Tuesday’s ad is entitled Thanksgiving Dinner, and the illustration was done in 1947 by Douglass Crockwell. It’s #10 in a series entitled “Home Life in America,” also known as the Beer Belongs series of ads that the United States Brewers Foundation ran from 1945 to 1956. In this ad, a picture perfect Thanksgiving turkey is on the dinner table, but the it’s not complete. People wait in the wings to be seated until the most important job is done. The matriarch of the family is putting beer glasses down at each place setting, the final touch, before the holiday meal can begin. Just like at my house.
Today in 1995, CA 2133272 A1 was issued, an invention of Charles J. Koch, though the “Applicant” is listed as Charles J. Koch, Boston Beer Company Limited Partnership D/B/A Boston Beer Company (The), A Massachusetts Partnership; General Partner, Boston Brewing Company, Inc., for his “Preparation Of Beer.” Here’s the Abstract:
High alcohol beer having a full, round flavor is prepared by employing as the yeast a wine or champagne yeast, and a sweetened wort.
While I can’t be sure, I think this is essentially for Samuel Adams’ Triple Bock, which was first released in 1994. While the patent wasn’t granted until 1995, it was filed in the fall of 1994, but the “priority date” listed is October 6, 1993. The “inventor” listed is Charles J. Koch, who was Jim Koch’s father, although under “applicant” the Boston Beer Co. is also listed. In addition, I recall Jim explaining that it was in fact Champagne yeast that was used to create the beer. So it certainly seems likely that they patented the process used to make that unique beer. I still have a few bottles of it in my cellar though the last couple I opened tasted a lot like soy sauce. To be fair, the bottles that were opened during an anniversary dinner that I was lucky enough to attend in Boston Beer Co.’s barrel room a few years ago were tasting quite good. Although the OCR errors make it difficult reading, it’s still interesting to see the thought process and how they went about it laid out. I may have to open another bottle soon.
The 2016 semifinalist nominations for the James Beard Awards were announced Wednesday, and the good news is there are quite a few beer professionals among the nominees for “Outstanding Wine, Spirits, or Beer Professional.” If you’re not familiar with the prestigious food awards, here’s how the James Beard Foundation describe their annual awards. “Covering all aspects of the industry — from chefs and restaurateurs to cookbook authors and food journalists to restaurant designers and architects and more — the Beard Awards are the highest honor for food and beverage professionals working in North America.” Until very recently, the awards were almost exclusively food and wine-centric, but more recently “beverage professionals” has slowly been expanding to include craft beer and spirits, too. It’s been nice to see the prejudice against beer in the food, cooking and restaurant world finally beginning to slide away. Too slowly, perhaps, but still … it’s about time and nice to see.
The list released Wednesday is the semifinalists. On March 15, a smaller list of finalists will be announced from among the semifinalists and the award winners will be announced May 2. In the category “Outstanding Wine, Spirits, or Beer Professional,” six of the twenty semifinalists work in the beer world. Last year it was five and the year before there were seven beer professionals nominated. Hopefully, many of them will make the cut next month. Here’s the beer people for this year:
- Sam Calagione, Dogfish Head Craft Brewery, Milton, DE
- Wayne Carpenter, Skagit Valley Malting, Burlington, WA
- Vinnie Cilurzo, Russian River Brewing Company, Santa Rosa, CA
- Jeppe Jarnit-Bjergsø, Evil Twin Brewing, Brooklyn, NY
- Jim Koch, The Boston Beer Company, Boston
- Rob Tod, Allagash Brewing Company, Portland, ME
Congratulations to all the semifinalists. It’s a great list, all deserving, though I’m especially pleased to see Vinnie Cilurzo, who’s a friend and neighbor.
Last month, The Street reported that the Pizza Hut chain has remodeled several of their 6,000+ restaurants, and “plans to remodel roughly 700 of its U.S. stores a year through 2022 in the new format.” The newly refurbished Pizza Huts will continue to have the company’s ” trademark red and black colors, albeit with deeper hues” and will also “feature wraparound windows, outdoor seating and yes, a drive-thru.”
All well and good, so far, but so what, you may be asking. Pizza Hut has also added beer and wine service at the remodeled locations, and plans to add alcohol to each refurbished restaurant. Frankly, I didn’t realize they didn’t serve beer already. Pizza and beer are pretty much a perfect pairing, as iconic as peanut butter and jelly or grilled cheese and tomato soup. The more I think about it, almost every pizza place I can name also serves beer, both chains and the small mom and pop pizza joints. How many brewpubs serve pizza? Lots of them, with many even specializing in it.
Why I bring this up is because the wackos at Alcohol Justice tweeted their displeasure at this idea, with this. “Now Pizza Hut wants to sell booze too bit.ly/1PkIwe1 What’s next…wine tastings at Toys-R-Us?” That’s what’s known as a false equivalence, one does not follow from the other. It is, in effect, a bullshit argument. One is a restaurant, and a type of restaurant that typically does carry beer and wine. The other is a toy store. There’s no link whatsoever, nothing that would make this in any way logical. It’s AJ making a mountain out a molehill, as they so often try to do. It’s just absurd.
They idea that a pizza restaurant serving beer and wine is cause for alarm is absolutely laughable. It’s harder to think of one that doesn’t already serve beer then come up with all of those who do. Several times I’ve gone with Porter’s basketball team and his little league baseball team to a Mountain Mike’s or Straw Hat Pizza after a game with the whole team and their parents. Many pizzas are ordered for everyone, with pitchers of beer for the parents. That’s the very definition of family-friendly, with something for everyone. Not once has there been a problem. But in AJ’s worldview, beer at a pizza joint with beer is the same as booze being served at a toy store. But now I’m feeling hungry. I’ve got plenty of beer. I wonder if it’s too late to order from Pizza Hut? They just opened one in our town, and I definitely want to support their decision to upset Alcohol Justice.
Today is the birthday of American rock singer and songwriter Alice Cooper (born Vincent Damon Furnier; February 4, 1948- ). Apparently early in Alice Cooper’s career, there was an incident at a 1969 show in Toronto that helped to create his bad boy persona and get him noticed in the world of rock and roll. That became known as the Chicken Incident, and there are different versions of it that have been told, with this one coming from Wikipedia.
Alice Cooper’s “shock rock” reputation apparently developed almost by accident at first. An unrehearsed stage routine involving Cooper, a feather pillow, and a live chicken garnered attention from the press; the band decided to capitalize on the tabloid sensationalism, creating in the process a new subgenre, shock rock. Cooper claims that the infamous “Chicken Incident” at the Toronto Rock and Roll Revival concert in September 1969 was an accident. A chicken somehow made its way onto the stage into the feathers of a feather pillow they would open during Cooper’s performance, and not having any experience around farm animals, Cooper presumed that, because the chicken had wings, it would be able to fly. He picked it up and threw it out over the crowd, expecting it to fly away. The chicken instead plummeted into the first few rows occupied by wheelchair users, who reportedly proceeded to tear the bird to pieces. The next day the incident made the front page of national newspapers, and Zappa phoned Cooper and asked if the story, which reported that he had bitten off the chicken’s head and drunk its blood on stage, was true. Cooper denied the rumor, whereupon Zappa told him, “Well, whatever you do, don’t tell anyone you didn’t do it.”
Blueiskewl also has another account, with some additional context. Stemming from the infamous chicken incident, at some time in the 1970s, Cooper managed to be in the same room as Colonel Sanders — Harland David Sanders — the founder and face of Kentucky Fried Chicken, a connection not lost on Cooper.
During an interview which was taped for a showing of the film Super Duper Alice Cooper in 2014, Cooper answered a question about his meeting Colonel Sanders in the 1970s.
“Here comes this nice old man in a white suit,” said Cooper. “Suddenly I realize that this is the Hannibal Lecter of chickens. I have the death of exactly one chicken on my hands, and this guy has a score of 10 billion. Yet everyone loves this guy, and hates me for being a chicken killer! The irony of the two of us being in the same room at the same time was not lost on either me or the Colonel.”
And in yet another one by Interviewly, he talks about tying the two together.
What can you tell us about meeting Col. Sanders? Did he bring chicken?
There was an INCREDIBLE thing that happened in the early 70’s! Somebody threw a chicken onstage, I threw the chicken in the audience, the audience tore it to pieces, and then in the newspaper the next day the headline read “Alice Cooper tears chicken to pieces.” It’s the most notorious story about Alice Cooper that’s been going on forever. And I thought “it just one chicken and I didn’t even kill it, the audience killed it, so I thought why not take a picture with the mass murderer of chickens Colonel Sanders?” so to me it had a sense of humor to it. I mean, one chicken for me, seven BILLION chickens for Colonel Sanders. And yet I’m the villain. I would say if you interviewed the chickens they would be more terrified of him than me.
Unfortunately, I can find no specifics about exactly when or where this meeting took place. It looks like it was in someone’s house, or maybe a hotel, but no one seems to know for sure. Perhaps it’s better to leave it mysterious and enigmatic. If it weren’t for the photos, we may not believe it every actually happened.
Anyone want to hazard a guess as to what beer it was? 19702 and with a foil neck and probably label. It’s not Michelob and it doesn’t strike me as a Lowenbrau. It might be something more local or regional, but given that we don’t know the location that’s not much help. It doesn’t look like the Colonel joined Cooper for a beer.
I’ve made pancakes substituting beer for the water, I’ve enjoyed Kentucky Breakfast Stout, once with beer pancakes. And I’ve had beer that tasted rather sweet, like maple syrup, too. But it never occurred to me you could make the pancake syrup with beer. And it looks fairly easy. I recently ran across an article about The Art of Making Beer Syrup in Outside magazine, and apparently bartenders have been making them for years to use in special cocktails. Given that the only cocktail I almost ever order is a gin & tonic, hopefully you’ll forgive my cocktail ignorance. Apparently it’s just water (or any liquid) reduced, sugar added.
Outside’s recipe is so simple, even I could probably make it:
For best results, pour your favorite beer into a pan and slowly simmer over low heat until it reduces to two-thirds of its initial volume. Then add in an equal proportion of raw brown sugar and stir until the sugar dissolves completely. Pour liberally over your favorite breakfast food and wait for your insulin levels to spike.
The Good Booze blog suggests adding “a few whole cardamom pods” and “one small vanilla bean, split” to give it a little more flavor. It looks like any beer could work, although malt-forward beers seem better suited than hoppier ones, but certainly some experimentation is in order.
Allrecipes also has their own recipe, and a bar in San Francisco, The Fifth Floor (which is closed now, and reborn as Dirty Habit) used to make a drink they called Hops & Dreams, using a syrup made from Anchor Steam Beer.
And one entrepreneurial soul is trying to start the Beer Syrup Company to make commercial beer syrups.
Today in 1977, US Patent 4053653 A was issued, an invention of Junjiro Miyata and Yasushi Kikuchi, assigned to Asahi Breweries, Ltd., for their “Method of Obtaining Lupulin-Rich Products from Hops.” Here’s the Abstract:
A method of obtaining lupulin-rich products from hops, which comprises: subjecting frozen hop cones to coarse crushing by a first crusher equipped with a screen having width of openings in the range of 6 – 15 mm and sieving fragments of crushed hops passing therethrough to obtain a first lot of lupulin-rich product as accumulated beneath the sieve; and then subjecting the portion which passed over the screen of the sieve to recrushing by a second crusher equipped with a screen having narrower openings than that of the first crusher a screen having width of openings in the range of 3 – 6 mm, and sieving fragments of recrushed hops passing therethrough to obtain a second lot of lupulin-rich product as accumulated beneath the sieves.
The method is performed on hops and particles thereof maintained in the frozen condition.
Today in 2003, US 6622510 B2 was issued, an invention of Mark S. Giroux, Joseph M. Trewhella, and Darryl Alan Goodson, assigned to Grindmaster Crathco Systems, Inc., for their “Frozen Beer Product, Method and Apparatus.” Here’s the Abstract:
A method of freezing and dispensing a beer product comprises providing beer in a sealed, refrigerated storage container under pressure; feeding beer from the storage container to a sealed freezing chamber through a sealed delivery system; freezing the beer in the chamber; and dispensing frozen beer from the chamber.
The frozen beer product preferably has a slush consistency and a density of about 50% to about 90% of the density of unfrozen beer, a temperature of between about 23° and 27° F. and a volume reduction in a filled 14 fluid ounce plastic cup sitting in 70° F. room for 30 minutes or less than 10%.
A refrigerated cabinet for supplying beer comprises an insulated beer storage compartment; a refrigeration system comprising a compressor, a condenser, a thermal expansion device and an evaporator; a pressurized carbon dioxide tank in a separate, non-refrigerated compartment; and a fan for circulating air within the insulated beer storage compartment.
A beer freezing and dispensing apparatus comprises a freezing chamber; a refrigeration system for cooling the beer in the freezing chamber to a frozen state; a dispensing system for dispensing frozen beer from the freezing chamber when it reaches a slush consistency, and a beer delivery system for delivering beer to the freezing chamber, the beer delivery system comprising; a valve for controlling the introduction of beer into the delivery system; a check valve to prevent beer from flowing backwards out of the delivery system; an accumulator for holding beer that expands when beer freezes in the chamber; and a pressure sensor for sensing the pressure of the beer between the accumulator and the freezing chamber.
The method and apparatus may also be used to freeze and dispense other single-strength beverages.
Today in 1982, US Patent 4350712 A was issued, an invention of Alfred Kocharian and George Spector, for their “Frozen Beverage Stick Including Retractable Cup.” Here’s the Abstract:
A popsicle type confection, which instead of an orange, cherry, raspberry, strawberry or similar conventional flavor frozen ice upon a stick, utilizes either a frozen beer or a frozen wine mounted upon a stick, and which in the present invention also includes a cup like heat shield around confection which is retractable so to allow licking the frozen beer or wine.
Taco Bell announced today the opening of their first Taco Bell Cantina in Wicker Park, Chicago. The new restaurant had a soft opening today, with a grand opening scheduled for September 22. A second one will open in San Francisco later this month. One aspect about the new concept, known as “urban” restaurants, that stands out is they will serve beer, along with wine, rum, vodka and tequila.
From the press release:
“These new urban restaurants are a critical part of our growth strategy in markets where people experience our brand differently,” said Brian Niccol, chief executive officer, Taco Bell Corp. “Today’s consumers are living in more urban settings and our new restaurants cater to their lifestyle in adapting our traditional restaurant concept to fit their modern needs.”
The Taco Bell Urban Concept incorporates five consumer trends that balance relevancy and brand authenticity:
- Urbanization: The Taco Bell Urban Restaurant Concept reflects the Millennial trend of seeking more urban environments to live, work and play. These restaurants are ideally suited to fit in with pedestrian areas without drive-thrus.
- Digitization: Every point of the customer’s ordering journey is optimized through technology, including digital menu boards, TV monitors and Taco Bell mobile ordering and payment app pick up.
- Localization: Taco Bell incorporated the local architecture of the neighborhoods each restaurant serves.
- The Wicker Park restaurant’s brick walls and prismatic glass were restored to help preserve the 100-year-old building. The location also features a mural designed by local artist, Revise CMW, which serves as a nod to the neighborhood’s history as an artistic hub.
- The San Francisco restaurant, located near AT&T Park, features a patio and mobile pick-up window to cater to the quick pace, tech savvy and vibrant community.
- Green: The new urban locations will be more energy efficient with systems including LED lighting, use of reclaimed elements where possible and recycling.
- Transparency: An open kitchen design and food served in open face baskets gives customers a look inside Taco Bell’s quality ingredients.
Taco Bell Cantina restaurants will be the first and only Taco Bell restaurants to serve alcohol to customers who are of legal drinking age. The San Francisco restaurant will serve beer and wine only, while Wicker Park will serve beer, wine, sangria and twisted Freezes. Cantina restaurants will also feature a new tapas-style menu of shareable appetizers – including nachos and rolled tacos – during designated hours each evening, in addition to the full standard Taco Bell Menu.
According to the Chicago Tribune:
The menu features three 16-ounce frozen drinks that look straight out of the Kwik-E-Mart; spike your cherry-red Cantina Punch, electric-yellow Cantina Margarita or Ninja-Turtle-green Mountain Dew Baja Blast with your choice of Captain Morgan rum ($6.19), Ketel One vodka ($6.69) or Don Julio tequila ($7.19).
You’ll also find Steelhead wine ($4) in individual-size twist-off bottles, and two taps pouring Dos Equis ($4) and Fat Tire ($4.50).
Toast to the fact you’re drinking in a Taco Bell over a new menu of what the brand is calling Shareables — essentially, appetizer baskets. Choose from regular or chili-cheese nachos, quesadilla triangles, mini taquitos (called “rolled tacos”) and, surprisingly, chicken tenders, which are actually the best of the bunch.
The new T-Bell also comes with exposed brick, an open kitchen and a fancy new name: Taco Bell Cantina.
But give up your dreams of a drink after closing time at your local bar. Taco Bell Cantina will serve wine, beer and liquor until only 10 p.m. Sunday to Thursday, and midnight Friday and Saturday. 1439 N. Milwaukee Ave.
Expect to see Alcohol Justice and the prohibitionists going apoplectic over this news.