Patent No. 1718910A: Process Of Manufacturing Yeast

Today in 1929, US Patent 1718910 A was issued, an invention of Lucien Lavedan, for his “Process of Manufacturing Yeast.” There’s no Abstract, although in the description it includes this summary:

The primary object of my invention is to provide a process in which carbon dioxide is employed to more effectively carry out in the most suitable and efficient manner, the’ continuous process of making yeast with continuous aeration in propagating pure yeast in a pure sugared liquid of a given density in the presence of nutritive salts and air; with the separation of the scum containing the yeast thus propagated Jfrom the main body of the liquid, and subsequent separation of the yeast cells from the associated liquid o the scum, with the addition of sufficient sugared solution to the separated liquid to bring the main sugared solution to its original density when the separated liquid is returned to it, as described in my Letters Patent- No. 1,201,062, on a continuous process with continuous aeration, granted October 10, 1916, the cold carbon dioxide acting as a suitable agent to neutralize an excess of alkalinity, and at the same time operating to reduce the temperature of the Wort.

Another object of`my invention is to provide a process to produce from a given amount of raw materials, the highest possible yield of yeast possessing an increased vitality and strength for baking, fermenting, diet and any other uses, while simultaneously decreasing the production of alcohol.

A further object of my invention is to produce yeast which will keep for a longer period of time than yeast produced by other processes and methods.

A further object of my invention is to produce yeast possessing a higher vitamin E and nutrient value, and far more suitable to be used for eating purposes as it is more adapted to conditions existing in the human stomach, more palatable and of better odor and taste, and possesses a more effective action than any other yeast produced by other processes and methods.


Beer Birthday: Andy French

Today is the 48th birthday of Andy French, brewmaster at Southern Pacific Brewing in San Francisco, one of the new wave of breweries that opened in the city in recent years. I first met Andy when he brewed at Speakeasy, and after that would see him from time to time at Zeitgeist, though he first started brewing back East in the DC area. When his roommate Chris Lawrence, who also worked for Speakeasy once upon a time, decided to open his own brewery, he tapped Andy to work the mash paddles, and things have been going great since they opened a few years ago. Join me in wishing Andy a very happy birthday.

Andy at his brewhouse in 2012.

Patent No. 2005770A: Hop Extractor

Today in 1935, US Patent 2005770 A was issued, an invention of Daniel C. Bleser, for his “Hop Extractor.” There’s no Abstract, although in the description it includes this summary:

This invention relates to improvements in hop extracting and has for its main object the provision of a method and apparatus whereby the desirable flavoring and other elements of hops may be extracted: therefrom without also extracting certain rank, bitter principals which are undesirable and objectionable, It is also an object of this invention to provide an improved means for extracting hops which will require less time than the conventional practices now used.


Beer In Ads #1952: After The Summer Theatre

Friday’s ad is entitled After the Summer Theatre, and the illustration was done in 1953 by Douglass Crockwell. It’s #83 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. In this ad, a couple is just back home from a night out at the summer theatre. They’re relaxing and having a few beers and a late night snack. By relaxing, I mean she’s still in her gown, but at least he’s taken off his tuxedo jacket. So they’ve really let their hair down.

083. After the Summer Theatre by Douglass Crockwell, 1953

Historic Beer Birthday: Peter Ganser

Today is the birthday of Peter Ganser (June 24, 1836-August 5, 1915). He was born in Germany, but settled in Steele County, Minnesota, buying the Knobloch & Mannheim brewery and founding the Peter Ganser brewery in Owatonna, along with his brother Adam. It was generally known as the Peter Ganser, City Brewery, off and on from 1865, before it finally closed a few years into prohibition.


Here’s his obituary, from the American Brewers Review:


Local brewer Peter Ganser sits on an ornate chair, holding two of his daughters. On the left is Adeline, who later became Mrs. William Zamboni; on the right is his daughter, Catherine, who later married Harry Brown (from the Steele County Historical Society).

And here’s another account from the “History of Rice & Steele Counties, Minnesota, Illustrated, Vol. II,” and published in 1910:

Peter Ganser, proprietor of the Owatonna City Brewery, is one of those substantial citizens, who, in building the foundations for their own fortunes, find the time to take an interest in all worthy causes that tend toward the development of the community. He combines liberality with shrewd common sense and business ability and from his first settlement here he has had an unbounded faith in Owatonna’s future. Mr. Ganser was born in Prussia, Germany, June 24, 1836. He received his early education in the public schools and remained in his native country until 1854, when he came to America and located in Dane county, Wisconsin, where he lived for a time and then went to California. In 1863 he returned to Wisconsin and there remained until 1865 when he came to Owatonna and, together with his brother, Adam, purchased the city brewery, which they continued together until 1872, at which time the brother died. The subject of this sketch then became the sole owner and proprietor. In 1878 the brewery was destroyed by fire, entailing a loss of about $12,000. Undaunted by this loss, Mr. Ganser rebuilt, but in 1884 again suffered a similar disaster. The present building, to which additions and improvements have been made from time to time, was erected in 1884. In 1879, Mr. Ganser, in company with Jacob Glaeser, erected the building then known as the Germania Hall. Mr. Glaeser has carried on a large and increasing business from year to year. In 1894 he sold out his business for six years lived a retired life. In 1900 he again came into possession of the brewery, which he has since conducted. Mr. Ganser was married in 1867 to Mary Knight, who was born in Indiana. The fruit of this union was three children, viz: Margaret, now the wife of William Fleckenstein of the Fleckenstein Brewery at Faribault; Adeline, now Mrs. W. C. Zamboni; Kate, now Mrs. H. D. Brown, of Owatonna. Mr. Ganser is a Democrat in political faith. He takes an active interest in public affairs, and served as a mayor of Owatonna one term, and alderman of the fourth ward for two years. Mr. Ganser is a self-made man, enterprising in business, and has won his position by persevering efforts. He lives in a very find residence at 508 South Oak street.

Ganser Brau Near Beer.

And this is from Land of Amber Waters: The History of Brewing in Minnesota:



Patent No. 1767646A: Process For Manufacturing Yeast

Today in 1930, US Patent 1767646 A was issued, an invention of George S. Bratton, assigned to Anheuser-Busch, for his “Process For Manufacturing Yeast.” There’s no Abstract, although in the description it includes this summary:

This invention relates to the manufacture of yeast, and particularly, to processes of the kind which contemplate initiating propagation of yeast in a dilute Wort, and thereafter adding or feeding into same a highly concentrated Wort .that contains yeast nourishing materials.


Historic Beer Birthday: Christian Schmidt

Today is the birthday of Christian Schmidt (June 24, 1833-September 6, 1894). Schmidt was born in Magstadt, Wurtemberg, Germany but moved to Philadelphia as a young man. In 1859, he became a partner with the Robert Coutrennay Brewery but bought him out the following year, renaming the brewery the Christian Schmidt Brewing Company until his sons joined the brewery in 1892, when it became known as C. Schmidt & Sons.


Here’s a biography of both Schmidt and his brewery from Workshop of the World — Philadelphia:

Christian Schmidt, an immigrant from Wurtemberg, Germany, purchased the Robert Courtenay brewery which primarily produced ale at this site in 1860. The acquisition of other breweries, such as Peter Schemm, in addition to the production of lager beer, boosted output to 100,000 barrels by 1892. A marked expansion of the physical plant kept pace with the brewery’s growth.

The last quarter of the nineteenth century was Philadelphia’s shining era for large and small breweries. Bergner and Engel (120,000 barrels), and William Massey and Company (75,000 barrels), were the third largest and eleventh largest breweries respectively in the U. S. in 1877. By 1895, Bergner and Engel with 250,000-300,000 barrels had fallen to 15th place; the largest local brewery. Other major companies were Engels and Wolf, Betz and Bergdoll. Christian Schmidt was succeeded by his son Edward who headed the company from 1895 until 1944. There were 421 employees at Schmidt’s in 1943. It had survived and thrived through new technologies—refrigeration, and political impediments, even Prohibition, which decimated other breweries both locally and nationally. Only 26 breweries operated in Pennsylvania in 1960. Philadelphia lost brands such as Esslinger, Poth, Gretz and Class and Nachod.

Schmidt family ownership ceased in 1976 with the sale of the brewery to William H. Pflaumer. By the late 1970s Schmidt’s was the tenth-largest American brewery. It operated a plant in Cleveland, Ohio which facilitated mid-west regional sales. Valley Forge Brewing Company was acquired in the 1960s, Duquesne Brewing Company (Pittsburgh) in 1972, and label and brewing rights to Reading and Bergheim were purchased in 1976, Rheingold in 1977, Erie Brewing Company, with its Koehler brands in 1978. In 1981, Ortlieb, the only other Philadelphia brewery, was purchased by Pflaumer. Schmidt’s, unable to cope with the marketing muscle of the giant national brewers even though it employed 1,400 and produced three million barrels of beer as recently as 1984, sold its brands to G. Heileman Brewing Company of La Crosse, Wisconsin, in April 1987. Production of the Schmidt’s labels slumped to about $1.6 million barrels in 1986, less than one percent of the total U. S. Market. The demise of Schmidt’s marked the end of the large brewery in Philadelphia.


In Rich Wagner’s Philadelphia Beer: A Heady History of Brewing in the Cradle of Liberty, he has this to say about Christian Schmidt:


The Schmidt’s brewery in the 1930s.

And in One Hundred Years of Brewing, published in 1903, this was the entry for C. Schmidt & Sons.




Patent No. 1065666A: Cooler For Liquid-Dispensing Apparatus

Today in 1913, US Patent 1065666 A was issued, an invention of Albert Dade, for his “Cooler For Liquid-Dispensing Apparatus.” There’s no Abstract, although in the description it includes this summary:

This invention relates to liquid dispensing apparatus, and it more particularly relates to apparatus for dispensing beverages.

An object of the invention is to provide an improved cooler for beverage dispensing apparatus ada ted to be secured onto a beer reg or barre for drawing beer therefrom.

A still further object of the invention is to provide a device of this character which may be quickly and easily knocked down and set up and thereby made especially adaptable dispensing beverages at picnics and the like.


Historic Beer Birthday: Steve Harrison

Today would have been longtime Sierra Nevada employee Steve Harrison’s 65th birthday. Unfortunately, Steve passed away in August of 2007. He was Sierra Nevada employee number one, and was responsible for a lot of their early success. I first got to know Steve in the mid-1990s when I was the chain beer buyer at BevMo. He was a terrific person and universally respected and beloved in the industry. Sierra Nevada had to hire two or three people to take over his responsibilities. Join me in raising a glass of Sierra Nevada Pale Ale to Steve’s memory today. Here’s to you, Steve.

The last time I saw Steve was at a CSBA meeting in San Diego in 2007, though we talked on the phone a few more times after that because he’d asked me to do some freelance work for him shortly after that CSBA meeting. You can almost make him out in the photo below. He’s in the middle, toward the back, in a blue shirt. He’s in between Tom McCormick (in a green shirt) and a man in a black shirt raising his glass below the giant boulder in the background.


A very young Steve, at right, with Michael Jackson and Lou. (Photo by Tom Dalldorf, from the Celebrator Beer News.)

The Steve Harrison Memorial Arch, which is at the northern entrance to the Steve Harrison Bike Path, which is located not very far from the brewery in Chico. (The photo was taken in 2010 by Jack Peters, and sent to me by Miles Jordan. Thank you, gentlemen.)

Patent No. 216884A: Improvement In Apparatus For Refrigerating Air For Cooling Beer

Today in 1879, US Patent 216884 A was issued, an invention of Franz Pallausoh, for his “Improvement in Apparatus For Refrigerating Air For Cooling Beer and Other Liquids.” There’s no Abstract, though it’s described this way in the application:

My invention consists of a vessel fitted inwardly with strips or plates covered with coarse weavings or other material of great capillary power, maintained in a moist state, and arranged in irregular or zig zag lines, in combination with means for forcing a current of air or any other suitable gas through said vessel, the cooling apparatus being located in an ice-box, and the current of air not coming in contact with the ice, all as more particularly hereinafter described, and whereby the ice melts but slowly, and evaporation is actively maintained. The liquid caused to evaporate may be water, ether, alcohol, or any other volatile substance, or a mixture of such substances.