Patent No. 2056524A: Combination Bushing For Beer Barrels

Today in 1936, US Patent 2056524 A was issued, an invention of Paul A. Johnson, for his “Combination Bushing For Beer Barrels.” There’s no Abstract, although in the description it includes this summary:

This invention relates to a universal bushing for beer barrels.

Barrels which are to contain beer have bung holes through which the barrel is filled. The beer is pumped or otherwise tapped from the barrel. It is common to provide at the bung hole of the barrel a bushing, of metal. Many and different types of bushings are used with which are associated plugs and/or valves for sealing the barrel against escape of the beer and with which a tapping mechanism may be used to withdraw the beer from the barrel.

There are several systems of tapping the beer from the barrel with each of which special plugs or valves for the different systems are used and heretofore it has been necessary, with a particular type of bushing used, to use with it a particular valve or plug designed to fit the bushing or be used therewith or integrally connected thereto. With my invention I provide a universal bushing capable of being sealed against escape of the beer and with which any of the different regular makes of plugs or valves may be used.


Monti Taste Collection Beer Glasses

I continue to be fascinated by the design work still being done on beer glassware to figure out the perfect shape for beer, or for specfic types of beer. I just stumbled on yet another effort, these glasses from Los Angeles-based Sempli, which was founded by Swedish designer Daniel Semeraro in 2011. They consist of four glasses, part of a set known as the Monti Taste Collection. Each glass was mouth-blown from lead-free crystal.


Two of the four glasses were created to enhance to specific types of beer, while the other two are generic, but are meant to fit particular size packages.


On the left was designed for IPAs, next for pilsner (known as the “pils”). The third glass will hold a pint — 16 ounces — and the last glass the contents of a 12-ounce bottle or can (and called “the birra”).

They all seem to have a pyramid shape in the bottom of the glass, possibly to encourage or enhance nucleation. They call it a “conical inverted bases,” and claim it’s “designed to catch the first splash of a pour and help ‘lead the effervescence of the brew up to the surface.'”

They’re not yet available for sale, but will be released later this month, on October 23. They can be pre-ordered on the Sempli website. The pilsner glass doesn’t look that drastically different from traditional pilsner glasses, and for that matter the IPA glass seems to be a following at least a general trend. Still, I’m certainly keen to see how it compares to other recent designs for IPAs.


Patent No. 900076A: Beer-Dispensing Apparatus

Today in 1908, US Patent 900076 A was issued, an invention of Sylvester J. Asbell, for his “Beer-Dispensing Apparatus.” There’s no Abstract, although in the description it includes only this summary:

My invention relates to apparatus for dispensing beer and similar beverages stored under pressure; and particularly to apparatus of this nature in which the beverage is of either different kinds or qualities and therefore requires separate storing vessels and separate discharge means therefor in order to avoid intermingling. The principal object of my invention is to so construct an apparatus of this character that it may be thoroughly flushed with a place where the vessels are situated in order to shut off the several vessels fromthe system of piping t: be cleansed.


Beer In Ads #1699: Tennis – Golf – Baseball

Monday’s ad is for Miller High Life, from 1939. Tennis – Golf – Baseball. “Wherever there’s action — wherever people are doing things — you’ll find Miller Hight Life.” Are there any places where people aren’t doing things? But by far my favorite line is this sentence. “There’s a blithe lift to this sparkling, amber brew that puts it in time with action and fun.” Pure poetry.


Patent No. 3610478A: Tapping Device For Beer Kegs

Today in 1971, US Patent 3610478 A was issued, an invention of Mack S. Johnston, for his “Tapping Device For Beer Kegs and the Like.” There’s no Abstract, although in the description it includes only this summary:

Disclosed is a novel tapping device for beer kegs and the like including a keg adapter mounted in the opening of a keg at the brewery and a probe-type coupler secured to the keg adapter at the dispensing establishment to dispense beer.


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Session #104: Reports Of The Session’s Death Have Been Greatly Exaggerated

For our 104th Session, our host is Alan McLeod, who writes A Good Beer Blog. For the topic, he’s extending the discussion I started a few weeks ago in The Monthly Session: Should It Continue Or Should We Let It Go? Twenty people weighed and cast a vote, and the ayes held the day, 15 to 5. So there you have it, we’re still alive, though perhaps on life support. Alan, who magnanimously offered to step in this month, did just that, donning his cape and wearing his matching knickers on the outside, is here to save the day. In his announcement, Session 104: Quick! Write… And Make It Good!!, he’s challenged people to step up, calling us all a “bunch of sookie babies” and get to it, meaning writing blog posts.

So, time to suck it up. I am hosting and you bunch of sookie babies are writing blog posts. Got it? I was going to tell you to write anything you feel like whether it makes any sense or not… but then I realized that’s what you do anyway. Especially you. Yes, you!! So you are going to write about this: if we just “take the philosophical approach, that the Session has run its course” aren’t we really admitting that beer blogging is a massive failure? I say no. I say this is a fabulous way to cover up problem drinking with anti-social internet addictions. Maybe you know of another reason we should keep writing and try to make some sense of the beer and brewing world. Well, goodie for you. Write about it. Explain yourself. Because if you can’t you are really admitting (i) you’ve wasted the best part of the last decade or (ii) you live in a fantasy world where think you are a beer writer and not a beer blogger and that’s soooooo much more important… as if your friends don’t share concerned messages about you behind your back:

Linda? It’s Barry. Yes, I saw him. He still pretends he writes about alcohol as a job… she’s the strong one… poor things… where will it end?

Make it good.


So I’m obviously late with my Session post this month, being that it’s Monday and The Session really took place last Friday. But this time I wasn’t just busy, I waited until today on purpose. I wanted to see what people had to say. As Alan noted, I had the shakes and even was a bit verklempt, as Stan and I wondered aloud and in print if The Session might have run its course. At best, it was on life support as people were no longer volunteering to host and keep it going.


Between the polls I took and my post, The Monthly Session: Should It Continue Or Should We Let It Go?, from a two weeks ago, I had an idea that many people would say that The Session should continue. And largely that seemed to be the case, even if participation seemed … well, not enormous. But more importantly, I wanted to see if anybody offered to host, to actually do something to help The Session survive. Happily, several people did.


I’ve now reached out to the people who offered to host and confirmed a month for them, adding them to the schedule. A few have already come up with a topic. But don’t let that deter you. Even if you haven’t been plugged in to host an upcoming Session, don’t despair, it’s not too late. Leave a comment here with your e-mail and I’ll reach out to you to find a month for you to host.

The Upcoming Session Schedule

  • November 6, 2015: Mark Ciocco at Kaedrin Beer Blog
  • December 4, 2015: Jay Brooks at Brookston Beer Bulletin
  • January 1, 2016: Dan Conley at Community Beer Works Blog
  • February 5, 2016: Jon Abernathy at The Brew Site
  • March 4, 2016: Mark Lindner at By the Barrel: Bend Beer Librarian
  • April 1, 2016: Sean Inman at Beer Search Party
  • May 6, 2016: Oliver Gray at Literature and Libation
  • June 3, 2016: Carla Companion at The Beer Babe

And Stan also offered to host again, as well, though on the poll said he would “after some others step up.” We now have eight months scheduled, nine once Stan chimes in with his favored month, which is a pretty good result.

See you next month. Same beer time, same beer channel.


Beer Birthday: Morgan Cox

Today is the 38th birthday of Morgan Cox, founder and brewmaster of Ale Industries in Concord, California. Morgan started homebrewing at an early age, and washed kegs for Dave Heist at HopTown, before brewing at E.J. Phair. AFter eight years there, he left to open his own brewery, Ale Industries, where he’s been making inventive, tasty beers very since. Join me in wishing Morgan a very happy birthday.

Morgan at the rainy Boonville Beer Festival in 2009.

Morgan with Annie, or Annie N Crew, at the opening gala for SF Beer Week earlier this year.

Morgan pouring at the Breastfest in 2012.

Note: the last two photos purloined from Facebook.

Patent No. 2094869A: Drinking And Tapping Attachment For Beer Cans

Today in 1937, US Patent 2094869 A was issued, an invention of Earcy Ballard, for his “Drinking and Tapping Attachment For Beer Cans.” There’s no Abstract, although in the description it includes only this summary:

My invention relates to a drinking and tapping attachment for beer cans, and the objects of my invention are:

First, to provide an attachment to be used 5 in connection with the conventional beer cans which provides a combination means for tapping the can for permitting the flow of the beer and also providing an extended rim: to facilitate drinking from the can;

Second, to provide an attachment of this class which may be readily and quickly attached to and detached from the can;

Third, to provide an attachment of this class which may be sterilized and used over and over again on different cans;

Fourth, to provide an attachment of this class which provides a sufficiently large opening in the can so that the beer will flow readily therefrom;

Fifth, to provide an attachment of this class with a handle in connection therewith to facilitate the handling of the can while drinking therefrom;

Sixth, to provide an attachment of. this class with clip means for clamping it tightly on the can and also provided with extended portions for guiding the attachment while puncturing the can;

Seventh, to provide an attachment of this class with a gasket around the pouring and puncturing means to prevent leakage between the can and the attachment when drinking;


Buster Keaton For Simon Pure Beer

Today is the birthday of American actor, vaudevillian, comedian, filmmaker, stunt performer, and writer Buster Keaton. He’s best known for his silent films, and especially The General, considerd by many to be one of the best films of all-time. In 1962, Keaton made a series of commercials for the William Simon Brewery of Buffalo, New York. The ads were done in a silent film style, employing many of Keaton’s best gags from his glory days on the 1920s.



Initially, I only had these three gifs made from one of the commercials, but happily discovered that the whole ad has now been posted on

And here’s another one Keaton did:

And a third:

And finally, a fourth ad Keaton did for Simon Pure Beer.