Patent No. 3649993A: Apparatus For Opening The Flaps Of A Container And Removing Debris Therefrom

Today in 1972, just one year ago, US Patent 3649993 A was issued, an invention of Henry Sauer, assigned to Schlitz Brewing Co., for his “Apparatus For Opening The Flaps Of A Container And Removing Debris Therefrom.” Here’s the Abstract:

An apparatus for opening and spreading the top flaps of a carton containing packaged articles such as bottles, and for cleaning the carton after the flaps are opened. The carton containing the articles is moved along a conveyor and the sides of the carton are engaged by pressure members which deform the sides and pivot the flaps, if closed, to a partially open position. The carton then passes beneath a vacuum duct, which acts to raise the flaps. After the flaps have been raised, the carton moves into engagement with a spreader unit which spreads the flaps laterally outward. With the flaps in the spread position, the carton is then conveyed beneath a second vacuum duct which acts to draw lightweight debris from the carton.


Patent No. 20140079868A1: Packaging For Decarbonated Beer Base Liquid

Today in 2014, just one year ago, US Patent 20140079868 A1 was issued, an invention of Jerome Pellaud, Aaron Penn, Wilfried Lossignol, and Neeraj Sharma, assigned to Anheuser-Busch, LLC, for their “Packaging For Decarbonated Beer Base Liquid.” There’s no Abstract, but there’s a lengthy summary after the introduction which appears to serve the same function:

A package for a decarbonated beer base liquid may comprise a non-rigid wall defining an internal orifice, a seal extending along a seam of the non-rigid wall and providing an oxygen barrier, and a decarbonated beer base liquid hermetically sealed in said internal orifice. An individually packaged base liquid for making personalized malt-based beverages may comprise at least about 0.1% wt ethyl alcohol, at least about 3% wt malt extract solids, and a carbon dioxide level between about zero grams per liter and about 1.5 grams per liter.

This is without a doubt one of the odder patents I’ve come across in my year-long quest to document beer-relayed U.S. Patents. This is apparently more aimed at markets outside the U.S., but that doesn’t mean we might not see it used here, as well. Take a look at some of the language used in the “Background.”

In recent years, malt-based beverages, and especially beers, are a fast growing market in many countries such as China and India. In many of these countries, the taste and beer-type preferences are culturally different from markets such as North and South America and Europe. Most breweries operating world-wide, however, provide a limited number of beer types, and hence, beer tastes. Due to globalization, the availability of specialized beer types that meet specific consumer demands becomes a challenge, both in terms of logistics and in terms of the amount of different beer types and tastes to be developed and produced.

Beer taste is dependent on the ingredients used (e.g., malt-type, adjunct levels, hops type and levels, other ingredients such as fruit flavors, water composition, etc.) and operational settings (e.g., boiling time, yeast type used for fermentation, fermentation temperature profile, filtration, etc.).

Brewing finished beer, wherein all the ingredients are introduced into the beer prior to bottling, has a major drawback in that the formulation and thus the taste, smell, color and other organoleptic properties of the beer are fixed.

One of their initial premises, that “Most breweries operating world-wide, however, provide a limited number of beer types, and hence, beer tastes” is pretty funny. There are at least 400 different types of beers but they’ve chosen to concentrate on one and turn it into a commodity, only to use that now as a negative to promote this idea. Strange. Brewing and bottling beer they characterize as a “drawback” because the way that beer tastes is then “fixed.” Hilarious.

So from what I see here it seems like they’re setting the groundwork for a new business model where you create a base beer with little to no character and then infuse or add whatever flavors you want to create the finished product, not at a brewery, but at the point of consumption. Have you see the new magic soda machines at fast food restaurants where you press a few buttons and can be served 100 or more different flavors of soda? That’s where I think they may be going with this, but with beer. That certainly seems like a scary proposition.


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Patent No. EP 2450290 B1: Plastic Beer Keg

Today in 2014, just one year ago, US Patent EP 2450290 B1 was issued, an invention of William P. Apps, assigned to Rehrig Pacific Company, for his “Plastic Beer Keg.” There’s no Abstract, but there’s a lengthy summary after the introduction which appears to serve the same function:

According to the present invention there is provided a plastic beer keg as claimed in claim I and a method as claimed in claim 6. The locking ring secures the liner to the lid, and the locking ring is configured to release the liner from the lid upon impact of the keg in a drop. This can be accomplished by molding the locking ring from a softer material, which flexes to release the liner on impact, or a more brittle locking ring or a locking ring with design-in stress concentrators, which breaks to release the liner on impact.

In the method of the present invention, the liner of the beer keg is filled with beer while the locking ring is securing the neck portion of the liner to the lid, but the locking ring is removed after filling and prior to shipping of the beer keg. The filled keg is shipped, sold and used without the locking ring. The locking ring may be reused in the filling of many kegs.

Also disclosed is a plastic keg that includes a liner including a neck portion and a body portion. A lid having an opening is disposed at least partially over the liner. The liner is disposed in an outer container having a wall with at least one locking rib projecting therefrom. The locking rib angles downward and the lid secured to the outer container by the at least one locking rib. Optionally, the lid can be snapped onto the locking rib or rotated to lock onto the locking rib. This can be accomplished by an angled surface on at least one of the locking rib and the shoulder of the lid that snaps under the locking rib.


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Patent No. 1020877A: Combination Beer-Cock

Today in 1912, US Patent 1020877 A was issued, an invention of Herbert Bell, for his “Combination Beer-Cock.” There’s no Abstract, but the description makes a valiant attempt, although the OCR did a pretty lousy job on this one, but the “invention relates to ‘liquid dispensing devices’ and has special reference to a form of beer cock designed to dispense beer to improve the general construction of cocks of this improved construction to provide it with a novel gormoffplu(?) valve. “The invention consists of certain novel details of construction as hereinafter fully described.”

Patent No. 4505941A: Lauter Tun For The Filtration Of Wort During Brewing

Today in 1985, US Patent 4505941 A was issued, an invention of David W. Raines, for his “Lauter Tun For The Filtration Of Wort During Brewing.” Here’s the Abstract:

Lauter tuns are used for the filtration of wort during brewing. In use the wort runs off through a filter bed and has to be collected. Hitherto the bottom of such tuns have been flat having a number of holes through which the wort runs. If the bottom is ostensibly flat, problems can arise in that puddles accumulate in any undulations leading to possible spoilation of the wort. The bottom of a tun in accordance with the invention is formed with a series of straight parallel valleys extending across the tun and having spaced wort collection points for connection to straight wort mains or manifolds located beneath the tun.


Patent No. D6506S: Design For A Beer-Mug

Today in 1873, US Patent D6506 S was issued, an invention of J. Ernest Miller, for his “Design For a Beer-Mug.” There’s no Abstract, and even less information aprt from the following, that the “nature of my design is fully represented in the accompanying drawing, to which reference is made,” which is the same as saying just look at the damn drawing, will you?

Patent No. PP18602P3: Hop Plant Named ‘Bravo’

Today in 2008, US Patent PP18602 P3 was issued, an invention of Roger D. Jeske and Joe Brulotte, assigned to S.S. Steiner, Inc., for their “Hop Plant Named ‘Bravo.'” Here’s the Abstract:

A new and distinct variety of hop, Humulus lupulus L., named “01046” is characterized by its exceptional cone yield, high percentage of alpha acids, and resistance to hop powdery mildew strains found in Washington. The new variety was cultivated as a result of a cross in 2000 at Golden Gate Roza Hop Ranches in Prosser, Wash., United States and has been asexually reproduced in Prosser, Wash., United States.


Patent No. 423833A: Metallic Keg

Today in 1890, US Patent 423833 A was issued, an invention of Anthony and Michael A. Stiveson, for their “Metallic Keg.” There’s no Abstract, but in the description it states that their “invention has for its object to provide a metallic keg, barrel, or similar article which can be expeditiously and economically manufactured, which shall be extremely light.”


Patent No. 2631393A: Illuminated Tap

Today in 1953, US Patent 2631393 A was issued, an invention of Lionel S Hetherington, for his “Illuminated Tap.” There’s no Abstract, but in the description it states that the “invention relates to illuminated taps and more particularly to an electrically illuminated tap adapted to be used as an advertising device..” In addition, “one object of this invention is to advertise the beverage available on draught at the tap” and “Another object is to visibly indicate the specific beverage to be drawn from a specific tap.”


Patent No. 2631777A: Process For Centrifugal Separation Of Yeast Cells From Beer

Today in 1953, US Patent 2631777 A was issued, an invention of Verner Hanno Tore, for his “Process For Centrifugal Separation Of Yeast Cells From Beer.” There’s no Abstract,
but the description claims that the “invention relates to the centrifugal separation of impurities from liquids, such as the separation of yeast cells from beer. More particularly, it relates to an improved process for this purpose, whereby contamination of the centrifugally purified liquid by the impurities, incident to interruption of the centrifugal separation, is avoided.”