Patent No. 551167A: Truck For Barrels Or Other Vessels

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Today in 1895, US Patent 551167 A was issued, an invention of Henry A. Kobold, for his “Truck for Barrels or Other Vessels.” There’s no Abstract, although in the description it includes these claims:

My invention relates to a device for grasping kegs, barrels, casks, and other vessels having projecting flanges or rims at their ends like the chines of kegs and barrels, whereby the same may be conveniently and readily conveyed from place to place or raised and lowered along skids in loading and unloading without the necessity of touching the hands to them.

My invention has for its primary object to provide a device of this nature which Will be capable of readily grasping the vessel in such a manner that the latter may be easily rolled and guided to the desired place, the cylindrical form of the vessel being utilized in giving it locomotion.

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Beer In Ads #2120: Blue Ribbon North American Game Birds


Friday’s ad is for Pabst Blue Ribbon, from the 1980s. In this ad, a poster by Pabst, entitled “Blue Ribbon North American Game Birds,” it shows illustrations of nine popular game birds. Presumably it was intended to hang in bars frequented by hunters, or perhaps people who love birds. Speaking of which, there are far fewer beer ads using birds that I thought there would be, so this will be the last one for now (not including the many John Gilroy Guinness ads featuring toucans). I must be in the minority, because I love birds.

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Here’s a second view of the poster, though for the life of me I don’t understand why they displayed it on a Coors tablecloth.

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Historic Beer Birthday: Henry H. Rueter

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Today is the birthday of Henry Hermann Rueter (December 9, 1832-November 27, 1899). He was born in Westphalia, Germany, but moved to Boston, Massachusetts. In 1867, along with Irishman John R. Alley, founded the Highland Spring Brewery. By 1885, they had moved to Heath & 165 Terrace Streets, but was known after that as Rueter & Co., Inc., although their trade name continued to be the Highland Spring Brewery. After prohibition ended, they were known as the The Croft Brewing Co., but in 1952 were bought by the Narragansett Brewing Co., who closed them for good the following year.

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Here is a biography from the Boston Landmarks Commission when the property where the brewery was located applied for historic status, researched by Angelica Coleman and Marcia Butman:

Henry Rueter was born in 1832 I the province of Westphalia, Germany. He immigrated to the US in 1851 and after a short stay in New York came to Boston and worked for the Roxbury brewer G. F Burkhardt. With John D. Alley he established Highland Springs Brewery. After Alley withdrew to form his own company, the firm reorganized as Rueter and Co. After Rueter’s death (1899) his sons retained control of the company.

Another source discusses the family background. “The family was founded in this country by the late Henry H. Rueter, who came to Boston in 1831, at 18, from Gutersloh, Westphalia, his birthplace. He was of honorable ancestry, uniting the blood of the Rueters and the Von Eickens.”

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From “The Men of Boston and New England, The Boston American,” 1913

Henry H. Rueter founded the Highland Spring Brewery in 1869, and in three years had made it the largest brewery in the United States and today it still maintains its place as the greatest ale brewery of America.

The present head of the family is Henry A. Rueter, born in Boston, educated in Germany, and now in his fifty-fourth year. He is president of Rueter & Company; and of its affiliated lager beer interest the A J. Houghton Companv; and is a director in the National Rockland Bank, the American Trust Co., the Roxbury Institution for Savings, and the Mass. Bonding and Ins. Co. He was one of the incorporators ot the Mass. Automobile Club, and has served it in various capacities. The Country Club and the Algonquin Club count him among their members as does the Boston Chamber of Commerce. Mrs. Rueter was Miss Bertha Glover, only daughter of the late William H. Glover of Rockland, Me. They have two children,-William G. Rueter, now in his final year at Harvard, and Miss Martha Von Eicken Rueter.

A graduate of Harvard, and later a student at Boston Univ. Law School and Bonn University, Germany, Conrad J. Rueter is a recognized authority on the technical and practical application of the liquor law. He has served his city for upwards of seventeen years as trustee of the Boston City Hospital having been reappointed in 1913 for another five vear term. He belongs to the Boston Art Club, the Puritan Club, and the Harvard Club; and is a member of the Liederkrantz Club of New York. In his fiftieth year, his pleasure in outdoor sport is evidenced bv his membership in the Mass. Automobile Club, the Brae Burn Country Club and the Wollaston Golf Club Mrs. Conrad J. Rueter was Miss Ramseyer. There is one son.-John Conrad Rueter.

At the head of the sales staff is Frederick T. Rueter. and the brewing department itself is in direct charge of Ernest L Rueter. youngest of the four brothers, as general manager and master-brewer. Both names appear on the rolls of the Boston Athletic Assn. Ernest L. Rueter is also a member of the Country Club. Frederick T. Rueter is unmarried. Mrs. Ernest L. Rueter was Miss Myra Chevalier, and there is one daughter-Miss Jeanette.

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And here’s another short history of the brewery from the Wikipedia page about the Highland Spring Brewery Bottling and Storage Buildings:

The Highland Spring Brewery was founded in 1867 by a pair of immigrants, one Irish and the other German. The enterprise was a significant success, producing lagers, ales, and porters, and eventually gaining a nationwide reputation. In part for legal reasons, the two buildings built by the company (one for production, the other for storage and bottling) were connected by a tunnel and piping. The brewer ceased operations when Prohibition began in 1920. One of the company’s brewmasters opened the Croft Brewery in the 1892 building in 1933 after Prohibition ended, the storage building having been sold to the Ditson Company and significantly altered for its use. Croft was acquired by Narragansett Brewing Company in the 1952, and operated on the premises for just one year before closing the plant and moving production to their Rhode Island Brewery until 1981 when it too closed.

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The Highland Spring Brewery around 1920.

Patent No. 5694787A: Counter Top Beer Chilling Dispensing Tower

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Today in 1997, US Patent 5694787 A was issued, an invention of Robert K. Cleleand and James M. Cleleand, for their “Counter Top Beer Chilling Dispensing Tower.” Here’s the Abstract:

A counter top beer dispensing tower structure including a thermo insulating jacket structure with a top wall, a flat counter top engaging bottom wall, rear and side walls, a flat vertically and laterally extending front wall and a body insulating material at the inner surfaces of the walls, a metal cold plate within the body of insulating material, a plurality of laterally spaced dispensing valve mounting parts carried by and projecting forwardly from the plate and accessible at the front wall, a plurality of elongate tubular beer conducting coils in the plate, each beer conducting coil has a downstream end portion connected with a related valve mounting part and a vertical upstream end portion depending from the plate and bottom wall to extend through a primary opening in a related counter and to connect with the downstream end on of related beer conducting line, and elongate tubular glycol coil unit within the plate and having vertical upstream and downstream end portions depending from the plate and the jacket structure to extend through the primary opening in the related counter and to connect with downstream and upstream ends of related delivery and return sections of an elongate glycol conducting lines a glycol chiller and, plurality of spaced apart elongate vertically extending threaded mounting studs anchored to and depending from tower jacket structure to extend through secondary openings in the related counter; and, nuts on the studs and engaging the counter to draw the bottom wall in to tight engagement with the top of the counter.

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Anchor Christmas Ale 2000

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It’s day twenty-six of my seasonal sprint to Christmas featuring all 42 labels from Anchor’s Christmas Ale — a.k.a. Our Special Ale — all different beers (well, mostly different) and all different labels, each one designed by local artist Jim Stitt, up to and including this year’s label.

2000 was the twenty-sixth year that Anchor made their Christmas Ale, and from 1987 through the present day, each year Anchor’s Our Special Ale has included spices, a different combination of them every time. Generally the base beer has been a spiced brown ale, although it has been varied from time to time, as well. This twenty-sixth label was a “California Nutmeg,” or “Torreya californica.”

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Patent No. 2863579A: Case Unloader With Bottle Rejecting Head

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Today in 1958, US Patent 2863579 A was issued, an invention of George L.N. Meyer, for his “Case Unloader with Bottle Rejecting Head.” There’s no Abstract, although in the description it includes these claims:

This invention relates to a case unloader adapted to unload empty bottles from a case and to reject bottles with corks, caps or other obstructions in the neck of the bottle.

In case unloaders used to remove empty beer, carbonated beverage bottles, etc., from cases and deliver them to a bottle washer, or the like, prior to refilling, much trouble has been experienced with bottles that have been re-capped or which have a cork or other obstruction in the neck. Case unloaders heretofore made had no provision for rejecting such bottles and as a result bottles with caps or corks on the necks were processed through the bottle washer. When such bottles reached the inside brush station, or the rinsing station, the brush spindle, or the rinse nozzle, would strike the cap, cork or other obstruction and bend either the spindle or the nozzle, necessitating stopping of the machine to replace the damaged element.

It is an object of the present invention to provide a case unloader for bottles which will reject any bottles having a crown, cork or other such obstruction in the neck, and so prevent such bottles from going through the washing machine.

Another object is to provide a case unloader which will remove only those bottles from the case which have the necks of the bottles free of obstructions.

A further object of the invention is to provide a case unloader for beverage bottles, or the like, which will reduce break-downs in the bottle washing machinery.

A still further object is to provide a case unloader which will reduce the amount of supervision required to load bottles onto a bottle washer.

A still further object of the invention is to reduce the overall cost of washing bottles.

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Beer Birthday: Fritz Maytag

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Fritz Maytag, who bought the failing Anchor Brewery in 1965 and turned it into a model for the microbrewery revolution, celebrates his 79th birthday today. It’s no stretch to call Fritz the father of craft beer, he introduced so many innovations that are common today and influenced countless brewers working today. A few years ago, Maytag sold Anchor Brewery and Distillery to Keith Greggor and Tony Foglio of the Griffin Group, but continues to make his York Creek wine and consult with Anchor as Chairman Emeritus. I was happy to see him again earlier this year when I was invited to introduce him to receive an award from the Northern California Brewers Guild in Sacramento. Join me in wishing Fritz a very happy birthday.

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Fritz Maytag at the Anchor Christmas party in 2006 with fellow Anchor-ites John Dannerbeck and Mark Carpenter.

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Fritz with the organizers of SF Beer Week at our inaugural opening event at Anchor in 2009.

Speakers at the Symposium: Bruce Paton, Christine Hastorf, Fritz Maytag and Charlie Bamforth
Fritz with fellow speakers at the Herbst Museum Symposium a couple of years ago, from left: Bruce Paton, Christine Hastorf, Fritz Maytag and Charlie Bamforth.

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Ken Grossman, me and Fritz at a beer dinner at Anchor celebrating Sierra Nevada’s 30th anniversary.

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Me and Fritz at the Anchor Christmas Party a few years ago.

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Me and Fritz at the California Beer Summit this September.

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Jack McAuliffe and Fritz in Sacramento earlier this year to accept an award from the Northern California Brewers Guild.

Beer In Ads #2119: The ‘A’ And Eagle Has Learned To Fly


Thursday’s ad is for Budweiser, from 1943. In this ad, featuring the Bald Eagle soaring with U.S. war planes in a nakedly patriotic ad (it was mid-WW2 after all), you’ll be surprised to learn what the ad is actually about. Despite the all-American imagery, the ad is about refrigeration, and gliders, and how A-B converted their refrigeration division to make gliders for the military to help the war effort. And if you look at the bottom, A-B was doing a lot for the war effort, and wasn’t shy about letting people now, probably still smarting from the prohibition years and trying to get back in their customers’ and especially the teetotalers good graces.

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Order Of Cistercians Of The Strict Observance

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Today, December 8, 1892, the Order of Cistercians of the Strict Observance, or O.C.S.O. (Ordo Cisterciensis Strictioris Observantiae), was formally decreed, though you may know them by another name: Trappists. Pope Leo XIII called a plenary general chapter in Rome, and with Cardinal Mazzella as president, the Sacred Congregation of Bishops and Regulars negotiated and created the new order, and the decree was titled the “General of the Order of the Reformed Cistercians of Our Lady of La Trappe.”

Essentially, it’s “a Roman Catholic religious order of cloistered contemplative monastics who follow the Rule of St. Benedict. A branch of the Order of Cistercians, they have communities of both monks and nuns, commonly referred to as Trappists and Trappistines, respectively.” The Cistercians began around 1098, but the Trappist subgroup within them is only 124 years old.

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The monastery at Abbaye Notre-Dame d’Orval.

Here’s their basic history:

The order takes its name from La Trappe Abbey or La Grande Trappe, located in the French province of Normandy. A reform movement began there in 1664, in reaction to the relaxation of practices in many Cistercian monasteries. Armand Jean le Bouthillier de Rancé, originally the commendatory abbot of La Trappe, led the reform. As commendatory abbot, de Rancé was a layman who obtained income from the monastery but had no religious obligations. After a conversion of life between 1660 and 1662, de Rancé formally joined the abbey and became its regular abbot in 1663. In 1892 the reformed “Trappists” broke away from the Cistercian order and formed an independent monastic order with the approval of the pope.

As of the beginning of this year, there were 102 Trappist monasteries worldwide, including seventeen in the United States. Within the order, there are 681 priests and 1,693 total persons living and working at the monasteries. Of those monasteries, about twenty of them are regulated by the International Trappist Association, which provides a protected trademark for products made and sold by Trappist monasteries. Product made by Trappists vary widely, and just in the category of food include bread, mushrooms, chocolates, jam, pea soup, honey, cheese, biscuits, liquors, olive oil, wine, and, of course, beer.

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The brewery at the Abbey of Saint-Remy in Rochefort.

There used to be fewer, but with a number of recent additions, there are now a dozen Trappist breweries listed on the ITA website from six countries. Belgium still has the most, with Achel, Chimay, Orval, Rochefort, Westmalle and Westvleteren. The Netherlands has two, with La Trappe and Zundert. Then there’s one a piece from Austria (Stift Engelszell), France (Mont des Cats), Italy (Tre Fontane) and the United States (Spencer).

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The Abbey of Saint-Remy in Rochefort.

Here’s another short description of them, from the Free Dictionary:

Trappists, popular name for an order of Roman Catholic monks, officially (since 1892) the Reformed Cistercians or Cistercians of the Stricter Observance. They perpetuate the reform begun at La Trappe, Orne dept., France, by Armand de Rancé (c.1660). The reformer’s aim was to restore primitive Cistercian (hence also primitive Benedictine) life; actually the Trappists surpassed both St. Benedict and St. Bernard in austerity. The reform was acclaimed in the world, but many Cistercians resisted it. The whole order was affected, but some abbeys never accepted the reform as such. The life of Trappists is one of strict seclusion from the world. Working hours are devoted to common and private worship, labor (often manual), and study; there is no recreation, meat is eaten only by the sick, and silence is observed except under unusual circumstances, but not by vow. Lay brothers do much of the farming, a peculiarly Cistercian practice. In the 19th and 20th cent. the Trappists shared in the revival of monasticism and expanded greatly. There are 12 abbeys in the United States. The head of the order, the abbot general of Cîteaux, lives in Rome.

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The gate at the Saint-Sixtus Abbey of Westvleteren, where you can pick up beer by the case.

And finally, here’s a more thorough overview, from “An Introductory History of The Cistercians,” by M. Basil Pennington, OCSO:

Beginnings

On 21 March 1098, the saintly abbot of the thriving Benedictine Abbey of Molesme, Robert, led twenty-one of his monks into the inhospitable thickets of Citeaux to establish a new monastery where they hoped to follow Benedict of Nursia’s Rule for Monasteries in all its fullness. The unhappy monks of Molesme, grieved at the loss of their holy leader, soon obtained a papal command for his return. The new struggling community continued until 1109 under the leadership of Alberic, who introduced the idea of lay brothers being accepted as full members of the monastic family, making it possible for the monks to be free to follow all the demands of the Benedictine Rule. Stephen Harding, who succeeded Alberic at the helm of the community, welcomed the dynamic Bernard of Fontaines, who came in 1112 with thirty relatives in tow. Thus began the saga of Citeaux.

The Charter of Charity

Before Bernard died in 1153 he had not only founded the great Abbey of Clairvaux which would become a focal point for all of Christendom but he personally sent forth men to start sixty-five other houses while his brother abbots started another 235. Stephen and the other founders were determined to keep alive the pristine observance of the Rule which they had come to Citeaux to establish. To this purpose they created a Charta caritatis, a constitution which bound all Cistercian abbots to come to Citeaux annually for a general chapter. It also bound all the houses to a common observance and set up a system of visitation which respected the autonomy of each house but assured its fidelity.

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Expansion and Decline

The order continued to expand: by 1200 there were over 500 houses; on the eve of the Reformation, the records showed 742. In time geography began to defeat these model means of regularity which were eventfully adopted by all other religious orders. The decline in the number of recruits had its effect. But most destructive was the practice of the ecclesiastical and secular powers to give the abbatial office to clerics who had no interest in the well-being of the monastery, only in its revenues, leaving the monks without guidance and financial means. In some instances secular powers required the monks to take on active ministries, in others the monks did this on their own. There were repeated attempts at reform, most notably in the century after the Council of Trent.

The Trappist Reform

In 1664 Pope Alexander VII recognized within the Cistercian Order two observances, the Common and the Strict, sometimes called the “abstinents” for their fidelity to Benedict’s prohibition of the use of flesh meat in the monastic diet. Among these latter arose Armand Jean de Rancé, a commendatory abbot who underwent a conversion and brought about in his Abbey of Notre Dame de la Grande Trappe a renewal in the practice of monastic enclosure, silence, and manual labor, expressing a spirit of apartness from all worldliness and a dedication to prayer and penance. By the disposition of Divine Providence his was the one community that escaped complete destruction and dispersion at the hands of the French Revolution.

Trappist Expansion

In the course of many and varied travels under the leadership of Augustine de Lestrange the community was able to establish foundations in Spain, Belgium, England, Italy and the United States. When the monks returned to re-establish La Trappe after the downfall of Napoleon, Vincent de Paul Merle remained in America to establish the first permanent Cistercian community in the New World which today flourishes in Spencer, Massachusetts: Saint Joseph’s Abbey. Monasteries of the Common Observance continued in eastern Europe in many cases operating schools and pastoring parishes.

The Order of Citeaux

In 1892 Pope Leo sought to bring all the Cistercian houses back together into one order but pastoral responsibilities and national loyalties made it impossible for the Common Observance houses who were divided into many national congregations to unite with the Strict Observance who were at that time largely French and who had opted for the strict monastic heritage of the Cistercian founders. Thus the Pope recognized two Cistercian Orders, called today the Order of Citeaux and the Cistercian Order of the Strict Observance, popularly known as the Trappists. The Order of Citeaux suffered greatly under the communist onslaught, not only in eastern Europe but also in Vietnam, where it had a congregation of five houses. On the other hand, the Strict Observance began to flower on the eve of the Second World War and continued to grow until it had over a hundred houses located on all six continents. Only in Yugoslavia and China did its houses suffer at the hands of communism. With the renewal of the Second Vatican Council both orders have written new constitutions which retain the reforming features of Saint Stephen Harding, the general chapter (though no longer annual, usually every three years) and visitations by the superior of the founding abbey.

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Though not a Trappist brewery, the closest O.C.S.O. monastery to me is the Abbey of New Clairvaux, which is a short drive from Chico. For a few years now, they’ve partnered with Sierra Nevada Brewing Company to create the Ovila line of beers.

Patent No. 572708A: Beer Bottling Apparatus

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Today in 1896, US Patent 572708 A was issued, an invention of Charles Meldrum, for his “Beer Bottling Apparatus.” There’s no Abstract, although in the description it includes these claims:

Prior to my invention it has been the usual custom to fill bottles with beer from the keg by employing flexible rubber tubes which are passed down through the open bung-hole into the beer and siphoning the beer through these tubes into the bottles. The disadvantages in bottling beer in this manner are that too much air is admitted through the open bung-hole and the beer is subjected to unnecessary agitation in being siphoned over, all of which results in the liberation and escape of sufficient gas to materially effect the life of the beer. Then, too, any sediment or impurities which may be present in the beer in the keg are carried over into the bottles, which is also a serious objection.

-The object of my present invention is to overcome these defects in a simple and effective manner; and to that end it consists of a passage or conductor one end of which is adapted for tight insertion and removable retention in the bung-hole on the lower side of the keg and provided with a vent-tube which passes up through the beer and into the air-space above, the other end having a chamber across which is placed a strainer and a series of outlet-passages arranged in the wall of the straining-chamber and adapted for engagement with a series of flexible tubes, through which the strained beer passes by gravity into the bottles.

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