Brewhog Determines An Early Spring Bock For 2016

Over in Gobbler’s Knob, in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, Phil the Groundhog — a.k.a. the Brewhog — raised up his head this morning and looked around, and this year did not see his shadow. You know what that means? It means an early spring, and earlier spring bock for us. You can see a video of Punxsutawney Phil here. And there’s more information about Groundhog Day from the Punxsutawney Groundhog Club.


And surprisingly enough, Phil wasn’t the only one. There’s also Shubenacadie Sam in Canada, who likewise did not see his shadow. And in New York there’s Staten Island Chuck along with General Beau Lee in Georgia, both of whom also predicted an early spring. Fingers crossed. And if you don’t have time to watch all of the deliciously wonderful Groundhog Day film today, here it is in a slightly shorter version just over three minutes.

Patent No. 911405A: Beer Cooler

Today in 1909, US Patent 911405 A was issued, an invention of John D. Hendrix, for his “Beer Cooler.” There’s no Abstract, although in the description it includes this summary:

This invention relates to beer coolers, the object of the invention being to provide a simple and effective beer cooling device which may be sold at a reasonable figure, easily installed, and one which is adapted to be taken apart in order that the several parts thereof may be easily and thoroughly cleansed.


Patent No. 4005813A: Single-Opening Beer Keg And Method Of Producing From Conventional Keg

Today in 1977, US Patent 4005813 A was issued, an invention of Mack S. Johnston, for his “Single-Opening Beer Keg and Method Of Producing From Conventional Keg.” Here’s the Abstract:

A single-opening beer keg is produced from a beer keg of conventional configuration which has a bung hole in the side wall and a dispensing opening in the top wall thereof, by closing the dispensing opening and the bung hole; moving the top wall inwardly to provide a wall of substantially spherical configuration and with an inner peripheral chine; moving the center portion of the bottom wall outwardly until it is in substantial horizontal alignment with the lower end of the side wall; and providing an opening in the center portion of the bottom wall to receive a valve assembly. An annular protective collar can be secured to the lower end of the side wall to protect the valve assembly during shipment of the keg.


Patent No. 3232489A: Portable Cooler Cabinet Construction

Today in 1966, US Patent 3232489 A was issued, an invention of H. L. Buffington, for his “Portable Cooler Cabinet Construction.” There’s no Abstract, although in the description it includes this summary:

The principal object of this invention is to provide a portable cooler or refrigerated cabinet especially well adapted to the dispensing of beverages and for the storage 0 kegs, bottles or containers of beverages in a refrigerated condition in an extremely compact and accessible manner.

A further object of the invention is to provide a cooler cabinet having a complete mechanical refrigerating system incorporated therein in a greatly improved manner and having dispensing faucets independently operable for the dispensing of beer or other beverages from kegs and similar containers under a pressurized gas and for the mixing and dispensing of soft drinks.

A still further object of the invention is to provide a portable refrigerated cabinet having a beer dispensing faucet and/ or a soft drink mixing faucet removably carried by the exterior


Patent No. 2496079A: Keg Puller Loading Device For Industrial Trucks

Today in 1950, US Patent 2496079 A was issued, an invention of Daniel Wessman, for his “Keg Puller Loading Device For Industrial Trucks.” There’s no Abstract, although in the description it includes this summary:

This invention relates broadly to industrial trucks, and, more particularly, to mechanism for loading articles upon the work carrier or load supporting platform of a lift truck.


Patent No. 642548A: Bottle-Filling Machine

Today in 1900, US Patent 642548 A was issued, an invention of Thomas Howard, for his “Bottle-Filling Machine.” There’s no Abstract, although in the description it includes this summary:

My invention relates to machines for filling bottles with beer or other liquids and is designed to provide certain improvements in the construction of the same whereby the bottles may be fed to and removed from the filling devices from either side, the bottle-necks automatically sealed, except vas to the supply tubes and vent-pipes, when the bottles are in the filling position, the supply of liquid to the bottles automatically turned on and automatically cut off when the mouths of the filling tubes are reached, and the surplus liquid in the filling-tubes and vent-pipes automatically fed into the bottles as the latter are being removed from the filling-tubes.


Patent No. 513694A: Apparatus For Drying Barley, Malt, Etc.

Today in 1894, US Patent 513694 A was issued, an invention of James White, for his “Apparatus For Drying Barley, Malt, Etc.” There’s no Abstract, although in the description it includes this summary:

My invention has reference to apparatus for drying barley, malt, oats, wheat or other substances of a granular or pulverulent nature.

The invention mainly consists in the construction within a kiln or drying house of an inclined or vertical channel formed with foraminous sides and divided transversely at suitable intervals into chambers the bottoms of which contain cross passages, which passages When the barley or other material which is supplied to the upper end of said channel is allowed to run or flow from one chamber to that next below, transfer the material that was at and near the respective sides of the upper of the two chambers to the opposite sides of the lower chamber, whereby the material gets well mixed and turned over and is consequently more uniformly dried than if it were merely allowed to slide bodily from chamber to chamber.

The invention further consists in the combination with the said cross passages at bottom of each compartment of a central tongue or board projecting up from between said cross passages, and of a central tongue or board projecting down from between said cross passages, the said tongues serving as guides or dividers for the material as it respectively enters and leaves said passages. The lowest chamber does not require cross passages at bottom but has a slide or shutter at top and another slide or shutter at bottom.- When the apparatus is inoperative the bottom slide is normally kept closed and the upper one open, and the two slides are worked at intervals to allow the material in the several chambers to move down one stage, that is to say to the extent of one chamber. To effect this the upper slide is first closed and the bottom slide is then opened to allow the lowest chamber to empty itself into a chute or receptacle. The bottom slide is then closed and the top slide opened, when every chamber (except the lowest) will empty itself through the cross passages into the chamber next below and become filled from the chamber next above, the top chamber receiving its supply from a hopper or otherwise.


Patent No. 20090028999A1: Beer Brewing Kit And Brewing Method To Prepare Wort For The Kit

Today in 2009, US Patent 20090028999 A1 was issued, an invention of Klaus U. Melisch and Stefan Riedelsheimer, for their “Beer Brewing Kit and Brewing Method to Prepare Wort for the Kit.” Here’s the Abstract:

A kit for home brewed beer which comprises a bottle, wort substantially filling the bottle, and a cap which has venting means to permit escape of gas from the bottle when pressure therein exceeds a predetermined value. There is also disclosed a brewing method wherein lactic acid is added to the wort to reduce the pH to level 4.6 and a predetermined amount of yeast is added to the wort to cause a short fermentation while maintaining the alcohol level below 0.5% by volume.


Super Wager For The Super Bowl

You knew it had to happen. There’s at least one every year. Two breweries in the home city or state make a bet for whose team will win the big game, with the other’s beer as the prize. The only question is which breweries would step up.

This year, Denver’s Spangalang Brewery is throwing down the gauntlet, and Fullsteam Brewery of Durham, North Carolina has picked it up. The two breweries have wagered the outcome of next weekend’s Super Bowl on february 5, and apparently “the terms of the wager are significant for the brewers and their fans.”

According to the press release I got today from Denver beer writer Marty Jones, “The losing brewery will have to brew a special batch of beer from a recipe chosen by the winning brewery. The beer recipe will include indigenous ingredients from the winner’s state and will be named by the winning brewery.

On tapping day the losing brewery must hang the winning team’s flag and fly it for one week or until the beer is gone, whichever comes first.”

Marty Jones & Sean Wilson
Marty Jones with Fullsteam Brewery’s Sean Lilly Wilson during CBC 2010 in Chicago.

“That Panthers flag,” says Sean Lilly Wilson, founder of Fullsteam Brewery, “is going to look great hanging in the Spangalang tasting room. But we’ll send a beer recipe with some choice Carolina ingredients and flavor to help ease the pain of Denver’s loss.”

“It will be interesting to see if Cam Newtown can sport his 1000-watt smile with Von Miller in his face,” says Spangalang co-founder and brewer Darren Boyd. “I’m thinking ‘Cam’s Kryptonite’ would be a good name for the beer recipe we send to North Carolina.”

Spangalang’s Austin Wiley with Orange Crushsicle.

Each brewery will be asking its social media followers to suggest beer styles, local ingredients and names for the winning beers.

From the press release:

On February 5, the Friday before the Super Bowl, each brewery will release a special pre-game beer to rally local fans.

Spangalang will bring back Orange Crushsicle, which it debuted prior to the Broncos defeating the New England Patriots to win the AFC crown and a place in the Super Bowl. The beer equivalent of the Dreamsicle frozen treat, Orange Crushscicle is a citrus session ale enhanced with orange juice, sweet and bitter orange peel and vanilla. Its name pays tribute to the past and current defense of the Broncos and predicted the creaming of the Patriots by the Broncos.

“Broncos fans came out in droves to try the beer last weekend,” says Spangalang brewer and co-founder Taylor Rees. “Our tap room will be a sea of orange jerseys when we tap it again.” Fullsteam will release Bless Their Heart, a twist to its recent collaboration with Charlotte-based Free Range Brewing. The beer is made with foraged juniper, North Carolina Frasier fir, and an addition of chokeberry syrup. “We thought chokeberry would be a good ingredient to use in this beer,” Wilson says, “due to Manning’s history of choking in the Super Bowl.” No matter which team wins the game, the rival brewers are comfortable with the wager. “The worst that can happen,” Boyd says, “is we let a like-minded, quality obsessed craft brewer take the lead on a beer of ours. So this is a good bet to make. Although the Panthers flag in our brewery would make us all sick.”

Founded in 2010, Fullsteam Brewery is a Durham, North Carolina production brewery and tavern inspired by the food and farm traditions of the South. The brewery aims to “pioneer the art of distinctly Southern beer” and specializes in traditional and experimental beers with a Southern sensibility. Its beers often incorporate locally farmed goods, heirloom grains, and seasonal botanicals.

Spangalang Brewery was founded in April 2015 by former Great Divide Brewery brewers Taylor Rees, Austin Wiley and Darren Boyd. The brewery crafts world-class beer for locals and celebrates the past and present culture of its historic Five Points neighborhood. Spangalang earned numerous “best new brewery of 2015” honors and a gold medal at the 2015 Great American Beer Festival medal.

May the best brewery win.


Patent No. 1989395A: System For Dispensing Cooled Liquids

Today in 1935, US Patent 1989395 A was issued, an invention of Paul L. Betz and Sebastian Karrer, for their “System For Dispensing Cooled Liquids.” There’s no Abstract, although in the description it includes this summary:

This invention relates to systems for dispensing cooled liquids, and more particularly to systems of this character for dispensing cooled beverages, such as beer.