Patent No. 2818185A: Dispenser Truck Body For Beer Kegs

Today in 1957, US Patent 2818185 A was issued, an invention of Carl F. Mickey and Lawrence E. Mickey, for their “Dispenser Truck Body For Beer Kegs.” There’s no Abstract, although in the description it includes these claims:

The primary object of the present invention resides in the provision of a dispenser truck body for beer kegs to facilitate loading and unloading of beer kegs by loading and unloading from the outside by means of racks and a chain to control and release the beer kegs.

A further object of the invention resides in the provision of a truck body which is so arranged as to enable beer kegs to be placed in the truck body through a raised opening and which will permit the dispensing of the beer kegs in a convenient manner with complete control so that the beer kegs may be removed or replaced with a minimum possibility of accidents which may result in injuries to persons loading or unloading the beer kegs.

An additional object of the present invention resides in the provision of means for lowering either full or empty beer kegs whereby the empty beer kegs may be quickly lowered by means of a spring mechanism yet which includes a shock absorbing means for slowly and safely lowering full beer kegs.


Patent No. 3486512A: Fluid Transport Line Cleaning Device And System

Today in 1969, US Patent 3486512 A was issued, an invention of Anthony Marino, for his “Fluid Transport Line Cleaning Device and System.” There’s no Abstract, although in the description it includes these claims:

Fluid transport line cleaning device and system inclusive of upright container having inlets for passing cleaning material and water into container for mixing in container and outlet for delivering mixture from container under pressure. Pipe having valve controlled outlets and line couplings for selectively passing mixture from container through fluid transport lines coupled thereto such as syrup lines and beer lines having tap rods and associated faucets at bar counter locations. Portion of pipe for beer lines being rigid and arranged for wall mounting at bar counter for supporting a portion of pipe and container in upright position.


Patent No. 2919193A: Process Of Preventing Haze Formation In Beverages

Today in 1959, US Patent 2919193 A was issued, an invention of Harry J. Sandell, for his “Process of Preventing Haze Formation in Beverages.” There’s no Abstract, although in the description it includes these claims:

The present invention relates to a method of reducing or preventing formation of hazes in fermented or unfermented beverages produced from cereals, fruits, other vegetable materials or parts thereof, and especially in malt beverages, e.g. beer, and in fruit juices and wines.

The present invention is based upon the surprising discovery that it is possible to prevent the formation of a haze in beverages such as, for instance, malt beverages, fruit juices and wines, by the addition of polyvinyl pyrrolidone or a homologue thereof in an excess over the above-mentioned quantity, i.e. 0 to 8 g. per hectolitre, which is necessary for maximum precipitation of the haze forming constituents. The process of the instant invention thus comprises adding polyvinyl pyrrolidone in a total quantity of at least 1 g. per hectolitre and in any case in an excess quantity of at least 50% over that needed for maximum precipitation. The stated lower limit 0 g. per hectolitre for the quantity of PVP that is needed for maximum precipitation either refers to the case (1) in which PVP having an average molecular weight of below about 15,000 is used and thus cannot form any precipitate or refers to the case (2) in which the kind or quality of beverage, e.g. beer, used does not give any precipitate with PVP even if the average molecular weight of the PVP used is above about 15,000. In the first-mentioned case, i.e. WhenP having a lower average molecular weight than 15,000 is used, it has been found, that a good result is obtained if the treatment with PVP is carried out according to the above-mentioned invention, i.e. by adding at least 1 g. of PVP per hectolitre. In the second case there is also obtained a good result if to the beverage there is added at least 1 g. of’PVP independent of its average molecular weight. While thus an excess of’P-VP of 1 g. per hectolitre might be considered as usable it has been found that when using PVP of an average molecular weight below about 15,000 or above about 15,000 it is suitable to add totally at least 5 grams of PVP per hectolitre provided that there is added at least 50% in excess over the quantity of PVP of’O to 8 grams per hectolitre that is needed for maximum precipitation of the haze forming-constituents with the PVP in question.


Patent No. 2065949A: Beer Cooling And Dispensing System

Today in 1936, US Patent 2065949 A was issued, an invention of Harry J. Sandell, for his “Beer Cooling and Dispensing System.” There’s no Abstract, although in the description it includes these claims:

The invention relates to a beer cooling and dispensing system, and has for its object to simplify and improve the efficiency of drawing beer from a storage refrigerator at one point and a dispensing 5 outlet at another.

The chief object of the invention is to provide a combination of devices adapted to contain an enclosed circulating and cooling medium, for the purpose of maintaining a uniform low temperature along a dispensing pipe contained therein.

Explanation In beer cooling and dispensing, the beer storage refrigerator is usually placed in the basement or some other convenient place that requires considerable piping and a coil to carry the beer and cool it from the storage refrigerator to the counter dispensing coil box. When this system is used, the beer leaves the cold refrigerator and runs exposed, then enters the iced coil, but due to the different go and uneven temperatures along the line of draught the beer cannot be drawn or controlled at the faucet without considerable waste.


Patent No. WO2000078665A1: Beer Container

Today in 2000, US Patent WO 2000078665 A1 was issued, an invention of William Field Warwick, assigned to Carlton and United Breweries, for his “Beer Container.” Here’s the Abstract:

A beer container comprises an inner hollow shell (11) of blow moulded PET to hold beer, an outer hollow shell (12) of moulded high density polyethylene enclosing and supporting the inner shell and a spear structure (13) including a dispenser tube (14) extending from a bottom interior region of the inner shell (11) through to a dispensing outlet (16) at the top of the outer shell (12). Spear structure (13) incorporates valves (25, 26) for supply of pressurising gas into the interior of inner shell (11) and for dispensing beer through the dispensing outlet (16), both valves being formed of PET. When the container has been emptied of beer, the outer shell (12) can readily be separated from the inner shell (11) and spear structure (13) to allow separate recycling of the high density polyethylene material and the PET material.


Patent No. 596366A: Stopper Fastener

Today in 1897, US Patent 596366 A was issued, an invention of Robert S. Graham, for his “Stopper Fastener.” There’s no Abstract, although in the description it includes these claims:

This invention relates to a new and useful improvement in devices for holding corks in bottles, the object being to utilize the expansion of the contents of a bottle as an active medium to lock the fastener in position.

The object of my invention is to provide a non-expansible fastener, which is to be inserted loosely in position on the cork in the neck of the bottle manually or by machine, as desired, after which no further manipulation thereof is required, the contents of the bottle expanding and forcing the cork outwardly and locking the fastener and the cork in place. When the fastener has been locked in place, it willy firmly hold the cork against further outward movement, and by providing a hole in the fastener a corkscrew may be inserted to remove the cork, which can easily be done, or the fastener may be first pulled out of place by the introduction of the end of a corkscrew or other instrument thereunder and the cork subsequently removed.


Patent No. 2141221A: Beer Drawing And Cooling System

Today in 1938, US Patent 2141221 A was issued, an invention of John Panagopoulos, for his “Beer Drawing and Cooling System.” There’s no Abstract, although in the description it includes these claims:

This invention relates to a beer drawing and cooling system.

The principal object of this invention is the provision a beer drawing and cooling system formed in a compact unit.

A further object of this invention is the provision of refrigeration coils formed as a part of the beer drawing and cooling system.

A further object is the provision of a beer drawing and cooling system provided with means for circulating a cooling agent through a plurality of beer kegs each having a heat exchanging device incorporated therein.

A still further object is the provision of a beer drawing and cooling system designed to convey beer or similar beverages from the keg to the dispensing spigot, and cool it at the same time.

The beer drawing and cooling system shown and described in this application has been designed so as to form as simple and compact a unit as possible, the entire system being self contained, with of course the exception of a refrigerant compressor which can be readily positioned along side of the unit when in operation. The unit has been designed to cool and dispense beer or similar beverages from one or more kegs as desired, and is particularly adapted for multiple keg installations utilizing kegs of the kind described above.


Historic Beer Birthday: Louis Pasteur

Today is the birthday of Louis Pasteur (December 27, 1822–September 28, 1895). He “was a French chemist and microbiologist renowned for his discoveries of the principles of vaccination, microbial fermentation and pasteurization. He is remembered for his remarkable breakthroughs in the causes and preventions of diseases, and his discoveries have saved countless lives ever since. He reduced mortality from puerperal fever, and created the first vaccines for rabies and anthrax. His medical discoveries provided direct support for the germ theory of disease and its application in clinical medicine. He is best known to the general public for his invention of the technique of treating milk and wine to stop bacterial contamination, a process now called pasteurization. He is regarded as one of the three main founders of bacteriology, together with Ferdinand Cohn and Robert Koch, and is popularly known as the ‘father of microbiology.'”

Portrait of Louis Pasteur

But, of course, for the brewing industry, he’s best remembered for his “Studies on Fermentation,” which he published in 1876.

In 1876, Louis Pasteur published his ground-breaking volume, Études sur la Bière, soon translated into English as Studies On Fermentation. The book changed the course of brewing during the late 19th and early 20th centuries, representing a huge leap forward in the scientific understanding of the processes involved in beermaking. Brewers around the globe put Pasteur’s findings to work in their breweries, and thus plunged the industry headlong into the modern era.

In tribute to Pasteur’s tremendous contributions to brewing science, has reprinted Studies On Fermentation exactly as it appeared when first released in English, complete with all of Pasteur’s illustrations. An original 1879 edition was digitally scanned, professionally enhanced and reproduced in a hard cover format.

In his preface, Pasteur modestly wrote, “I need not hazard any prediction concerning the advantages likely to accrue to the brewing industry from the adoption of such a process of brewing as my study of the subject has enabled me to devise, and from an application of the novel facts upon which this process is founded. Time is the best appraiser of scientific work, and I am not unaware that an industrial discovery rarely produces all its fruits in the hands of its first inventor.”

But, of course, the brewing industry recognized almost immediately the impact that Pasteur’s work would have on the art and science of beermaking. Frank Faulkner, the British brewing scholar who performed the English translation, wrote, “Seeing the vast importance of Pasteur’s work from a practical point of view, after writing a review of it for the Brewers’ Journal, I determined to procure, at any rate for the use of my own pupils, a literal translation, illustrated by photo-lithographic copies of the original plates…It was on the completion of this translation that my views and desires expanded. The more I studied the work, the more I was convinced of its immense value to the brewer as affording him an intelligent knowledge of the processes and materials with which he deals…I determined accordingly to publish the work if I could secure the consent of its distinguished author…The debt which we English brewers owe to M[r]. Pasteur can hardly be over-estimated.”

While I’m sure there are probably many more, he had patents I highlighted last year, Patent No. 135245A: Improvement in Brewing Beer and Ale from 1873, and Patent No. 141072A: Manufacture of Beer and Yeast, in the same year.

A portrait of Louis Pasteur painted by Swedish-speaking Finnish artist Albert Edelfelt, in 1886.

Fermentation and germ theory of diseases

Pasteur demonstrated that fermentation is caused by the growth of micro-organisms, and the emergent growth of bacteria in nutrient broths is due not to spontaneous generation, but rather to biogenesis (Omne vivum ex vivo “all life from life”). He was motivated to investigate the matter while working at Lille. In 1856 a local wine manufacturer, M. Bigot, the father of his student, sought for his advice on the problems of making beetroot alcohol and souring after long storage. In 1857 he developed his ideas stating that: “I intend to establish that, just as there is an alcoholic ferment, the yeast of beer, which is found everywhere that sugar is decomposed into alcohol and carbonic acid, so also there is a particular ferment, a lactic yeast, always present when sugar becomes lactic acid.” According to his son-in-law, Pasteur presented his experiment on sour milk titled “Latate Fermentation” in August 1857 before the Société des Sciences de Lille. (But according to a memoire subsequently published, it was dated November 30, 1857). It was published in full form in 1858. He demonstrated that yeast was responsible for fermentation to produce alcohol from sugar, and that air (oxygen) was not required. He also demonstrated that fermentation could also produce lactic acid (due to bacterial contamination), which makes wines sour. This is regarded as the foundation of Pasteur’s fermentation experiment and disprove of spontaneous generation of life.


Pasteur’s research also showed that the growth of micro-organisms was responsible for spoiling beverages, such as beer, wine and milk. With this established, he invented a process in which liquids such as milk were heated to a temperature between 60 and 100 °C. This killed most bacteria and moulds already present within them. Pasteur and Claude Bernard completed the first test on April 20, 1862. Pasteur patented the process, to fight the “diseases” of wine, in 1865. The method became known as pasteurization, and was soon applied to beer and milk.

Beverage contamination led Pasteur to the idea that micro-organisms infecting animals and humans cause disease. He proposed preventing the entry of micro-organisms into the human body, leading Joseph Lister to develop antiseptic methods in surgery. Lister’s work in turn inspired Joseph Lawrence to develop his own alcohol-based antiseptic, which he named in tribute Listerine.


This is an ad is for Whitbread, from 1937, showing an illustration of Louis Pasteur working on his fermentation studies in a laboratory at Whitbread Brewing in 1871, nine years after he completed his first test of pasteurization, which took place April 20, 1862.

On his Wikipedia page, under the heading “Controversies, there’s this paragraph about his research into fermentation:

When Pasteur published his theory and experiments on fermentation in 1858, it was not new to science, neither the idea nor the experiment. In 1840 a German chemist Justus von Liebig had noted that yeast could induce fermentation in water. However, he did not know that yeasts were organisms. In 1856 another German, Friedrich Wilhelm Lüdersdorff, reported that yeasts were microorganisms that convert sugar into alcohol. In 1855, Antoine Béchamp, Professor of Chemistry at the University of Montpellier, showed that sugar was converted to sucrose and fructose in a closed bottle containing water and when he added calcium or zinc chloride to it, no reaction occurred. He also noticed moulds developing in the solution, but could not fathom the significance of it. He concluded that water was the factor for fermentation. He changed his conclusion in 1858 that water was not the main factor, in fact, fermentation was directly related to the growth of moulds, and moulds required air for growth. He regarded himself as the first to show the role of microorganisms in fermentation. Pasteur started his experiments only in 1857 and published his findings in 1858 (April issue of Comptes Rendus Chimie, Béchamp’s paper appeared in January issue), which, as Béchamp noted, did not bring any novel idea or experiments that earlier works had not shown. On the other hand, Béchamp was probably aware of Pasteur’s 1857 preliminary works. With both scientists claiming priority on the discovery, a bitter and protracted dispute lasted throughout their lives. Their rivalry extended to ideas on microbiology, pathogenesis, and germ theory. Particularly on the spontaneous generation because Pasteur in his 1858 paper explicitly stated that the lactic acid bacteria (he named them “lactic yeasts”), which caused wine souring, “takes birth spontaneously, as easily as beer yeast every time that the conditions are favourable.” This statement directly implied that Pasteur did believe in spontaneous generation. He condemned the ideas of Pasteur as “‘the greatest scientific silliness of the age”. However, Béchamp was on the losing side, as the BMJ obituary remarked: His name was associated with bygone controversies as to priority which it would be unprofitable to recall. Pasteur and Béchamp believed that fermentation was exclusively cellular activity, that is, it was only due to living cells. But later extraction of enzymes such as invertase by Marcellin Berthelot in 1860 showed that it was simply an enzymatic reaction.

Pasteur’s ground-breaking “Studies on Fermentation” is in the public domain, of course, so you can read the entire work, or just browse through it, at the Internet Archive.

In 1951, the United States Brewers Foundation featured Louis Pasteur in an ad, which was part of a series that used a Q&A format aimed at highlighting different positive aspects of beer and the brewing industry.

Patent No. 616696A: Hose Cleaner

Today in 1898, US Patent 616696 A was issued, an invention of John R. Cochran, for his “Hose Cleaner.” There’s no Abstract, although in the description it includes these claims:

My invention relates to methods of cleaning and cleaners for the interior of hose or pipe, and more especially such hose or pipes as are used by brewers in racking off beer. During the process of racking off beer the hose or pipes used as conveyers become fouled or dirty in the interior and it becomes necessary to clean the hose or pipe. Inasmuch as the dirt or foreign matter generally adheres firmly to the wall of the hose or pipe, it is not an easy matter to dissolve, loosen, or discharge it. By the use of my method and devices the dirt collected in the tubes is thoroughly loosened or dissolved and carried off or discharged, leaving the interior of the tubing or hose clean and sweet.


Patent No. 778680A: Beer Box

Today in 1904, US Patent 778680 A was issued, an invention of Gottlieb Klenk and Jacob F. Fink, for their “Beer Box.” There’s no Abstract, although in the description it includes these claims:

Our invention relates to improvements in metal beer-boxes provided with peculiarly-arranged partitions to form compartments for the reception of the bottles and specific and minor details of construction to strengthen the structure.

The prime object of our invention is to provide a metal box with a nominal number of parts, seamed and fastened, whereby great strength and durability will result.

A further object of our invention is to construct a seam at the bottom of the box to provide a projecting flange and arrange a support at the top to receive a flange of a companion box when they are stored or packed.

\Ve also provide specific improvements in the seams at the corners of the box to resist the force of blows due to the rough handling boxes of this type are subjected to.

The invention also comprehends specific improvements of the partitions forming the bottle-compartments, as well as the particular manner of attaching them.

Furthermore, our invention relates to the specific construction of the means employed for locking the cover, the same consisting of a spring-hasp on the box and a co-acting pivoted engaging member on the cover.