Tuesday’s ad is for Schlitz, from 1940. In this ad, entitled “What Do You Know About Voting?,” in which how different people experience their right to vote, are explained. There are two weeks to go until arguably the most important election in my lifetime. So I thought it might be important to know everything about it. Luckily, Schlitz has all the answers.
Today is the 55th birthday of Chris Erickson, Director of Brewery Operations for Snake River Brewing. He’s been at the brewery for twenty years, and I first met Chris at a GABF almost as long ago, and twice this year we judged together. Chris is a great brewer and helped put Snake River on the map, twice winning Small Brewery of the Year. Join me in wishing Chris a very happy birthday.
Rockin’ the Hyster.
In Belgium, c. 2009
[Note: Last two photos purloined from Facebook.]
Today in 1988, US Patent 4780330 A was issued, an invention of Derek R. J. Laws, assigned to The Brewing Research Foundation, for his “Method of Producing Isomerized Hop Preparations.” Here’s the Abstract:
A method for the production of isomerized hop preparations comprising admixing whole or powdered hops with a solid or aqueous alkali or alkaline earth metal salt. The invention provides that the resultant admixture is simultaneously subjected to a pressure of at least 2 Kg/cm2 and at a temperature of at least 80° C. in a closed vessel, thereby to form a hop preparation high in iso-α-acids and with substantially undegraded hop oils. The closed vessel is preferably an extrusion cooker.
Undoubtedly beer tourism is growing phenomenon, and has been for some time. Fifteen years ago, when I was GM of the Celebrator Beer News, the “Hopspots” sections were the most popular in the brewspaper, as many readers reported that they always kept one in their car when they travelled to help them find a beer spot (remember that was before smartphones and GPS were ubiquitous). I know for at least thirty years I’ve been including beer destinations any time I travel, even before I did so as part of my profession. Having that information at your fingertips through apps, websites and GPS has only helped to increase beer travel, I think, and at least part of the success of beer weeks has to do with the goal of bringing tourism to specific geographic areas; essentially making the week the destination rather than a side trip. So it’s interesting to see that a popular travel website, Travelocity, is not only recognizing how beer people travel, but has created a Beer Tourism Index to rank the Top Beer Destinations, dividing them by large and small metro areas (though I’m surprised they consider Santa Rosa-Petaluma, Lancaster PA and a few others as “large”). Also somewhat curious is the total absence of the San Francisco Bay Area, or even San Francisco or Oakland/East Bay in the listings. What’s especially odd about that is that San Francisco is one of the top tourist destination cities (it’s number two according to EscapeHere and #5 according to TripAdvisor and #3 via Business Insider). At any rate, according to their press release.
By examining the location of all breweries in the U.S. and looking at other factors important to a successful “beercation,” including the availability of rideshare services, accessibility via air, and the average cost of lodging, this index identified the best large and small metro areas to sample some of the nation’s best craft beers.
Here’s the full list below:
And here’s the criteria used to arrive at this list:
*To find the top metropolitan areas for beer tourism, Travelocity scored the over 300 US MSAs (Metropolitan Statistical Areas) on four factors:
- Breweries per 1 million residents: Working with the Brewers Association (an organization representing the majority of independent brewers in the US), every MSA was scored by the number of breweries and brewpubs per 1 million residents
- Rideshare availability: To get a full sampling of a region’s beer culture, a beer tourist may need to visit multiple breweries across the area. Rideshare services like Uber or Lyft are invaluable for this, so each MSA was scored on availability of both, either, or neither of these services.
- Nonstop air destinations: If the MSA has an airport with scheduled air service – from how many destinations is nonstop service available?
- Lodging score: Each MSA was scored on the price of an average room night for the 2015 calendar year. The lower the price, the higher the score for the MSA.
The Brewers Association also released a joint press release, adding:
Beer tourism is a big deal. We estimate that in 2014, more than 10 million people toured small and independent craft breweries. That’s a lot of brewery tours. Just search “beercations” and you’ll get a plethora of results on where to tour local breweries.
More than 7 percent of craft sales (by volume) now happen at the source—the brewery. Craft brewers are now a main attraction for travelers. For example, in 2015, the Brewers Association’s three-day Great American Beer Festival generated the equivalent of 2 percent of Denver’s GDP, accounting for $28.6 million. Beer tourism is so strong that travel website Travelocity just published a beer tourism index.
In a Travelocity survey of 1,003 people, more than three-quarters said they would like to go on a trip where they visited craft breweries and sampled local beer. With numerous beer trails flourishing across the U.S. and beer events including festivals and special beer releases racking up millions upon millions of tourism trips and dollars, the modern beercation is a boon to beer.
The Brewers Association commissioned a Nielsen Omnibus panel in June 2016 that asked, “How many, if any, craft breweries have you visited at their site in the past 12 months while traveling?” The answer: on average 2.1 breweries. Impressive.
Today in 1927, US Patent 1646916 A was issued, an invention of Camilo Recuero and Gaudencio Lamarque, for their “Apparatus For Serving Out Beer.” There’s no Abstract, although in the description it includes these claims:
The present invention relates to apparatus for serving out beer and similar beverages and has for its object to provide an improved device of this kind capable of avoiding the disadvantages shown in the methods heretofore used.
As is generally known, in taverns, barrooms, or other places where beer is served out to consumers, this is generally effected from barrels and with the aid of carbonic acid under pressure, thus the conditions of expenditure, as regards satisfaction of the consumer and the amount of liquid wasted depend entirely upon the skill of the barman.
Further, during the hot season, the in crease in the demand for cooled beverages does not allow for sufficient time for serving out the liquid under normal. conditions so that waste is very likely to occur with the consequent losses to the proprietor of the place.
With the aid of the present invention all these disadvantages are avoided, since the improved device provides for an absolute control of discharge of foamless beer, or team alone, just as desired, whereby it is possible to serve out the beer or other liquid at complete satisfaction 0;! even the most exacting consumer and, simultaneously, there are no possibilities for any amount of liquid being wasted. As well, the present device constitutes an important improvement over the devices known in the prior art since it provides for more continuous dispensing.
The device according to the invention is characterized by. the fact that beer is admitted within a container of suitable form, size and material and, through the provision of tubes opening into discharge cocks combined one with the other, the discharge of the liquid, or of the foam formed by the pressure gas, may be exactly controlled so that the discharge is effected entirely at will. In this manner, when serving out’ a can or glass of beer, first-1y liquid beer without foam is discharged until reaching the desired limit, and then a suit able amount of foam is added until filling completely the can or glass used.
Today is the 41st birthday of Melissa Cole, UK beer writer extraordinaire. I’d met Melissa first online and then in person at the Rake in London a few years ago. She’s also been coming over to our side of the pond to judge at both GABF and the World Beer Cup. She’s a great advocate for beer generally, but especially for women, and is great fun to hang out and drink with. She also writes online at Taking the Beard Out of Beer! which is subtitled “A Girl’s Guide To Beer.” Her first book, Let Me Tell You About Beer, was published a couple of years ago. Join me in wishing Melissa a very happy birthday.
Today is the birthday of Antonie van Leeuwenhoek (October 24, 1632–August 26, 1723). He “was a Dutch tradesman and scientist, and is commonly known as ‘the Father of Microbiology.'” Apropos of nothing, “his mother, Margaretha (Bel van den Berch), came from a well-to-do brewer’s family.” Despite hi family ties, van Leeuwenhoek didn’t discover anything specifically useful to the brewing industry, but he did find that there was life pretty much everywhere he looked, using his microscope, including the “microscope—tiny “animalcules,” including yeast cells, which he described for the first time” in 1674-80.” But he laid the groundwork for later scientists to figure how exactly yeast worked. As Brian Hunt wrote in the entry for “infection” in the “The Oxford Companion to Beer,” that “the existence of yeast as a microbe was only discovered in 1674 by Antonie van Leeuwenhoek, the inventor of the modern microscope.” Or as Sylvie Van Zandycke, PhD, put it. “The yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae was used for thousands of years in the fermentation of alcoholic beverages before anyone realized it! The Dutch scientist, Anton Van Leeuwenhoek observed the mighty cells for the first time under the microscope in 1680.”
Here’s a short biography, from the Science Museum Brought to Life:
Leeuwenhoek was born in Delft in the Netherlands, to a family of brewers. He is known for his highly accurate observations using microscopes.
Leeuwenhoek worked as a draper, or fabric merchant. In his work he used magnifying glasses to look at the quality of fabric. After reading natural scientist Robert Hooke’s highly popular study of the microscopic world, called Micrographia (1665), he decided to use magnifying lenses to examine the natural world. Leeuwenhoek began to make lenses and made observations with the microscopes he produced. In total he made over 500 such microscopes, some of which allowed him to see objects magnified up to 200 times.
These were not the first microscopes, but Leeuwenhoek became famous for his ability to observe and reproduce what was seen under the microscope. He hired an illustrator who reproduced the things Leeuwenhoek saw.
In 1673 he began corresponding with the Royal Society of London, which had just formed. Leeuwenhoek made some of the first observations of blood cells, many microscopic animals, and living bacteria, which he described as ‘many very little living animalcules’. In 1680 his work was recognised with membership of the Royal Society – although he never attended a meeting, remaining all his life in Delft.
Leeuwenhoek with His Microscope, by Ernest Board (1877–1934)
Here’s a story from Gizmodo, by Esther Inglis-Arkell, explaining Antonie van Leeuwenhoek’s role and iviting readers to Meet The First Man To Put Beer Under A Microscope:
The man in the picture [the same one at the top of this post] is considered the “Father of Microbiology.” He helped to discover and sketch microorganisms. When he turned his microscope on beer, he saw some of the most useful microorganisms in the world — but he failed to recognize them.
This man above is Anton van Leeuwenhoek, and he’s wearing an absolutely bitchin’ coat because he was a draper by trade. In fact, he draped so successfully that he managed to indulge his hobbies as he got older, one of which was lens making. Anton spent his days making powerful microscopes and sketching the objects he put in front of them. He discovered many things, the most interesting of which were animalcules, things that looked like tiny little animals. His sketches and descriptions, as well as his microscopes, jumpstarted the field of microbiology.
It wasn’t long before he turned his lens on beer in the process of brewing. It was 1680 when he first trained his lens on a droplet of beer. At the time, no one knew what it was that made hops, barley, and water turn into beer. Although they knew of yeast as a cloudy substance that appeared in beer after it spent some time fermenting, they were entirely ignorant of what it did; to the point where there were laws against using anything except barley, hops, and water in the beer-making process. Naturally, as soon as Anton looked at brewing beer he saw little circular blobs. He saw the way they aggregated into larger groups. He saw the way that they produced bubbles of what he thought was “air,” and floated to the surface.
Despite his obsession with microorganisms, he utterly failed to recognize them as life. These blobs, he believed, had come loose from flour. They aggregated into groups of six as part of a chemical process. Anton was fascinated by these groups of flour globs. He modeled them in wax, because he wanted to figure out the ways six globs could stick together while all being visible from above. This is his sketch of his models.
It took another 150 years before Charles Canard-Latour figured out that the “air” was carbon dioxide and the sextets of blobs hadn’t aggregated together, they’d grown. Archaeologists believe that beer was probably first brewed around 3000 BC. That means that we used an organism for nearly 5,000 years before we realized it even existed.
Although van Leeuwenhoek did write about the wood used in beer barrels:
Today in 1899, US Patent 635474 A was issued, an invention of August Grap, for his “Keg Refrigerator.” There’s no Abstract, although in the description it includes these claims:
This invention relates to an apparatus for preserving the volatile hop essences or aromas coming from the copper or boiler in which the wort is boiled with the hops in order to improve the quality of the beer and like brews.
The method and apparatus comprised in the present invention consists in arranging a specially constructed condenser in communication with the top of a copper whereby the vapor arising from the heated contents of the latter will pass to and be condensed in the former.
The condensed vapor or steam is delivered to a supplementary cooling .coil and thence to a mixing chamber where it is brought into contact with the non-condensable or practically non-condensable odoriferous gases for fumes which pass from the upper end of the condenser and are collected and delivered to the said chamber in a convenient way.
The liquid resulting from the condensation of the steam or vapor given out from the copper absorbs the aroma of the odoriferous gases or fumes in the mixing chamber and as a result is richer in flavor and aroma than the original liquid contents of the said copper. The liquid is conveyed. from the mixing chamber to an open vessel or chamber from which it is delivered to a ferment ing vat.
Today is the birthday of John L. Hoerber (October 24, 1821-July 3, 1898). Hoerber was born in Germany, I believe, but founded the John L. Hoerber Brewery in 1858 of Chicago, Illinois, located at 186 Griswold Street. There was very little information I could find about him, not even a photo. But his brewery appears to have taken on a partner in 1864, and was renamed the Hoerber & Gastreich Brewery, but just one year later was hte John L. Hoerber Brewery again. But in 1865 it was sold. As far as I can tell, another John L. Hoerber Brewery was opened in 1864, located at 216/224 West 12th Street, but appears to also have been sold in 1882. Then in 1882, yet another brewery was opened at 646/662 Hinman & 22nd Streets, though it 1885 it changed its name again from brewery to the John L. Hoerber Brewing Co., which is stayed until prohibition. After prohibition, it reopened as The Hoerber Brewing Co., and remained in business until 1941, when it closed for good.
There’s a little bit more information in this translation of “Chicago’s Breweries Statistical Items about the Most Outstanding Breweries,” from Western Brewers, 1875:
J. L. Hoerber is one of our oldest German citizens….He founded a brewery on the South Side….in 1858. He sold this brewery later and established himself at his present location, 220–222 West Twelfth Street. Evidently this was a very fortunate choice, because property values….have increased rapidly in that neighborhood.
Mr. Hoerber has had ample opportunity and means to enlarge his establishment, but 24he prefers to brew only as much beer as he requires in his own beer hall, and possibly enough to supply three or four of his old customers.
Hoerbers’s brewery and beer hall is one of the most imposing brick buildings on West Twelfth Street. The frontage, including the cigar business of the younger Hoerber, is seventy-five feet. Since the house on the east, at 218 West Twelfth Street, also belongs to Mr. Hoerber, the total frontage on Twelfth Street reaches one hundred feet….
The ground floor of the main building is used for the beer hall. It is a popular meeting place for all who like a good glass of beer.
The upper floor contains a hall, a dining room,….etc., and is used for lodge meetings by the Freemasons at present.
J. L. Hoerber brews only in winter, and his guests may rest assured that they will always receive genuine lager beer in the summer, since he serves only his own 25 product.
The business….is stable and well managed. Mr. Hoerber is superintendent…. He stored one hundred and fifty cords of ice….
As we pass the main building, walking towards Dussold Street, we notice the following arrangement: The beer hall faces Twelfth Street; at the back is the adjoining icehouse and the brewery. The yard along Dussold Street would make an excellent beer garden.
Chicago historian and beer writer Bob Skilnik had an article in the Chicago Tribune that mentioned te Hoerber Brewery in 1997:
A population increase from a few hundred in 1833 to more than 100,000 in 1860 opened the market and made success possible for scores of brewers. In 1857, the city council ordered the grades of all existing properties to be raised to a height that would ensure proper drainage. John Hoerber used this opportunity to raise his combination saloon, store and boardinghouse and install a small brewery underneath, pumping fresh beer to his customers. By doing so, Hoerber beat the now-defunct Siebens on West Ontario by about 150 years for the title of Chicago’s first brew pub.