Patent No. 103498A: Improved Apparatus For Preserving Beer

Today in 1870, US Patent 103498 A was issued, an invention of Charles Pohlmanx, for his “Improved Apparatus For Preserving Beer.” There’s no Abstract, though it’s described this way in the application:

The nature of my invention consists in an elastic bag, formed in a shape to accommodate itself to the inside of a barrel, to which it is applied, in such a manner that, when the bag is filled with air, and supplied with air under pressure, the bag will gradually expand, and exert a pressure upon the liquid in the cask in which it is placed.


Patent No. 20130126009A1: System For Cleaning Beer Lines And Recovering Draft Beer

Today in 2013, US Patent 20130126009 A1 was issued, an invention of Tracey M. Killarney and Lawrence A. Kent, for their “System for Cleaning Beer Lines and Recovering Draft Beer.” Here’s the Abstract:

A beer recovery system which uses CO2 to blow unused beer backwards through the beer lines and back into a beer keg is disclosed.


Patent No. 4927335A: Pump For Transferring Liquids, In Particular Beer Or Carbonated Beverages

Today in 1990, US Patent 4927335 A was issued, an invention of Carlo M. Pensa, for his “Pump For Transferring Liquids, in Particular Beer or Carbonated Beverages.” Here’s the Abstract:

The present invention relates to a pump for transferring liquids, in particular for beer or carbonated beverages, characterized in that it is constituted by two mutually opposite and integral pistons sliding inside two cylinders which generate, with their reciprocating motion, four variable-volume chambers inside two of which the fluid, through suitable valves, is alternatively intaken and delivered by a gas whose pressure is modulated by a suitable pressure regulator, in which it is the pressure of the same delivered liquid to counteract the calibration force, with said gas alternatively going to act, by means of suitable control means, inside the chamber behind the delivery chamber, so that the delivery pressure of the same liquid remains constant and predetermined, wherein said delivery pressure is obtained as the sum of the thrust of the liquid intaken from the opposite chamber, plus the modulated gas pressure, which acts on the rear face of the delivery piston.


Beer Excise Taxes By State 2015

Back in 2009, I wrote a post about Beer Excise Taxes By State, based on data from by the Tax Foundation, and they also created a nice map of the 50 states with the individual beer excise tax brewers in each state has to pay in addition to the federal excise taxes, too.

They’ve now updated that map with more recent tax rates as of January 1, 2015. As they note, “[t]ax treatment of beer varies widely across the U.S., ranging from a low of $0.02 per gallon in Wyoming to a high of $1.29 per gallon in Tennessee.” They also acknowledge that “taxes are the single most expensive ingredient in beer, costing more than labor and raw materials combined,” citing an economic analysis that found “if all the taxes levied on the production, distribution, and retailing of beer are added up, they amount to more than 40% of the retail price.”


Patent No. 3035603A: Beer Barrel Tapper

Today in 1962, US Patent 3035603 A was issued, an invention of Walter H. Despres and Phillip D. Jamieson, for their “Beer Barrel Tapper.” There’s no Abstract, though it’s described this way in the application:

This invention relates to a new and improved beer barrel tapper, that is, a device for tapping beer kegs or barrels and has particular reference to a device of the type set forth wherein a compressed gas is introduced into the barrel or the like for removing the liquid contents, such as beer, under pressure.


Patent No. 2792692A: Keg Cooler And Dispensing Bar Unit

Today in 1957, US Patent 2792692 A was issued, an invention of Reed A. Bryan, for his “Keg Cooler And Dispensing Bar Unit.” There’s no Abstract, though it’s described this way in the application:

The primary object of the invention is to provide a combined keg cooling enclosure simulating a large beer barrel, dispensing bar and faucet, and auxiliary pressurizing equipment in a single unit for use at picnics, beach and boat parties, club outings and the like events.

More specifically, it is intended now to provide a keg enclosure in the form of a relatively large open-top barre]. A bar-top removably fitted over the top of the barrel so that a keg may be set down within the barrel and packed with ice, and tapping and dispensing equipment including a faucet mounted on the bar-top and a carbon dioxide cylinder mounted exteriorly of the barrel with gas connections to the top. By this arrangement there is to be provided a complete unit which may be set up iced by a distributor or dealer and delivered to the consumers in readiness for tapping and utilization without further ado.


Patent No. 1951996A: Brewing Pan

Today in 1934, US Patent 1951996 A was issued, an invention of Josef Schaefer, for his “Brewing Pan.” There’s no Abstract, though it’s described this way in the application:

My invention relates to improvements in brewing pans, and more particularly in the construction of the rotary liquid heater. One of the objects of the improvements is to provide a liquid heater which is simple in construction, and in which the water of condensation is readily removed from the heating coil. With this object in view my invention consists in providing the liquid heater with a single heating pipe wound into a coil having several superposed windings, each winding being preferably substantially in the form of a star. By constructing the coil from a single pipe only two openings are needed in the supply one for admitting the steam and the other for removing the water of condensation.


The Most Distinctive Causes Of Death By State

This is somewhat interesting, though it was little to do with beer. The CDC released the results of an analysis of the “most distinctive cause of death for each state and the District of Columbia, 2001–2010.” I never realized this, but it makes sense. The CDC uses a standardized List of 113 Selected Causes of Death, based on the International Classification of Diseases, 10th Revision. This is to help the data collected be more useful, and allows comparisons to be drawn if the data is not affected by local bias or custom. Then the data used was “age-adjusted state-specific death rate for each cause of death relative to the national age-adjusted death rate for each cause of death, equivalent to a location quotient.”

The analysis that went into creating the map was done by Francis Boscoe, who’s a researcher at the New York State Cancer Registry. Here’s the main findings, from the CDC website:

The resulting map depicts a variety of distinctive causes of death based on a wide range of number of deaths, from 15,000 deaths from HIV in Florida to 679 deaths from tuberculosis in Texas to 22 deaths from syphilis in Louisiana. The largest number of deaths mapped were the 37,292 deaths in Michigan from “atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease, so described”; the fewest, the 11 deaths in Montana from “acute and rapidly progressive nephritic and nephrotic syndrome.” The state-specific percentage of total deaths mapped ranged from 1.8% (Delaware; atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease, so described) to 0.0005% (Illinois, other disorders of kidney).

Some of the findings make intuitive sense (influenza in some northern states, pneumoconioses in coal-mining states, air and water accidents in Alaska and Idaho), while the explanations for others are less immediately apparent (septicemia in New Jersey, deaths by legal intervention in 3 Western states). The highly variable use of codes beginning with “other” between states is also apparent. For example, Oklahoma accounted for 24% of the deaths attributable to “other acute ischemic heart diseases” in the country despite having only slightly more than 1% of the population, resulting in a standardized mortality rate ratio of 19.4 for this cause of death, the highest on the map. The highest standardized mortality rate ratio after Oklahoma was 12.4 for pneumoconioses in West Virginia.

A limitation of this map is that it depicts only 1 distinctive cause of death for each state. All of these were significantly higher than the national rate, but there were many others also significantly higher than the national rate that were not mapped. The map is also predisposed to showing rare causes of death — for 22 of the states, the total number of deaths mapped was under 100. Using broader cause-of-death categories or requiring a higher threshold for the number of deaths would result in a different map. These limitations are characteristic of maps generally and are why these maps are best regarded as snapshots and not comprehensive statistical summaries.

Notice that despite prohibitionists claiming that alcohol is the “3rd-Leading Preventable Cause Of Death,” it’s actually not even on the list. It’s not even on the list of 113, apart from the more specific “Alcoholic Liver Disease.” Also, cancer isn’t among any of the top cause for any individual state, which is surprising given that it’s usually listed as the number two cause overall. Some of the stranger ones include Oregon and Nevada, whose leading cause is “legal intervention.” Then there’s Alabama and Tennessee with “accidental discharge of firearms,” while in Arizona and Arkansas it’s “discharge of firearms, undetermined intent.” Is anyone else bothered by the fact that in four states you’re most likely to die by being shot, whatever the reason?

Patent No. 428101A: Apparatus For Extracting Hops

Today in 1890, US Patent 428101 A was issued, an invention of John Irlbacker, for his “Apparatus For Extracting Hops.” There’s no Abstract, though it’s described this way in the application:

My present invention has general reference to improvements in hop-extractors; and it consists in the novel and peculiar combination of parts and details of construction, as hereinafter first fully set forth and described, and then pointed out in the claims.


Patent No. 4665940A: Container Fitting

Today in 1987, US Patent 4665940 A was issued, an invention of Charles S. Jacobson, for his “Container Fitting.” Here’s the Abstract:

A fitting for a container of draft beer or the like includes a first valve for permitting pressurized gas to be injected into the container and a second valve for permitting beer to be dispensed from the container. Both valves are urged to their closed positions by inexpensive elastomeric springs which also serve to hold certain components of the fitting in assembled relation. A coupler attaches the fitting to the container and enables the container to be used with Sankey-type taps.