Friday’s ad is for Budweiser, from 1943. This World War 2 ad, while people were rationing, wants to ensure you get all of your B vitamins so you can keep on working or fighting. The imagery is fairly surreal, with a planet-sized clock with a ramp of working people lined up around it, creating a Saturn-like appearance. At the end of the line is a soldier, sailor, a construction worker who brings his own sledgehammer with him, a female member of the military, a farmer, another soldier with a pack on his back, a businessman, and so on ad infinitum. And the ad isn’t even about beer, but the brewer’s yeast which they supply to pharmaceutical companies who in turn use it to make Vitamin B pills. Yay yeast!
Today in 2003, US Patent 3712820 A was issued, an invention of Joe Owades, for their “Mediating the Effects of Alcohol Consumption by Orally Administering Active Dry Yeast.” Here’s the short Abstract. “A process for lowering blood alcohol levels in humans after they imbibe alcoholic beverages by administering active dry yeast before or concomitantly with the imbibing of the beverages.”
This is most likely the origin of the hangover prevention that Jim Koch, from the Boston Beer Co., has popularized over the years, but especially after Esquire magazine ran an article about it last April, How to Drink All Night Without Getting Drunk.
But I’d actually heard Jim tell the story a couple of times at various events, most recently at a beer dinner last year at the Jamaica Plain brewery in Boston celebrating the 30th anniversary of Samuel Adams.
In telling the story, Jim did, of course, mention that the idea came from Joe Owades, who had worked as a consultant with the Boston Beer Co. since the very beginning, and off and on thereafter. But I don’t think I’d realized before now that Joe had actually patented the idea.
The claim in the patent application describes it in a nutshell. “A method of mediating the effect of alcohol consumption by a person which comprises orally administering active dry yeast containing alcohol dehydrogenase to said person prior to or simultaneously with consumption of an alcohol-containing beverage, whereby to oxidize a portion of the alcohol while still in the stomach of said person.” His own testing of the method, shown in the figures below, found that “blood alcohol level-min. was reduced by 38% by the yeast.”
Here’s an interesting look at the history of hops in Oregon’s Willamette Valley, the second-largest growing area for hops in America. Although the production values remind me of an elementary school slideshow presentation, complete with monotone narrator, there’s a lot of good information nonetheless. Based on some of the information presented, I’d guess it was made in the pre-craft era before 1980, but when exactly is anybody’s guess. All told, the three parts of the documentary run a little less than 30 minutes. Thus endeth the lesson for today.
Today in 1973, US Patent 3712820 A was issued, an invention of Martin F. Walmsley and John Valentine Cross, and assigned to John Labatt Ltd., for their “Process for Making a Brewers’ Wort Beer.” There’s no Abstract, but in the description they explain that the “invention provides a process for producing a brewers wort in which an aqueous slurry of a raw starch containing material, preferably a cereal grain such as barley, is heated to 40 55 C. at which temperature it is subjected to the action of a discrete proteolytic enzyme and, optionally, a discrete ot-amylase enzyme, then heated to 65-90 C. at which temperature it is subjected to the action of a discrete a-amylase enzyme to solubilise the starch, after which it is cooled to 40-65 C. at which temperature it is subjected to the action of a discrete amylase enzyme or source thereof to produce fermentable sugars.”
Today in 1912, US Patent 1015443 A was issued, an invention of Robert Hoffmann, for his “Apparatus for Macerating Wort.” There’s no Abstract, but in the description he explains the problem and his solution:
In macerating they wort in making beer the sparging water has hitherto been poured on to the wort by means of a rotary sprayer spraying over or sparging the wort. As the sparging water falls from a certain height on to the surface of the wort it is not only impossible to avoid unintentionally mixing the wort with the sparging water,’but the latter is also undesirably cooled. Both disadvantages thus involve a loss of yield from the grain and thus mean an incomplete’ working.
Now as compared with the ordinary apparatus for maceration this invention consists in the sparging water not being, allowed to fall from a height on to the surface of the wort but being introduced in layers on to the surface of the wort, so that the grain during maceration is slowly compressed by the sparging water and does not mix therewith.
This improved apparatus consists in other’ words in the sparging water being allowed to flow on to the wort in a continuous stream without first having to fall through the air — on to the surface of the wort.
Wednesday’s ad is for Guinness, from 1960. Showing a man playing golf, suggesting he could play better by keeping “a Guinness in mind!” But I guess that only holds true for men, and not just any men, but just the tough ones, as the ad copy makes clear. “But for muscular men … who work hard, play hard, live hard … this is it.” And apparently it’s been that way for awhile now. “For 200 years now , this dark Irish brew has been the masculine man’s preference. Frankly, it is not for everyone. But vigorous, vital men are vehement that Guinness stout has the secret of the cool refreshment they need.”
Today in 1947, US Patent 2414669 A was issued, an invention of Gustave T. Reich, for his “Art of Brewing.” There’s no Abstract, but the description explains that the “invention relates to a continuous process of brewing beer from malt and cereal. Among its objectives are the securing of the maximum diastatic action in the minimum time thus permitting advantageous continuous saccharincation, the preventing of the destruction of the diastase and peptase by heat prior to the sacchariflcation of the mash so that the full effect of all the diastase is released in the sacoharifying step, the effecting of the maximum digestion of the malt by the peptase largely prior to the saccharibody of the hulls is not fication, the avoiding of dissolving objectionable soluble materials found in the malt hulls by digesting the malt while the hulls are largely intact.”
Antioch’s brewpub Schooner’s Grille & Brewery is currently looking for a space to build a production brewery and begin offering their award-winning beers in bottles. The restaurant and brewery was purchased by new owners last May, and they planned from the beginning to start packaging the beer. But recently they decided to close the restaurant as of February 1, 2015. So Schooner’s beer will likely be a little harder to find for a few months, while they transition from brewpub to production brewery.
I spoke to longtime brewer at Schooner’s, Craig Cauwels, and he tells me they hope to be brewing in a new space by mid-to-late summer. They may contract some beer during the downtime, but a final decision on that hasn’t been made yet, and will most likely be dependent upon how the search for a new building for the brewery is going. They expect to know more about potential sites for the brewery over the next month.
Cauwels also will be investing in the new brewery, and will become a partner in the venture, which is exciting, because Craig is an incredibly talented brewer and it will be great for him to have a stake in the company. Schooner’s was named “Brewery of the Year” at last year’s California State Fair Brewery Competition, and has won countless awards over the years. His Old Diablo Barley Wine is consistently one of the best barley wines you’ve never heard of (but should have) and hopefully will soon be available in bottles, along with many of Schooner’s other beers. Look for bottles of Schooner’s beer on store shelves soon, or at least by the end of the summer if all goes according to plan.
Today in 1936, US Patent 2028283 A was issued, an invention of Jules Howard and Sanford E. Richeson, for their “Foam Controlling Beer Faucet.” There’s no Abstract, but the description explains that the “invention relates to beer and like taps or valves for drawing off foamy liquid from a cooler or other container.” It was designed “to prevent loss of the liquid incident to foaming in the glass after standing for some time in the cooler or container, and at the same time to regulate the depth of the head or cap of foam at the top of the glass.”