California Reaches 700 Brewery Milestone

The California Craft Brewers Association announced today that the number of breweries in the state reached 700, more then at any time in California’s history. The number of breweries has more than doubled in just the last four years. There are more breweries in the Golden State, by a wide margin, then any other state. Eleven of the breweries on the list of the nation’s top fifty craft breweries, as defined by the Brewers Association, are from California.


California has more breweries than many countries. So it only makes sense that we have our own world class, statewide events. This September, the CCBA will put on the second annual California Craft Beer Summit and Beer Festival in the state capitol of Sacramento.

The three-day Summit includes 24 educational sessions, 60,000 feet of interactive displays, 450 beers, 160 breweries and unlimited tastings. It’s an amazing event, especially the huge beer festival. I’ll be there again this year, and if you work in any part of the beer industry, or want to, you should be there, too. Here’s more information about it from the CCBA’s press release.

“California continues to lead the nation’s craft beer movement and the Summit showcases the wild success of a community united over a common passion: craft beer,” said Tom McCormick, executive director of the CCBA. “CCBA’s signature event is the ultimate opportunity for craft beer enthusiasts to join the tribe, learn from brewers and experts across the Golden State and taste the creativity and passion that serves as the foundation of the industry.”

Reigning as the largest California-brewed craft beer event of its kind, the 2016 Craft Beer Summit and Festival gives attendees a tasting tour through the state’s craft brewing landscape.

“At the Summit, beer lovers and brewers have the chance to experience wonderful techniques and ideas from the best of the industry,” said McCormick. “David Walker from Firestone Walker, Fritz Maytag, the founder of the American craft beer movement, the brewers and owners from AleSmith, 21st Amendment, Russian River Brewing Company, and many others will share their knowledge, history, expertise and passion with every person connected or passionate about the craft beer industry.”

Educational highlights at the Summit include:

  • How to start a career in craft beer from the hiring managers of Mikkeller Brewing San Diego, Russian River Brewing Co. and other growing breweries
  • Advanced homebrew lessons, including how to go “off recipe” and explore yeast management, hosted by the homebrewers now running successful commercial breweries
  • Mock judging at a “Taste Like a Judge” session teaching attendees how rate and taste beers
  • The rise of sour beer as a style, including how to differentiate between sour beers and what you can expect in a wild ale versus a spontaneously fermented sour
  • How to develop a beer list for taproom managers and beer buyers looking to advance their offerings in the craft beer sector

“The Summit has become, in a very short period of time, one of the largest and most significant craft beer events not only in California but across the nation,” said Natalie Cilurzo, co-owner of Russian River Brewing Company and president of the CCBA Board of Directors. “The unique part about the Summit is the bringing together of brewers, retailers, wholesalers, suppliers, and consumers all in one location, something I have not experienced to this level at any other event. I’m proud to be a part of this incredible state trade association as well as the second annual Summit.”

Early bird tickets, available online through June 30, 2016, include: 25 percent off the Summit Beer Festival ($45 at early bird, $60 regular price), single-day Summit entry ($99 early bird, $119 regular price) or full weekend packages ($219 early bird, $239 regular price).

Patent No. 243297A: Alcohol Still

Today in 1881, US Patent 243297 A was issued, an invention of Oliver L. Perin, for his “Alcohol Still.” There’s no Abstract, though it’s described this way in the application:

My invention is in the nature of an improvement upon a continuous still for the manufacture of alcohol for which Letters Patent were granted myself, Daniel Horan, and Dominick McGoen, July 20, 1880, and has for its object the arrangement of the several elements of the vaporizing-chambers in a novel manner, to be hereinafter described, which is calculated to improve the efficiency of the still, and at the same time will materially cheapen the construction thereof; and it consists in constructing the vaporizing-chamber of the usual rectangular form, and providing a bottom or licor of copper or other suitable material, which shall contain a great number of small perforations. Upon this bottom I erect three (or any odd number more than three) partitions, alternately attached to the opposite end timbers of the chamber. The partitions are made as much shorter than the clear length of the chamber as the width of spaces between the partitions and side timbers of the chamber and between adjacent partitions. At the end of one of the spaces between a partition and its corresponding side timber of the chamber I construct a box or bay with a weir or overflow plate of copper, raised two or three inches above the floor or bottom of the chamber. The partition at the bay is raised higher than the edge of the weir, in order that all beer or mash delivered into the bay shall be compelled to pass over the weir in a thin sheet, and be evenly distributed over the bottom of the chamber as it flows along the next connecting channel. From the next chamber above a down-pipe is’ suspended, which dips into the bay below the level of the Weir-plate sufficiently to form a seal against the steam-pressure in the chamber and prevent the steam ascending to the next chamber above through At the opposite side of the chamber a down-pipe is suspended to dip into the bay of the next lower chamber. The upper end of the down-pipe is raised sufficiently above the floor or bottom of the chamber to which it is attached to maintain a thin sheet ot’ liquid over the perforations in the bottom previously mentioned. The beer or mash flows through the down-pipe into the bay, over the weirplate and down one channel. formed by the partitions previously mentioned, and up the next, and down the next, and so on until it reaches the down-pipe at the opposite side of the chamber, through which it descends to the next chamber below, where the same operation is repeated, the direction of the currents of beer, however, being reversed. Meanwhile the beer or mash, passes over the floor, the steam (introduced first into the lowest chamber but one of the still) and the spirituous vapor ascends from chamber to chamber through the perforations in the bottoms of the chambers, these perforations being of such dimensions that no beer or mash can descend through them against the pressure (usually five or six pounds) in the still. The heat in the steam being transmitted to the beer to expel the spirit, it condenses and works back through the down-pipes to the bottom of the still, where it is drawn oft with the residuals of the beer as slop.


Patent No. 521650A: Beer Filter

Today in 1894, US Patent 521650 A was issued, an invention of Carl Hafner, for his “Beer Filter.” There’s no Abstract, though it’s described this way in the application:

This invention relates to certain improvements vin filters, particularly beer filters. The object of the invention is to provide an improved beer filter exceedingly cheap, simple and durable in construction, and which will thoroughly and economically filter the ,beer 1n an improved manner.

The invention consists in certain novel features of construction and in combination of the parts more fully pointed out hereinafter and particularly described in the claim.


Patent No. 1029838A: Method Of Finishing And Preparing Beverages

Today in 1912, US Patent 1029838 A was issued, an invention of Jacob Frederic Wittemann, for his “Method of Finishing and Preparing Beverages.” There’s no Abstract, though it’s described this way in the application:

The invention relates to a new and improved system or method of enhancing the value of fermented beverages such as beer, wine, cider, etc, by their treatment with the volatile products of the fermentation of such beverages.

The object. of my invention is to treat such beverages when they are matured, clarified or filtered, either or all,, to the required standard, but lacking sufficient incorporation of carbonic acid gas and fermentation ethers, generated during the fermentation of such liquids to impart to them the desired degree of effervescence, flavor and improved character by incorporating with such beverages such volatile fermentation products .while .the latter remain substantially in the same condition, as when generated by the fermentation of such beverages, but at such density or pressure and temperature that the stated object shall be attained, namely, that .the more or less quiescent state in which such beverages mature and clarify most readily, is transformed into a condition of effervescence or a foam-maintaining state at a temperature at which they attended by more or less disintegration, deterioration or other undesirable change in the character or composition of this complex gas, owing to improper treatment thereof, such as overheating during dry me chemical compression or compression in the presence of insufficient cooling medium, or its contact with a more or less impure cooling medium or with disintegrating metal surfaces, or owing to its degeneration or decomposition while kept in storage under high pressure. By my improved method all such undesirable changes or alterations in the composition, flavor and taste of the volatile products of fermentation are avoided when they are incorporated in the desired proportion with a matured, but-as yet more or less unmerchantable, beverage, owing to its lack of a sufficient proportion of such gas. The compression of the gas to the necessary density in which it capable of producing the desired effect in such beverages is preferably effected in part by its retention within the fermenting vessel, up to a pressure within a safety limit, dictated by the nature or construction of such vessel, and with the beverage into which it is to be incorporated by a liquid and gas-forcing mechanism such as a force pump.

As {this invention will find its principal use in the manufacture of beer, I shall hereafter use the term beer as a generic term for all similar beverages and in the accompanying drawing show an embodiment of ,one apparatus for carrying out my new and improved method or process as it would be used in a brewery; but I in no wise confine the use of my invention to beer only, as the process can as readily be applied to the manufacture of other similar beverages and by the use of other constructions of apparatus according to varying conditions or requirements, yet carrying out. the same method in principle.


Historic Beer Birthday: Frank Shlaudeman

Today is the birthday of Frank Shlaudeman (June 17, 1862-after 1934). His father founded what would become the Decatur Brewing Co., in Decatur, Illinois, which is where he was born and raised.


Frank’s father Henry Shlaudeman joined the Edward Harpstrite Brewery (which was originally the John Koehler & Adam Keck Brewery when it opened in 1855). Within a few years, he’d made enough of an impact that it became the Harpstrite & Shlaudeman Brewery, and two years after that, in 1884, he bought out his partner and it became the Henry Shlaudeman Brewery. In 1888, it was again renamed, this time the Decatur Brewing Co. It reopened after prohibition in 1934 under the name Macon County Beverage Co., but closed for good the same year.

Surprising, I was unable to turn up even one photograph of him, and very little at all about him. He took over the brewery after his father retired in 1903. I found a record of him taking a trip in 1934 to California, but no other biographical information.

Patent No. 430526A: Bottle Filling Machine

Today in 1890, US Patent 430526 A was issued, an invention of Joseph J. De Kinder and Hermann Roemer, for their “Bottle Filling Machine.” There’s no Abstract, though it’s described this way in the application:

Our invention relates to bottle-filling machines; and it consists of certain improvements, which are fully set forth in the following specification, and shown in the accompanying drawings, which form a part thereof.

While our invention relates to bottle-filling machines in general, it is especially adapted to beer-bottling, in which heretofore great difficulty has been experienced by reason of the great tendency of the beer to foam and of the difficulty of accomplishing the proper feeding of the beer from the barrel and of the loss of carbonic acid by exposure to the atmosphere. It is the object of our invention to overcome these difficulties and to accomplish a regular feeding of the liquid from the reservoir or supply without objectionable foaming in the bottles 0r Overflowing of the liquid.

In carrying out our invention we employ a convenient receptacle or vessel provided With delivery-tubes for delivering the liquid to the bottles, and connect this vessel with the barrel or supply-reservoir, and by means of certain devices, hereinafter more fully described, control the flow of the liquor from the barrel or reservoir by the level of the liquor in the delivery-vessel. By this means the supply of liquor in the delivery-vessel is replenished from the reservoir as the liquor is allowed to flow into the bottles Without the possibility of overflowing, for the moment the liquor in the delivery-vessel reaches a certain height the flowing of the liquor from the reservoir is automatically stopped and cannot begin again until the liquor-level has again fallen. This We accomplish by controlling the supply of air to the barrel or reservoir, as is hereinafter more fully described.


Patent No. 1764841A: Fermenting Vat

Today in 1930, US Patent 1764841 A was issued, an invention of Hans Kock, for his “Fermenting Vat.” There’s no Abstract, though it’s described this way in the application:

My. invention relates to improvements in fermenting vats, and the object of the improvements is to provide a vat which can be used for fermenting beer and other liquors, storing the beer and filling the same into hot ties. With this object in view my invention consists in forming the vat at its top with an opening adapted to have either one of the attachments necessary for fermenting the beer, storing the same and filling the same into bottles secured thereto, and constructing such attachments so that they can be readily mounted on and dismounted from the said vat.


Patent No. 2321631A: Fluid Pressure Controlling Apparatus

Today in 1943, US Patent 2321631 A was issued, an invention of Ludvik Sibal, for his “Fluid Pressure Controlling Apparatus.” There’s no Abstract, though it’s described this way in the application:

This invention relates to improvements of fluid pressure controlling apparatuses (gases, liquids,
etc.) and it is the principal object of the invention to provide means for adding gas or liquid pressure to containers from which their contents are being discharged at such a rate that the total pressure head at the point where the fluid flows out of said containers remains practically constant even during the discharge period.

This apparatus is constructed with the special object in view of making it applicable to the so called government tanks in the breweries, from which beer is being drawn to the bottle or can filling machines. In these tanks the beer stands under a gaseous pressure (air or otherwise) the level of which is so chosen as to insure a smooth filling process by the filling machine to which the beer is discharged from the government; tanks. The pressure at the filling machine must be kept constant during the filling process and therefore it is necessary and important that the pressure at the point of flow out of the government tanks likewise be kept constant. The total pressure at the point of discharge from the government tanks is composed of two components: (1) the weight of the beer and (2) the gas pressure within said tanks. As the beer is being drawn from the tanks, the total pressure head causing flow at the point of discharge from the tanks is being decreased due to the decreasing weight of the beer. To make up for this loss in pressure head, gas pressure must be supplied to the tanks until the original desired total pressure head is again reached at the point of discharge. This is usually accomplished by a control man whose duty it is to sight the pressure gauge reading or beer level and to adjust the gas valve accordingly.

The main purpose of this apparatus is to eliminate the human factor of such pressure regulation thus making the regulation as nearly free from all human errors and neglects as is humanly possible. Also my design is such that it is best applicable to breweries and other enterprises where apparatus of this kind must withstand severe mistreatment and where it is necessary to thoroughly wash its interior as well as exterior.

This invention provides an apparatus which, when connected by means of a conduit such as .a pipe or a hose to the point at which the discharge occurs from a tank, throws on or oil? a sensitive snap-action electric (magnetic) mercury switch whenever the pressure head changes slightly in the tank at the point of discharge. This snap action switch is connected by means of electric conduits to a solenoid valve in the gas line leading to the tank, and when contact is made, the solenoid valve is actuated by the electric current so that it opens and admits the gas to flow into the tank thus increasing the total pressure head to the original desired level. As soon as this desired total pressure head is reached, the snap action switch automatically turns off and the gas valve closes.


Margaret Bourke-White Photographs Of The Busch Family

Today is the birthday of Margaret Bourke-White (June 14, 1904-August 27, 1971). She “was an American photographer and documentary photographer. She is best known as the first foreign photographer permitted to take pictures of Soviet industry, the firsthand American female war photojournalist, and the first female photographer for Henry Luce’s Life magazine, where her photograph appeared on the first cover. She died of Parkinson’s disease about eighteen years after she developed her first symptoms.”

The International Photography Hall of Fame also has a good overview of her life, and so does the Encyclopedia Britannica. She was an amazing photographer, and many of her photos are iconic views of the 20th century. She was frequently featured in Life magazine, such as a series of photographs she took for the May 1955 issue, to accompany an article on “what the magazine called “the liveliest, lustiest family dynasty” in America: the Busch clan.” Here’s a portion of the text from that article:

In 1865 [LIFE wrote] a German immigrant named Adolphus Busch took over a small, failing brewery in St. Louis. In the decades since, the brewery has become the largest in the world, last year selling over 719 million foamy quarts of beer. In that same period period the Missouri family Busch has become just about the liveliest, lustiest family dynasty in the country.

Today the chief executive of Anheuser-Busch Inc., and in consequence the head of the sprawling family, is Adolphus’ grandson, a gregarious, impulsive, hoarse-voiced, 56-year-old extrovert name August Anheuser Busch jr., who is hardly ever called anything but Gussie. Gussie and the other present members of the family have lost little of the fierce, competitive genius with which their predecessors kept he world of hops hopping. And unlike the later generations of some robust business families, they have not noticeably slid into the sedentary or intellectual pleasures of wealth. They continue to love the outdoors, fine horses, huge houses full of hunting trophies, big families, roaring parties and beery choruses of “Im Wald and auf der Heide.”

The baronial splendor amid which Gussie lives with his handsome wife and their children prompts St. Louisans to say the Busches really live like German merchant princes of an earlier age. But their way of life adds a memorably exuberant and expansive segment to the American scene.

Here are a few of the photographs that Margaret Bourke-White took of the Busch family, along with the original captions from the 1955 Life article, if there was one. Some of the photographs taken by Bourke-White were not included in the article. If you want to see the rest of her photos from that session, by all means check out House of Suds: Portrait of the Busch Beer Dynasty at Play on Time’s archives.

Anheuser Busch heir August (Gussie) Busch Jr. and wife Trudy in the trophy-filled gun room of their mansion, Grant’s Farm, with their children Beatrice Alice and Adolphus Busch IV.

Out for the daily ride, Trudy astride Happy Landing and Gussie on Miss Budweiser amble across the lawn of the 34-room brick mansion Gussie’s father erected in 1911.


Singing at Schlachtfest, Gussie sits with guest, Mrs. Charles Thomas, wearing chef’s hat and apron which his male guests received.

There’s no caption for this one, but I’d sure like to know what the hell’s going on in this one. A Schlachtfest, according to Wikipedia, “is the German term for the ritual or ceremonial slaughter of an animal, which is often followed by feast. Today, it usually refers to the practice in many parts of Germany, such as the Palatinate, for a celebration or festival involving the ceremonial slaughter of a pig reared or bought by a private household or an inn for that purpose.”

Paul Victor von Gontard, general manager of San Fernando Valley brewery, sniffing hops.





Toast to their master and mistress is drunk in champagne at annual gathering of 20 Grant’s Farm workers, who just received envelopes containing their annual bonus. In dark jacket at left is zookeeper Frank Parko and alongside him are stablemen, grounds keepers. Butler and cook are at right.


Patent No. WO1999007820A3: Lipid Removal

Today in 1999, US Patent WO 1999007820 A3 was issued, an invention of Charles Bamforth, Robert Muller, and Kamini Dickie, for their “Lipid Removal.” Here’s the Abstract:

A method for removing lipids material from beer or other beverages. The beer is contacted with immobilised lipid binding protein which binds any lipid present in the beer or other beverage. After the lipid removal stage is complete there are no lipid binding additives remaining in the beverage.