Patent No. 6284244B1: Mediating The Effects Of Alcohol Consumption By Orally Administering Active Dry Yeast

Today in 2001, US Patent 6284244 B1 was issued, an invention of Joseph L. Owades, for his “Mediating the Effects of Alcohol Consumption by Orally Administering Active Dry Yeast.” Here’s the Abstract:

Mediating the effects of alcohol consumption by orally administering an active dry yeast containing alcohol dehydrogenase to a person prior to or simultaneously with consumption of an alcohol-containing beverage to oxidize a portion of the alcohol while it is still in the stomach of the person is described.

This is roughly the same patent, Patent No. 2452476A1: Mediating The Effects Of Alcohol Consumption By Orally Administering Active Dry Yeast, that Owades applied for a patent on and received two years later, in 2003. You can read all about the background of it there.

Beer Birthday: Ken Weaver

Today is the birthday of fellow Bay Area beer writer Ken Weaver, who’s a neighbor in the next town over. If I’ve done my math correctly, today is his 32nd birthday. Ken used to work for Rate Beer, but more recently joined the staff of All About Beer magazine, and also wrote The Northern California Craft Beer Guide, with photographs by his lovely wife Anneliese Schmidt. Believe it or not, Ken has a degree in physics from Cornell but chucked it all to follow his heart and preference for writing and good beer. Physics’ loss is beer’s gain. Join me in wishing Ken a very happy birthday.

At Fred Abercrombie’s Craft Beerd’s book launch party at Taps. Left to right; Fred Abercrombie, Ken Weaver, Anneliese Schmidt, Joe and Ron Lindenbusch, from Lagunitas.

Ken and Sean Paxton at the Boonville Beer Festival in 2010 (purloined from Facebook).

At a North American Guild of Beer Writers meet-up at Breckenridge Brewing during GABF 2012, with Ken and me, dead center.

At Lagunitas for Tom Acitelli’s book release party a few years ago, with Joe Tucker, Jeremy Marshall, me, Tom and Ken.

Patent No. 1239225A: Stopper

Today in 1917, US Patent 1239225 A was issued, an invention of Robert William Sampson, for his “Stopper.” There’s no Abstract, although in the description it includes this summary:

My invention relates to composite stoppers which are so constructed that by manipulating their parts they may be made to expand and contract to facilitate their insertion into and removal from the orifices which they are intended to close, the details of my improvements being hereinafter described and claimed.


Beer In Ads #1667: Why? “Duh”

Thursday’s ad is another one for Miller Lite, again most likely from 1987 or 88. Also featuring comedian Joe Piscopo, who left Saturday Night Live in 1984, after four seasons. Around 1987 and 1988 he did television and print ads for Miller Lite. In this one, the tagline wonders about “A Word From ‘Python’ Piscopo Ex-Wrestler About Miller Lite.” That word? “Duh.” Another intellectually stimulating ad. It’s interesting that in yesterday’s drag queens ad, compared to today’s wrestlers in this ad that they look almost the same. Very colorful outfits, big hair (except when bald) and just as good looking. ANd it still doesn’t make the beer look any more appealing.


Patent No. 3102813A: Processing Of Brewers’ Wort

Today in 1963, US Patent 3102813 A was issued, an invention of George Frederick Bird and David Teignmouth Shore, for their “Processing Of Brewers’ Wort.” There’s no Abstract, although in the description it includes this summary:

This invention relates to the processing of brewers wort by either the batch method of operation or, more especially, the continuous processing method in which Wort is in continuous movement through the plant from the mashing stage, through the boiling stage and the hopping stage to the fermentation stage, the wort being converted during the movement from sweet Wort to hopped wort. In such a method, the hopped wort is at present clarified or filtered before reaching the fermentation stage without serious loss of valuable wort constituents.

Broadly stated, the present invention consists in effecting a filtration of the wort by causing that wort to flow through a hop bed which is quiescent so that it operates as a filter bed as well as ensuring the extraction of valuable hopping substances.


Beer In Ads #1666: Why? “To Keep The Girlish Figure”

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.


Patent No. PP14127P2: Hop Plant Named “VGXP01” (a.k.a. Amarillo)

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.”


Beer In Ads #1665: Welcome To The Inns Of Britain

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.


Patent No. 325316A: Beer-Faucet

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


Beer In Ads #1664: Daisy, Daisy

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.