Patent No. 1046298A: Beer Cooler

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Today in 1912, US Patent 1046298 A was issued, an invention of John W. Hurley, for his “Beer Cooler.” There’s no Abstract, although in the description it includes these claims:

This invention relates to beer coolers.

The ordinary beer cooler coil which is usually made of block tin is subject to numerous objections, among which may be mentioned its short life, difficulty in cleaning, tendency to accumulate impurities which contaminate the beer passing there-through, difficulty in detaching and removing it from its place in the cooler box, and its pitting and disintegration by the ammonia in the ice water. Among its other defects is its relatively great expense and necessity for comparatively frequent renewal, aside from being insanitary.

My invention has for its object the provision of a beer cooler of simple, strong and durable construction which may be inexpensively manufactured and installed, either originally when the beer dispensing apparatus is put in, or subsequently to supplant a coil cooler. A further object is to provide an improved beer cooler which can be readily taken apart and quickly washed and cleaned, will not be liable to injury, as is the case with cooler coils, will not be subject to disintegration by the action of ammonia, will at all times afford a free and easy circulation for the beer and the ready disposal of the ice about the beer cooler and the flow or circulation of the ice water therethrough.

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Anchor Christmas Ale 1994

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It’s day twenty of my tear to Christmas featuring all 42 labels from Anchor’s Christmas Ale — a.k.a. Our Special Ale — all different beers (well, mostly different) and all different labels, each one designed by local artist Jim Stitt, up to and including this year’s label.

1994 was the twentieth year that Anchor made their Christmas Ale, and this year marked the eighth year that Anchor’s Our Special Ale included spices. Like the previous seven year’s, a spiced brown ale was created for the year’s Christmas Ale. This twentieth label was “[i]nspired by the Original Christmas Ale Tree” from the first label.

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Patent No. 416157A: Apparatus For Drying Hops

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Today in 1889, US Patent 416157 A was issued, an invention of Samuel Cleland Davidson, for his “Apparatus For Drying Tea, Hops, SLiced Fruit, &c.” There’s no Abstract, although in the description it includes these claims:

The object of this invention is the construction of an apparatus in which a very strong current of heated air or cool desiccated air can be used for rapidly drying tea, coffee, cocoa, cinchona, hops, sliced fruits, seeds, meal, or other such substances, on sieves or perforated trays arranged in a drying-chamber one above the other on a vertical column, and movable in successive order of rotation from bottom to top of the column without the martial being whirled by the strength of the current into heaps on the trays while in the drying-chamber, or blown away off them by it when the trays are being put into or taken out of the apparatus.

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Anchor Christmas Ale 1993

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It’s day nineteen of my run to Christmas featuring all 42 labels from Anchor’s Christmas Ale — a.k.a. Our Special Ale — all different beers (well, mostly different) and all different labels, each one designed by local artist Jim Stitt, up to and including this year’s label.

1993 was the nineteenth year that Anchor made their Christmas Ale, and this year marked the seventh year that Anchor’s Our Special Ale included spices. Like the previous six year’s, a spiced brown ale was created for the year’s Christmas Ale. This nineteenth label was a “Paradise Apple,” or “Malus pumila.”

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Patent No. 3923897A: Production Of Hoplike Beverage Bittering Materials

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Today in 1975, US Patent 3923897 A was issued, an invention of Leonard R. Worden, assigned to the Kalamazoo Spice Extract Co., for his “Production of Hoplike Beverage Bittering Materials.” If the Kalamazoo Spice Extract Co. sounds familiar, that’s where Firestone Walker brewmaster Matt Brynildson worked as in intern in college and then as his first job afterwards, as a hop chemist. Here’s the Abstract:

Production of hoplike beverage bittering materials by the peracid oxidation of 3′,5′-dialkyl-2′,4′,6′-trihydroxyacylphenones to 6-acyl-2,4-dialkyl-2-hydroxycyclohexane-1,3,5-triones (tetrahydrohumulones or tetrahydro-alpha acids) and isomerization thereof to 2,4-diacyl-5-alkyl-4-hydroxycyclopentane-1,3-diones (tetrahydroisohumulones or tetrahydroiso-alpha acids).

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Anchor Christmas Ale 1992

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It’s day eighteen of my hotfoot to Christmas featuring all 42 labels from Anchor’s Christmas Ale — a.k.a. Our Special Ale — all different beers (well, mostly different) and all different labels, each one designed by local artist Jim Stitt, up to and including this year’s label.

1992 was the eighteenth year that Anchor made their Christmas Ale, and this year marked the sixth year that Anchor’s Our Special Ale included spices. Like the previous five year’s, a spiced brown ale was created for the year’s Christmas Ale. This eighteenth label was a “Ponderosa Pine,” or “Pinus ponderosa.”

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Patent No. 572257A: Hermetically Closing Jug

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Today in 1896, US Patent 572257 A was issued, an invention of Albert Heinemann, for his “Hermetically Closing Jug.” There’s no Abstract, although in the description it includes these claims:

This invention relates to a jug, pitcher, or like receptacle having a slightly conical neck and a correspondingly-shaped lid, such lid being tightly closed by means of a suitable locking device, which can be readily opened or closed by a suitably-shaped lever. A packing-ring of india-rubber or other suitable material is placed on the lid in such manner that it is tightly pressed against the conical neck of the receptacle when the lid is closed. This receptacle is particularly adapted for gaseous liquids, such as beer, as also for preserves, seeing that the packing-ring prevents any gases escaping, and also prevents atmospheric air gaining access tothe contents of the receptacle.

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Historic Beer Birthday: John H. Foss

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Today is the birthday of John H. Foss (November 30, 1859-December 13, 1912). He was the son of Henry Foss, who in 1867 became involved with the Louis Schneider Brewery in Cincinnati, Ohio, eventually becoming a partner. It was later known as the Foss-Schneider Brewing Co. When his father passed away in 1879, John H. Foss stepped into his father’s role as co-owner of the company and was also president of the brewery. The brewery closed during prohibition, but reopened when it was repealed in 1933, though closed for good in 1939. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find any photos of John H. Foss.

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This biography is from the “History of Cincinnati and Hamilton County, Ohio: Their Past and Present,” published in 1894:

John H. Foss, president of the Foss-Schneider Brewing Company, is the eldest son of the late John Henry and Adelaide (Te Veluwe) Foss. He was born in Cincinnati, November 30,1859, received his education at. Xavier College, and became the junior partner of the firm of Foss & Schneider in 1879. In 1883 he made an extensive tour, inspecting many of the greatest breweries of Europe, and obtaining ideas there from that have proved of incalculable benefit in his management of the business of his company. Upon his return from Europe, and the incorporation of the business in 1884, he was elected its secretary and treasurer, in 1890 becoming its president. On November 4, 1885, Mr. Foss was married to Katherine Marie, daughter of B. H. Moorman, a retired merchant and capitalist of Cincinnati. She died May 15, 1893, leaving two children, Adele and Robert. The foundation of the Foss-Schneider Brewing Company was laid in 1849 when Louis Schneider transformed his little cooper shop on Augusta street into a brewery. The new industry thrived, and became known as the Queen City Brewery. Soon a removal to more commodious quarters was necessitated. In 1863 new buildings were erected on the site of the present plant on Fillmore street. Four years later Mr. Schneider, on account of ill-health, sold out to Foss, Schneider and Brenner, the son, Peter W. Schneider, taking up the burden of active interest in the business laid down by the father. In 1877 Mr. Foss purchased the interest of Mr. Brenner.

The business was then continued under the name of Foss & Schneider until the death of John Henry Foss, August 13, 1879, when his interest became the property of his widow and her eldest son, John H. Foss, P. W. Schneider still retaining his interest. In 1884 it was incorporated under the name of The Foss-Schneider Brewing Company. The year 1884 was one of annoyance and disaster to the young corporation. The flood which devastated the city that year undermined and caused the collapse of the malt house burdened with over sixty thousand bushels of malt. This calamity, however, caused no cessation of work, and, in spite of the disaster, the business of that year showed an advance over the preceding year. It was determined at this time, too, to erect an entirely new plant, and in less than one year the Foss-Schneider Company was installed in one of the finest and most completely equipped brewery structures in the country. The product of this great establishment is celebrated, and finds a ready market throughout the United States and in many foreign lands, the annual output being 80,000 barrels.

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Here’s a short history of the brewery, from “100 Years of Brewing:”

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Gävlebocken

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How did I not know about this before? Although it’s not about beer, it is about goats, which is close enough for me. Apparently for the last fifty years Sweden has had their own version of a burning man (sort of), although for them it’s a Gävlebocken, or “Gävle goat.” It’s essentially “a traditional Christmas display erected annually at Slottstorget in central Gävle, Sweden. It is a giant version of a traditional Swedish Yule Goat figure made of straw. It is erected each year at the beginning of Advent over a period of two days by local community groups.”

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Here’s the basic history, from Wikipedia:

The Gävle Goat is erected every year on the first day of Advent, which according to Western Christian tradition is in late November or early December, depending on the calendar year. In 1966, an advertising consultant, Stig Gavlén, came up with the idea of making a giant version of the traditional Swedish Yule Goat and placing it in the square. The design of the first goat was assigned to the then chief of the Gävle fire department, Gavlén’s brother Jörgen Gavlén. The construction of the goat was carried out by the fire department, and they erected the goat each year from 1966 to 1970 and from 1986 to 2002. The first goat was financed by Harry Ström. On 1 December 1966, a 13-metre (43 ft) tall, 7-metre (23 ft) long, 3-tonne goat was erected in the square. On New Year’s Eve, the goat was burnt down, and the perpetrator was found and convicted of vandalism. The goat was insured, and Ström got all of his money back.

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And vandalism of the goat has also become part and parcel of the legend each year. Even the Wikipedia page includes a chart of how long the goat lasted each year. Some years, like 2014, it lasted throughout the holiday season and into January. But even then, there were three attempts by arsonists. It’s actually only made it all the way to January intact a dozen times, and one of those years with some damage. This year, it only made it one day, and was burned down on November 27.

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This was this year’s Gävle goat.

A tourist website for the town of Gävle, VisitGävle, with facts about “the world’s largest straw goat.”

The peculiar story about the Gävle Goat started in 1966. A man named Stig Gavlén came up with the idea to design a giant version of the traditional Swedish Christmas straw goat. The objective was to attract customers to the shops and restaurants in the southern part of the city. On the first Sunday of Advent 1966, the huge goat was placed at the Castle Square. Since then, the Gävle Goat has been a Christmas symbol placed in the same spot every year. Today it’s world famous. The goat is the world’s largest straw goat and made it to the Guinness Book of Records for the first time in 1985.

Worth knowing about the Gavle Goat

  • The Gävle Goat is 13 metres (42.6 feet) high, seven metres long and weighs 3.6 tonnes.
  • It takes a whole truck full of straw from the local village of Mackmyra to create the goat.
  • 1600 meters of rope is used.
  • 12,000 knots are tied.
  • 56 five metre straw mats form the straw coat.
  • 1200 metres of Swedish pine create the wooden skeleton.
  • 1000 man-hours of work are needed to build the Gävle Goat.
  • The Gävle Goat is inaugurated on the first Sunday of Advent every year, in conjunction with the “skyltsöndagen”.
  • The Gävle Goat has friends in more than 120 countries around the world that follow it in social media.
  • In 2015, 420 000 people visited the Gävle Goat, dressed in a flower coat, when it was on tour in the Chinese twin town of Zhuhai.
  • The Gavle Goat has been hit by a cruising car and been subjected to fire and sabotage over the years.
  • Staged hacker attacks and kidnappings have also been planned.

You can also read more about it at Atlas Obscura and the BBC

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Visit Gävle adds. “You can follow the Gävle Goat from the first Sunday of Advent until after New Year or until the sad day that it meets its notorious fate.” For that purpose, they’ve set up a webcam where anyone can keep an eye on the goat, although this year it’s already too late. On the plus side, that’s how they were able to capture it burning on film.

Anchor Christmas Ale 1991

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It’s day seventeen of my sprint to Christmas featuring all 42 labels from Anchor’s Christmas Ale — a.k.a. Our Special Ale — all different beers (well, mostly different) and all different labels, each one designed by local artist Jim Stitt, up to and including this year’s label.

1991 was the seventeenth year that Anchor made their Christmas Ale, and this year marked the fifth year that Anchor’s Our Special Ale included spices. Like the previous four year’s, a spiced brown ale was created for the year’s Christmas Ale. This seventeenth label was a “Paper Birch,” or “Betula papyrifera.”

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