Wednesday’s ad is for Miller Lite, most likely from 1987 or 88. When comedian Joe Piscopo left Saturday Night Live in 1984, after four seasons, he did a few films — I did like Johnny Dangerously — and around 1987 and 1988 did television and print ads for Miller Lite. In this one, the tagline asks “Why ‘Helga’ Piscopo Ex-east German Swimmer Drinks Miller Lite.” The answer, surprisingly, is not because his taste buds were lost as a side effect to steroid use, but “To Keep His Girlish Figure.” Piscopo, in drag, and three similarly attired friends from a bad version of La Cage aux Folles, are drinking Miller Lite and winkingly making fun of it being diet beer. It certainly doesn’t make drinking the beer look terribly attractive so I’m a little unclear how effective it could have been.
Today in 2003, US Patent PP14127 P2 was issued, an invention of Paul A. Gamache, Bernard J. Gamache, and Steven J. Gamache, for their “Hop Plant Named ‘VGXP01.'” Here’s the Abstract:
The new hop plant variety named ‘VGXP01’ is notable for its unique, pleasant aroma and relatively high alpha content. The cones of the new variety are small and compact, and grow abundantly on the mature plant.
This is the hop plant that became known as “Amarillo.” It’s hard to believe it’s only been around since 2003. According to Wikipedia, Amarillo “was discovered by Virgil Gamache Farms Inc. in one of their hop yards in Washington State and propagated and introduced by them as Amarillo. Unlike most varieties of hops, which may be acquired and propagated by the purchase of rhizomes, Amarillo hops are privately grown only by Virgil Gamache Farms; also the organization holds a trademark on the name “Amarillo” for hops.”
Tuesday’s ad is from the English brewer’s “Beer is Best” campaign, from 1951. The campaign began in 1933, and ran for 30 years, and this one shows an idyllic country pub — The Axe and Compass — with a conspicuous church spire behind it. It almost appears that they’re trying to either suggest the pub as church or to associate the two as central to British life (both claims I agree with, BTW). But it looks so perfect one assumes it has to be a fictional, stylized version meant to invoke the romance of the country pub.
But not so fast. The Axe and Compass is an actual country inn located in Hemingford Abbots, 3 miles from St Ives, 6 miles from Huntingdon, and 12 miles from Cambridge. According to their website, the pub dates “back to the 15th century.”
But perhaps the artist did take a few liberties with perspective. That church spire that looms so large in the ad’s illustration appears much less imposing in the photograph from the pub’s website. And even more revealing, placing the inn at roughly the same angle as the drawing using Google Maps Street View, you can barely make out just the tip of the spire above the edge of the end of the pub’s roof past the back chimney. You have to go down Church Lane to see the church, and it doesn’t look nearly as large as it does in the illustration. Still, it’s an awesome image and I suspect it may have been one in a series, which would be even cooler. I know I want to go there now, and if I’m ever in the area, I’d definitely try to have a pint of Timothy Taylor there.
Today in 1885, US Patent 325316 A was issued, an invention of Edward A. Byrne, for his “Beer-Faucet.” There’s no Abstract, although in the description it includes this summary:
Our invention comprises a novel construed of those faucets having air-inlets, and which are employed more especially for drawing off beer, ale, and other liquors from kegs and similar receptacles. Heretofore it has been customary to pass the air tube or inlet through the heel of the faucet and carry the almost to the top of the keg, so as to allow the air to act directly on the surface of the liquor, and thereby afford the proper ventage the instant the faucet is opened. Practical experience, however, has demonstrated that this is a very defective arrangement, inasmuch as the introduction of the air within the keg causes the beer or other liquor to become sour unless it is drawn off quite rapidly; hence such faucets are not adapted for use in small saloons, the proprietors of which places of resort demand a faucet that will afford the necessary ventage, and yet will not canse their liquors to become dat and unsalable. To meet these requirements we have devised a faucet the heel of which has one or more lateral ports, while the inner end of said heel is closed, so as to prevent the liquor taking a direct central passage through the axial channel. Furthermore, the discharging end of the tube or inlet is located in the rear of these ports in order that the flow of beer through the latter will cause a current of air to traverse said inlet and mingle With the liquor as it escapes from the faucet. By this arrangement the proper ventage is afforded, while at the same time there is no possibility of the air entering the keg or barrel, it being understood that the construction of the device is such as to allow the inlet to be opened only when the faucet-plug is so turned as to draw of the liquor
Monday’s ad is another one for Guinness, this time from 1937. This is an odd little ad. A couple — who to my eyes look almost identical except for their clothing — had to stop while bicycling through the countryside. While he tried to fix the bike, she sensibly fixed lunch. Yet he seems chuffed that she’s not eager to share, even calling her lazy. Not a great date.
Today in 1948, US Patent 2448063 A was issued, an invention of Edouard Thys, for his “Machine For Stripping Hops From Vines.” There’s no Abstract, although in the description it includes this summary:
This invention relates to means for mechanically picking hops and has particular reference to the picker fingers and bars for supporting the same, by which the hop blossoms and clusters are mechanically removed from the vines when the latter pass through the machine.
Today in 1897, US Patent 589231 A was issued, an invention of Jacob Fred Theurer, assigned to the Pabst Brewing Company, for his “Bung Branding Machine.” There’s no Abstract, although in the description it includes this summary:
My invention pertains to a machine for branding bungs, the construction and operation of which, together with its advantages, are set forth in the following description, reference being made to the annexed drawings, in which Figure 1 is a side elevation of the machine; Fig. 2, an end elevation, part of the chain being removed and the pistons shown in section; Fig. 3, a top plan view, and Fig. 4 a sectional view of the branding-dies and the heating device.
The object of my invention is to construct a machine for branding a series of bungs at one time and to present the bungs to the dies in successive series.
Today in 1897, US Patent 589065 A was issued, an invention of Otto Zwietusch, for his “Method Of And Apparatus For Treating Beer.” There’s no Abstract, although in the description it includes this summary:
My invention relates to the treatment and finishing of beer and other malt liquids, and especially the impregnation thereof with carbonic-acid gas; and it consists in a new and useful method or art of accomplishing these results, as well as in the novel and useful apparatus therefor, all as will be fully set forth hereinafter and subsequently claimed.
Today in 1988, US Patent 4767640 A was issued, an invention of Henry Goldstein, Patrick L. Ting, Etzer Chicove, Gary Goetzke, and John M. Cowles, assigned to Miller Brewing Company, for their “Light Stable Hop Extracts and Method of Preparation.” Here’s the Abstract:
A method of preparing anactinic hop extracts comprising three stages: pre-purification of a liquid CO2 hop extract using liquid-liquid extraction to isolate pure humulones or alpha acids; isomerization/reduction of the humulones to obtain a mixture consisting of reduced isohumulones and non-isohumulone light unstable products (NILUPS); then adding alkali and water to the mixture of reduced isohumulones and NILUPS, heating and stirring to extract the reduced isohumulones into an aqueous phase and to leave the NILUPS in an oil phase. The aqueous phase is an anactinic hop extract which can be used to prepare light stable malt beverages.
This is one of a multitude of patents that Miller received in order to maintain their image, using a clear bottle for Miller High Life. It seems like it would have been far less expensive to just re-brand the beer with a brown bottle, but I guess that’s why I’m not in marketing.