Patent No. 103498A: Improved Apparatus For Preserving Beer

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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.

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

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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.

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Patent No. 1951996A: Brewing Pan

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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.

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Patent No. WO1988003556A1: Preparation Of Wort Extracts

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Today in 1988, US Patent WO 1988003556 A1 was issued, an invention of Joseph L. Owades, for his “Preparation Of Wort Extracts.” Joe is most well-known for having invented low-calorie light beer. Here’s the Abstract:

A method for producing a wort containing a reduced level of fermentable sugars. In a preferred embodiment the method consists of providing a warm aqueous suspension of ground malt, and adding the warm suspension to a boiling aqueous suspension of cereal adjuncts. The resulting wort is useful for producing a beer with a lower-than-normal alcohol content, or a malt beverage lacking sweetness usually associated with malt beverages.

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Patent No. 7943366B2: Genetically Modified Yeast Species And Fermentation Processes Using Genetically Modified Yeast

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Today in 2011, US Patent 7943366 B2 was issued, an invention of Vineet Rajgarhia, Kari Koivuranta, Merja Penttilä, Marja Ilmen, Pirkko Suominen, Aristos Aristidou, Christopher Kenneth Miller, Stacey Olson, and Laura Ruohonen, assigned to Cargill, for their “Genetically Modified Yeast Species And Fermentation Processes Using Genetically Modified Yeast.” Here’s the Abstract:

Yeast cells are transformed with an exogenous xylose isomerase gene. Additional genetic modifications enhance the ability of the transformed cells to ferment xylose to ethanol or other desired fermentation products. Those modifications’, include deletion of non-specific or specific aldose reductase gene(s), deletion of xylitol dehydrogenase gene(s) and/or overexpression of xylulokinase.

Below are just three of the forty figures filed with the application. They all look about the same to my untrained eye.

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Patent No. 20080110854A1: Beverage Bottle With Gripping Feature

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Today in 2008, US Patent 20080110854 A1 was issued, an invention of Jason M. Kelly, assigned to Coors Brewing Company, for his “Beverage Bottle With Gripping Feature.” Here’s the Abstract:

A container is provided with integral gripping features. The gripping features are preferably provided in two opposing groups located on opposite sides of the mid-section of the container. The gripping features include a plurality of finger grips that are adapted to conform to the placement of the thumb and fingers when grasping the container. The finger grips are elliptical shaped cavities, and ridges extend between each of the adjacent finger grips.

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SABMiller Acquires Meantime Brewing

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Global beer company SAB Miller has announced the acquisition of London’s Meantime Brewing in effort to enter the UK craft market.

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From the press release:

Meantime is a pioneer in British modern craft beer, giving SABMiller an entry point into the fastest-growing segment of the UK beer market and complementing its imported super-premium lagers such as Peroni Nastro Azzurro and Pilsner Urquell.

SABMiller plans to grow sales of Meantime’s beers nationally and explore export opportunities in its European markets under the continued leadership of Nick Miller, Meantime CEO.

Meantime was established by Brew Master, Alastair Hook, in 1999 with a brewery in Greenwich, London. The business has since created a successful range of British and international beer styles.

Sue Clark, Managing Director, SABMiller Europe, said: “Meantime has been at the forefront of the modern craft beer movement in the UK and brews an outstanding range of beers across a variety of styles. At SABMiller we love local variety, and carefully nurture our 200 local and heritage beers. Meantime, born in a city with a rich beer heritage, will be a special new addition to the SABMiller family.

“Nick Miller, Alastair Hook and their team have built a strong sense of pride and identity within Meantime, which has an excellent reputation for brewing consistently high quality beers and for industry-leading innovation. This expertise will boost our strategy to develop beers that appeal to more people, including women, and which can be attractive alternatives to wine and spirits.”

Nick Miller, CEO, Meantime, said: “I can say from personal experience, that SABMiller is a great company to be joining forces with. They see the opportunity, and believe in the longevity, of modern craft beer in the UK.

“SABMiller shares our passion for putting great beer first, and making, selling and marketing it responsibly to beer aficionados worldwide. The team at SABMiller have stressed how important our culture is to our success to date, and have a strong track record in retaining the special identities and heritage of the local businesses they’ve bought in the past.

“We are all excited about the opportunity to continue growing Meantime. We are also thrilled and flattered that SABMiller has given us a remit to innovate. This is a massive compliment and acknowledges our position as pioneers in modern craft beer.”

Volumes of beer sales at Meantime grew by 58% in 2014, outpacing the UK beer market’s 1% growth during the same period and making it one of the top-performing modern craft breweries in the UK.

Among Meantime’s award-winning lagers and ales are its leading brand London Pale Ale, London Lager, Yakima Red, Pilsner, India Pale Ale and London Porter. London Pale Ale and London Lager together account for around 70% of total volumes. Following the transaction, Meantime will open a pilot brewery which will become a centre for SABMiller’s European innovation and new product development.

The acquisition includes Meantime’s retail sites, including the Tasting Rooms and the brewery shop in Greenwich, the Greenwich Union pub, pop-up Beerbox pub, and the Brewery Fresh tank beer concept, which is now in 26 pubs across London, complementing SABMiller’s Pilsner Urquell unpasteurised tank beer in a further four London pubs.

The deal is expected to close in June of this year, and the financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. The BBC and the Guardian also have stories on the deal.

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Meantime brewmaster Alastair Hook, with Greg Koch from Stone Brewing, at a British Guild of Beer Writers event during the Great British Beer Festival in 2009.

Patent No. 4154865A: Method For Processing Hops For Brewing

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Today in 1979, US Patent 4154865 A was issued, an invention of Herbert L. Grant, assigned to S. S. Steiner, Inc., for his “Method for Processing Hops for Brewing.” Here’s the Abstract:

There is provided a method of processing hops or hop extracts for brewing in which hops and particularly the alpha acids in the hops are stabilized against deterioration and light sensitivity, the process broadly comprising isomerizing a substantial portion of the alpha acids in the hops and contacting said iso-alpha acids witha metallic hydride compound, the metal thereof being suitable for use in foods, until the reaction is substantially completed. In another aspect, the alpha acids present in the hops are converted to their reduced isomerized products which are desirable for brewing. The process is especially suitable for use in pelletizing operations.

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Patent No. 2024484B1: Continuous Method For The Production Of A Yeast Fermented Beverage

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Today in 2014, US Patent 2024484 B1 was issued, an invention of Hendrikus Mulder, Onno Cornelis Snip, Douglas John Banks, and Herman Hendrik Jan Bloemen, assigned to Heineken Supply Chain B.V., for their “Continuous Method for the Production of a Yeast Fermented Beverage.” There’s no Abstract, but it’s described as an “invention relat[ing] to a continuous method for the production of a yeast fermented beverage, such as beer. More particularly, the present invention relates to such a continuous method in which a high gravity mash is produced, i.e. a mash with a gravity in excess of 22° Plato.”It’s a fairly complicated application and invention, so you’re best bet is to read the whole thing.
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Patent No. 3443958A: Method Of Preparing Ground Cereal Grains In The Production Of Brewery Mash

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Today in 1969, US Patent 3443958 A was issued, an invention of George E. Dennis, Richard C. Quittenton, and Kenneth R. Robinson, assigned to John Labatt Ltd., for their “Method of Preparing Ground Cereal Grains in the Production of Brewery Mash.” There’s no Abstract, but the invention is described as a “process for producing brewers wort in which cereal grains are dehulled, the dehulled grain is ground to form a fine grist and at least part of the hulls removed before grinding are recombined with the ground dehulled grain and passed through the mashing stage in the usual manner.” Here’s why they think their method is better.

According to this invention it has been determined that the above difficulties [milling problems] can be overcome by removing the hull from the grain before the milling operation. With the hulls removed the kernels of grain can now be more finely ground than was possible in the past and then the finely ground kernels can be recombined with the hulls at any point before the lautering stage. The result of this is an increased yield without any significant sacrifice in run-off time. A series of pilot plant tests indicated that an average yield increase of up to 2% could be obtained with a less than a 15% increase in lautering time.

The degree to which the kernels can be more finely ground according to this invention will be entirely dependent upon the particular situation. Thus, the actual particle size will be dependent upon the nature of the grain, the balance of the lautering time against yield permissible in a given situation, etc.

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