Patent No. 4322008A: Drinking Container

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Today in 1982, US Patent 4322008 A was issued, an invention of Ira Schneider, for his “Drinking Container,” or mug. Here’s the Abstract:

The present invention relates to a drinking container for increasing the number of and ostensibly decreasing the size of bubbles in a drinking liquid having dissolved gases contained therein. The container is provided with a roughened region on its normally smooth interior surface. The roughened region is preferably located at the bottom of the container and may be produced by grinding, sand blasting, acid etching, and the like. It is a feature of the disclosure that the roughened region may be formed of a separate element mechanically locked to the container.

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Patent No. 1578627A: Bottle Opener

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Today in 1926, US Patent 1578627 A was issued, an invention of John C. Baumgarten, for his “Bottle Opener.” There’s no Abstract, but the description states that the “invention relates to bottle capping implements.” It’s essentially a ring with bottle opener. I always thought those were a pretty recent invention, but this is from 1926. Here’s how it’s explained:

Since bottles containing soda water, and the like, are generally closed by crimped on caps a special implement must be used for removing these caps. There are two types of these implements generally used. One of these is a device which is applied by hand. Since this device is readily laid down in one place, when required in another, it is not always handy during the rush of customers. The other type is a device located at some station to which the bottle must be taken, and hence unless several of this type of device be installed it would necessitate considerable running back and forth.

So the object of my invention is to provide a simple, inexpensive implement to pry off said caps, and its construct such implement in the form of a ring which may be carried about for instant use. A further object of my invention is so to construct my implement so that it will not impose undue strain on; or tend to bruise the finger in removing said caps.

So he’s proposing that all bartenders where one his opener rings while working, making it part of the uniform of a barkeep.
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Beer Birthday: Gary Glass

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Today is the 42nd birthday of Gary Glass, Director of the American Homebrewers Association. Gary’s been with the Brewers Association for many a moon and has become the face of homebrewing in America. Join me in wishing Gary a very happy birthday. And relax, drink a homebrew, if you have one.

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Gary at Anchor Brewery with his wife Erin after an AHA rally there in 2008.

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Gary talking with Fred Eckhardt at Hopworks Urban Brewery, flanked by Christian Ettinger and Brian Butenschoen, Oregon Brewers Guild Director. Photo by Oregon Brewers Guild.

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Gary Glass, Erin and Bradley Lantham, from the BA, at Anchor Brewing for an AHA Rally.

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Gary, Maya and Erin. (Photo purloined from Facebook.)

Patent No. 3175595A: Baled Hops Shredder

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Today in 1965, US Patent 3175595 A was issued, an invention of Morton William Coutts, assigned to Dominion Breweries Ltd., for his “Baled Hops Shredder.” There’s no Abstract, but the description states that the “invention relates to the breaking up and the measuring of compressed baled hops and the like, and has for its objects the provision of an apparatus for achieving this quickly and easily and also in measured quantities and at predetermined speeds and intervals of time, directly from the bales.”

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Beer Birthday: Dick Cantwell

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Today is Dick Cantwell’s 57th birthday. He’s the head brewer and co-founder of Elysian Brewing in Seattle, Washington, and the co-author of Barley Wine. In addition to brewing, Dick’s a great writer, too, and his work frequently appears in numerous beer magazines. He also was on the BA’s board of directors and headed both the Communications and Pipeline committees. More recently, he’s moved to San Francisco, and spends part of his time in our fair city. Join me in wishing Dick a very happy birthday.

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Award-winning Portland beer writer Lisa Morrison and Dick at an Elysian event during OBF.

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Dick with his business partner and Elyisian co-founder Dave Buhler at GABF in 2006.

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Enjoying a pint at the Falling Rock in Denver during GABF week.

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During OBF in 2007, Dick and Dave Buehler, a reception they hosted for brewers and beer folk.

Patent No. 3946780A: Fermentation Container

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Today in 1976, US Patent 3946780 A was issued, an invention of John C. Sellers, for his “Fermentation Container.” Here’s the Abstract:

A flexible fermentation container which has, in place of the common air lock, a diaphragm having a Gurley porosity of 2 to 120 seconds. The diaphragm material, such as spun bonded polyethylene, allows fermentation gases to pass out of the container, but does not allow bacteria or other contaminants to enter.

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Beer In Ads #1509: Relax


Sunday’s ad is still another one for Budweiser, this one from, I think, the late 1950s. It’s another ad from their “Where there’s life” series, this one is called “Relax.” A man who’s made some questionable fashion choices relaxes while an unseen feminine hand pours him a glass of beer, which — as is usual for these ads — is about to overflow as the glass is full and the bottle’s nowhere near empty.

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Patent No. EP 0645094A1: Improvement Of Gas And Alcohol Production By Yeast

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Today in 1995, US Patent EP 0645094 A1 was issued, an invention of Rooijen Rutger Jan Van, Peter Johannes Schoppink, and Ronald Baankreis, for their “Improvement of Gas and Alcohol Production by Yeast.” Here’s the Abstract:

Introduction of futile cycles in the glycolytic pathway of yeast strains enables enhanced gas production and ethanol production under stress conditions, e.g. in a sugar-rich dough having a sugar content of higher than 3% weight percentage based on flour, e.g. 20%, or at high ethanol concentration in an industrial ethanol production process.

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Save The Bees, Save The Beer

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Beer, of course, is an agricultural product, two of its main ingredients are very dependent on a good harvest. Both hops and barley (and other grains such as wheat and rye) grow best when they’re planted in the right place and the conditions are present to encourage their best selves. I received an e-mail a few days ago with the intriguing message. “Bees pollinate 1/3 of our food, including the hops used to make beer. Save the bees, save the beer.”

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The e-mail was about an Indiegogo campaign to create a “community open to anyone who cares about bees, the environment and food,” called BeeWithMe, which will consist of “a dynamic new website that teaches people how easy and fun it is to raise a diverse range of gentle bees.” Unless you’ve been cryogenically frozen recently, you no doubt have heard that bees are disappearing from our environment, which could have devastating consequences for our food supply and our life cycle more generally. Find out how to participate at You Can Help Save the Bees, which begins:

Imagine a world without bees. There would be no blueberries, no cherries, no pumpkins – not even beer.

Here’s the problem: Most farmers depend on a single type of bee to pollinate our food and that bee, the honey bee, has been struggling.

You can be part of the solution and protect our food supply by raising gentle, native bees in your backyard or supporting someone else who does.

Keep your favorite foods on the table by contributing today and joining the BeeWithMe network that will collaborate to raise more native bees and grow more food.

Most of the pledge levels involve getting your own bees, some to simply release in your back yard, up to everything you need to raise your own bees. There are also teacher’s packages for classrooms and levels for entire garden clubs and communities. Please bee generous. And remember, save the bees, save the beer.

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Patent No. EP 0645342A1: Safety Dispensing Valve

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Today in 1995, US Patent EP 0645342 A1 was issued, an invention of Robert Bernard Harwood Cook, for his “Safety Dispensing Valve.” Here’s the Abstract:

A spear valve assembly (5) has a valve body (14) for engagement with a keg neck (3) and a skirt (17) on the valve body (14) including openings (18) for the throughflow of beer during filling. A downtube assembly (12) is movable relative to the valve body (14) and the skirt (17) and includes a downtube (12) for projecting into beer in a keg. A locking member (7) is carried by the downtube assembly (12) and is arranged to project through at least one further opening (19) in the skirt. In use, the locking member (7) normally prevents the spear valve assembly (5) from being ejected from a beer keg by engagement behind the keg neck. However, for removal of the spear valve assembly (5) the downtube assembly (12) is tilted relative to the skirt (17) to retract the locking element (7).

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