

This invention relates to bottle filling machines and methods and relates particularly to bottle filling machines of the type wherein a plurality of bottles continuously fed to the machine are automatically and successively filled with a beverage such as beer.

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