Patent No. 2468840A: Heater For Wort Kettles

Today in 1949, US Patent 2468840 A was issued, an invention of Robert C. Schock, for his “Heater For Wort Kettles.” There’s no Abstract, but in the description it states that the “invention relates to means and methods of heating wort prior to its use in the making of beer.” A little later on, they add that the “invention comprises a heating unit having varying heat units supplied to it for their exchange with a mass to be heated, and to keep said mass heated, such exchange taking place at relatively lower temperatures, then at relatively higher temperatures, and then again at lower temperatures, the latter if desired.”

Patent No. 3317025A: Automatic Keg Feeder

Today in 1967, US Patent 3317025 A was issued, an invention of Ernst Schickle, assigned to Rheingold Breweries, for his “Automatic Keg Feeder.” There’s no Abstract, but in the description it states that the “invention relates generally to brewery operation and particularly to an improved apparatus for effecting transfer and controlled delivery of beer kegs or similar containers from a feeder location to an operating location.” A little later on, they add that the “invention may be briefly described as an improved beer keg transfer and delivery apparatus which includes, in its broad aspects, a keg receiving and neonmulating conveyor, a keg transfer unit, a delivery conveyor and associated means for effecting controlled keg delivery in spaced relation onto the delivery conveyor.”

Patent No. 3316916A: Hop Picking Machine

Today in 1967, US Patent 3316916 A was issued, an invention of Florian F. Dauenhauer and Thomas H. Frazer, for their “Hop Picking Machine.” There’s no Abstract, and all they say in the description is a generic the “present invention relates to improvements in a hop picking machine, and it consists in the combination, construction and arrangement of parts as hereinafter described and claimed.” Which isn’t much for such a complicated machine, but you can get a better sense of it reading through the lengthy full description.

Patent No. D357864S: Beverage Bottle

Today in 1995, US Patent D357864 S was issued, an invention of Kevin R. Rusnock and Barbara E. Lee, assigned to the Coors Brewing Company, for their “Beverage Bottle.” There’s no Abstract, but all they say in the description is that it’s an “ornamental design for a beverage bottle.” Coors also refers to it as “our new design,” but I honestly can’t see what’s unique about it, at least not in the drawing they submitted with the patent application.

Patent No. 2156951A: Can Filling Machine

Today in 1939, US Patent 2156951 A was issued, an invention of Henry Mondloch, assigned to the Hansen Canning Machinery Corp., for his “Can Filling Machine.” There’s no Abstract, but they state in the description that the “present invention relates generally to improvements in the art of packing successive batches of commodity in receptacles, and relates more specifically to improvements in the construction and operation of so-called can filling machines of the automatic type.”

Patent No. EP2172402B1: Plastic Beer Keg

Today in 2013, US Patent EP 2172402 B1 was issued, an invention of William P. Apps, assigned to the Rehrig Pacific Company, for his “Plastic Beer Keg.” There’s no Abstract, but they state in the description that the “present invention relates generally to large multiple serving beverage containers, in particular, beer kegs.” They also list 13 claims about why this invention is unique, but the main one, of course, is that these are plastic, which is far cheaper than the stainless steel ones that are used today, and are also prone to theft. It will be interesting to see if they catch on.

Patent No. 1957083A: Apparatus For Dispensing Beer

Today in 1934, US Patent 1957083 A was issued, an invention of Frank Schneible, for his “Apparatus for Dispensing Beer and the Like.” There’s no Abstract, but the description tries to explain it, though I’ll leave it up to you if it makes a great deal of sense as described:

In another application oF the present applicant for Letters Patent of the United States for a beverage cooling apparatus, Serial No. 674,823 filed June 8, 1933, there was shown and described an apparatus particularly designed to meet the peculiar conditions which arise in the dispensing of fermented malt liquors, such as beer, in the dispensing of which conditions or” temperature and pressure must be regulated carefully. ln the apparatus so shown and described provision was for final regulation of temperature and flow in a final cooling chamber in which the beer passes on its way to the dispensing faucet through a coil or a container surrounded by a cooling medium, such as a cold brine. It has been found that some advantages reside in the use of a container, that is, as distinguished from a coil, a vessel in which there can be held a more substantial volume of the beverage to be dispensed than can be held in a cooling coil or pipe. it has therefore been the object of the present invention to devise a beverage cooling container in which it shall be possible to cool and store for a considerable period or” time a quantity of beer on its way to the dispensing faucet without any deleterious effects on the beer and by the operation of which flow or” beer can be regulated to meet the requirements of consumption and temperature. In accordance with the invention there is provided an outer shell or vessel, preferably of metal, which can be opened readily for inspection and cleaning, and an inner vessel, preferably of porcelain or glass, into which the beer is delivered from the keg or barrel, which is the source of supply, through a narrow space which separates the inner container from the outer shell and in which the beer, on its way to the inner container, is cooled through contact with the inner wall of the outer shell or vessel which is itself surrounded by the brine or other cooling medium employed. The inner container is supported within the outer shell in such manner that it may rise or fall with variation in its contents and in rising or falling may regulate the inflow of beer from the source of supply in accordance with the demands of consumption.


Patent No. 382023A: Beer-Bottling Machine

Today in 1888, US Patent 382023 A was issued, an invention of John C. Bauee, for his “Beer-Bottling Machine.” There’s no Abstract, but the description states that his “invention relates to improvements in machines for filling bottles with beer or other effervescent liquid; and it consists, generally, in an automatic cut-off valve which is opened by the bottle as it is brought in contact with it, and the liquid is allowed to pass into the bottle without being exposed to the atmosphere, thereby retaining the gases which would otherwise pass off and deteriorate the liquid, and be closed and the flow of the liquid stopped when the bottle is removed.”

Patent No. 5011037A: Container End Member

Today in 1991, US Patent 5011037 A was issued, an invention of Bruce A. Moen and Harold Cook, Jr., assigned to the Adolph Coors Company, for their “Container End Member.” This may win the prize for worst name. I understand that for industry, specific names are necessary for use in reducing confusion by the use of such jargon. For example, while the general public calls what holds a bottle sealed is a bottle cap, but within the industry it’s known as a crown. But calling the can top where it’s opened a “container end” actually seems more vague, although perhaps that really is the industry term. Anyway, here’s the Abstract:

A container end member is provided and has a first severable tab portion which is defined by a score line groove and has an integral hinge portion for permanently securing it to the container end member and a force applying tab portion permanently pivotally mounted on the container end member and used to apply a force on the first severable tab portion to form a pour opening in the container end member and a second severable tab portion having an integral hinge portion for permanently securing it to the container end member and having a raised surface projecting outwardly from the container end member so that a force may be applied thereto to sever the second severable tab portion and form a vent opening in the container end member.


Patent No. 3807463A: Apparatus For Filling Beer Cans

Today in 1974, US Patent 3807463 A was issued, an invention of W. Heckmann, H. Jordan, U. Knabe, K. Plock, K. Quest, F. Rademacher, and D. Unger, assigned to Holstein & Kappert Maschf, for their “Apparatus for Filling Beer Cans or the Like.” Here’s the Abstract:

The filling devices in an apparatus which fills beer cans orbit about a vertical axis and have upright housings supporting cylindrical centering members which carry deformable gaskets for the mouths of cans. Such canes are supported by a conveyor which orbits with the filling devices and is movable up and down or is held against vertical movement during rotation with the filling devices. The introduction of liquid into the cans takes place subsequent to introduction of a compressed gas, and such gas can be used to bias the gaskets against the mouths of cans during filling. When the filling of a can is completed, the pressure in its interior is increased to facilitate separation from the respective gasket. That supply of beer which remains in a channel of the housing on closing of the beer-admitting valve can be expelled in response to expansion of gas in a chamber which receives such gas by way of the container and is sealed from the container by beer in the channel. The expansion of gas in the chamber takes place in response to opening of a valve which reduces the pressure of gas above the body of liquid in the container.