Patent No. 3767829A: Method For Warming Carbonated Beverages In Sealed Containers

Today in 1973, US Patent 3767829 A was issued, an invention of Fred A. Karr, for his “Method for Warming Carbonated Beverages in Sealed Containers.” There’s no Abstract, although in the description it includes these claims:

A method and apparatus are provided for continuously heating to ambient temperatures the contents of a plurality of sealed containers (e.g. bottles or cans) filled with carbonated beverage (e.g. beer and carbonated soft drinks). The method is useful as applied to containers freshly filled with cold carbonated beverage to avoid the formation of condensation on the containers. The method is also applicable to heating a beverage to pasteurizing temperatures from either cold filling or room temperature.

One embodiment of the apparatus include a conveyor formed of an endless perforate heat-resistive conveyor having upper and lower runs, and an elongated open-bottomed tunnel oven disposed above said upper run having side walls adapted to retain beverage containers carried by said upper run. Elongated stationary, dry-heating means disposed between upper and lower conveyor runs below the oven means are provided to supply a plurality of beverage containers to the upstream end of said upper run for movement through said oven. In this manner, the underside of the beverage containers are preferentially heated. Control means are associated with the heating means capable of adjusting the heat intensity along the container path of travel. One embodiment of the dry heater means includes a plurality of infrared heater elements transverse to the direction of travel of the conveyor with each element including an upper heat radiating surface and air-fuel gas mixture feed. Another embodiment of the dry heating means includes a plurality of spaced apart rows of open-flame natural draft burners capable of impinging upon the underside of the beverage containers.

In another embodiment of the apparatus, the conveyor is of vibratory type. The upstream end of the deck of the vibratory conveyor is disposed proximate and transverse to an infeed conveyor and the discharge end of the deck is proximate and transverse to a discharge conveyor so that the containers are conveyed directly to and from the conveyor deck without the interposition of a deadplate.

According to the process, the sealed containers filled with carbonated beverages are moved on a conveyor of one of the above types over a dry heat source so that the dry heat emitted therefrom impinges upon the underside of the containers to heat the carbonated beverage therein in progression proceeding from the bottom toward the top of the containers so that an elevation of the temperature of the beverage is induced while permitting the head space to remain relatively cool. Heating the beverage before the gaseous head space reduces the danger of superheating the gaseous head space and also eliminates the requirement of transmitting heat through the poorly-conductive gaseous head space in order to warm the beverage. The containers on a vibratory conveyor are vibrated sufficiently to increase heat transfer by convection from the bottom toward the top of the container.

In general, it is an object of the present invention to provide a method and apparatus for warming carbonated beverage in containers of either the glass bottle or metal can type to avoid the formation of condensation on the containers.

It is another object of the invention to provide a method and apparatus elevating the temperature of beer in a container of the above type to a value at which pasteurization can occur and which also overcomes the disadvantages of the prior art.


Historic Beer Birthday: William Anderton

Today is the birthday of William H. Anderton (October 23, 1866-January 27, 1928). He was the son of James Anderton, who founded the Spring Water Brewery, later renaming it the Anderton Brewery. After his father died in 1905, William “took over management of the firm and it was merged in 1905 to become part of the Pittsburgh-based Independent Brewery Company (1905-1933). The local facility was closed in 1920 (like many other breweries) with the enactment of nationwide prohibition.”


Here’s a biography of Anderton, from “Biographical Sketches of Leading Citizens of Beaver County, Pennsylvania, published in 1899:

WILLIAM HENRY ANDERTON, secretary, treasurer and general business manager of the Anderton Brewing Company of Beaver Falls, Pa., whose portrait we present on the preceding page, received his primary education in the Beaver Falls schools,-taking a collegiate course at the Iron City Business College of Pittsburg, Pennsylvania. In 1883, he entered the employ of the Hartman Steel Co., of Beaver Falls, in the capacity of clerk, remaining in their employ until 1889. He was a prime mover in, the organization of the Union Drawn Steel Co., and was secretary and treasurer of that company, until December, 1890. At that date, Mr. Anderton became secretary, treasurer and general business manager of the Anderton Brewing Co., which position he still holds. He assisted in organizing the People’s Water Company in 1897, and is its vice president. He is a believer in the principles of Democracy, and an active worker for that party. Socially, he is a member of the Ma-sonic fraternity, being included among the members of Beaver Valley Lodge, No. 478; he is also treasurer of the B. P. O. E. lodge, No. 348.

William Henry Anderton is one of a family of five children. He was born October 23, 1866, is a son of James and Betty (Green-wood) Anderton, and grandson of James and Sarah (Morris) Anderton. His grandparents came to America from England in 1856, accompanied by their son James, and settled at Fallston, Beaver county, Pa., where their two sons, John and Joseph, had located a few months previously. There father and sons worked in the mines for some years. John died at Fallston, in February, 1899, but Joseph now resides in Rochester, Pa. The be-loved father departed this life in May, 1879, at the age of seventy-nine years, and was preceded to the grave by his faithful wife and companion, who died in March, 1878, in her eighty-fifth year.

James Anderton, the father of William Henry, was born in Streetbridge, Royston, Lancastershire, England, June 26, 1830. He worked for eighteen years in the mines in his native place, beginning at the early age of eight years. In his youth he had no educational advantages whatever,-his only mental training being a night school organized by himself and his fellow miners, known as the “Youth’s Seminary.” There the boys taught each other, being too poor to afford an experienced teacher. The school organized by these lads has grown into a famous institution of learning, and is now known as the Literary Institute of Oldham, England.

James Anderton accompanied his parents to America when twenty-six years of age, worked in the mines at Fallston, until 1866, and then removed to New Brighton, Pennsylvania. He continued to follow this occupation at the latter place until March, 1868, when he removed to Beaver Falls, purchased his present residence, and engaged in the hotel business. The following year (1869), he went into the brewing business in a small frame building, situated quite near the elegant structure in which he at present officiates. The first brewing was made November 30, of the same year, and consisted of only nine barrels. In 1875, Mr. Anderton built the old part of the present structure, and with a much increased capacity, he continued to brew ale and porter until 1895, when he built a large brick addition, with all the modern improvements, and began brewing beer. The Anderton Brewery is now one of the most complete up-to-date breweries in Pennsylvania, and has a capacity of 30,000 barrels per year. There are many larger breweries in the Keystone State, but none more complete.

While, still in his native land, James Anderton was united in marriage with Betty Green-wood, a daughter of Joseph and Mary Greenwood. This event took place in 1852, and their union is blessed with five children, viz.: Jonathan ; Mary G.; William H. ; William H., second ; and Sarah A. Jonathan was born June 2,2, 1853; he is vice president of the Anderton Brewing Company. He wedded Margaret Hart, a daughter of Hilton and Ann Hart, and their home is made happy by the presence of four sons: James, Hilton, Jonathan, Jr., and William H. Mary G. was born February 1, 1858. She became the wife of C. W. Rohrkaste, who is now superintendent of the Anderton Brewery. They have three children: James A.; Mary A.; and Florence E. William H., the third child, died at the tender age of five years, and the same name was given to the next child. William H., the fourth child, is the subject of this brief sketch. Sarah A., the fifth child, was born October 14, 1869, and died in early childhood, aged three years.

James Anderton is a fine illustration of a self-made man, which in a great measure is due to his progressiveness, reliability and integrity. He ranks among the most esteemed citizens of Beaver Falls, and takes an active interest in fraternal organizations, being a member of Lone Rock Lodge, K. of P.; Valley Echo Lodge, I. O. O. F.; Mechanics Lodge, A. O. U. W.; and Beaver Valley Lodge, F. & A. M., of which he has been treasurer for the past nineteen years. He was one of the organizers and original stockholders of the Union Drawn Steel Co., and is one of the stockholders of the People’s Water Co., of Beaver Falls. In his religious convictions, the elder Mr. Anderton is an Episcopalian, of which denomination he and his family are members. Politically, he is a stanch Democrat, but could never be persuaded to seek or accept public office.

William Henry Anderton chose for his wife Emma J. Bailey, a daughter of James and Emma Bailey. In his business ventures he has met with success and, like his father, he is known to be an upright, honorable man. His home bears evidence of comfort in all its surroundings, and he always lends his aid and influence to the support of measures which he believes will be conducive to the general good.

The Anderton Brewing Co. was located in Beaver Falls, between 23rd and 24th streets near the railroad tracks. The local owners would sell their company in 1905, but the brewery remained in Beaver Falls producing beer until 1922.

And here’s Anderton’s obituary, from Western Brewer, an industry trade newsletter.



Patent No. 287357A: Beer Faucet

Today in 1883, US Patent 287357 A was issued, an invention of William A. Babcock, for his beer “Faucet.” There’s no Abstract, although in the description it includes these claims:

My invent on applies more especially to} faucets for the dispensing of beer or other beverages kept on draft in bars or similar; places; and the chief object of my improvement is to keep the liquid in the faucet free from any metallic taint or flavor, and also to preserve it in a cool condition, ready to be discharged into the next glass in a perfectly palatable state.


Beer In Ads #2071: Something On The Ball

Saturday’s ad is for Schlitz, from 1940. In this ad, entitled “Something On The Ball,” there are several sports using balls highlighted — golf, football, bowling and tennis, but baseball is the most prominent one, and since this ad ran five years before the last time the Chicago Cubs appeared in a World Series, I figured it was appropriate for today’s ad with them finally making it to the series this year. The ad finally comes around to tying it into Schlitz, by saying while the sports have “something on the ba;;,” Schlitz is so good it has “everything on the ball.”


Patent No. 3407121A: Fermenter Yeast Cropping And Washing Device

Today in 1968, US Patent 3407121 A was issued, an invention of Gerald Einar Wilson and Louis A. Le Seelleur, assigned to John Labatt Breweries, for their “Fermenter Yeast Cropping and Washing Device.” There’s no Abstract, although in the description it includes these claims:

A fermenter vessel containing a yeast cropping and cleaning device consisting of a rotatable header pipe in the upper portion of the vessel with an end of the pipe extending outside the vessel and a series of orifices opening from the header into the vessel. The orifice outlets are offset a substantial distance radially from the axis of rotation of the header pipe either by providing an offset portion in the header pipe itself or by providing a series of branch pipes extending laterally from the header pipe with nozzles on the outer ends thereof. Conduit means connected to the external end of said header pipe by means of a connector and suction means associated with said conduit for cropping the yeast.

This invention relates to a yeast cropping and washing device for closed fermenting vessels used in the brewing industry.

The fermentation of wort is one of the most important steps in the brewing process. Brewers yeast, having the ability to assimilate simple nitrogenous compounds and reproduce and break down sugars to carbon dioxide and alcohol are introduced into the wort, whereupon through a controlled biological fermentation process, the wort is transformed into beer. The fermentation of wort is usually an operation carried out under relatively low pressure (1-3 p.s.i.g.) in large metal fermenting vessels capable of holding thousands of gallons of wort. The modern fermenting vessel is a closed vessel such as that described in applicants co-pending application entitled, Multipurpose Process Vessel for Heat Transfer Operations.

During the fermentation, top fermenting yeast forms on the surface of the liquid in the vessel and this is normally removed by skimming or is allowed to work over the rim of a tank into chutes or troughs. In the closed vessel it is, of course, necessary to use some form of yeast cropping device and according to the present invention a new device has been developed which can be used both for cropping yeast from the surface of the beer in the fermenter and for cleaning the fermenter after the beer has been removed.

The cropping and cleaning device according to this invention consists of a horizontally extending pipe which is rotatable within the fermenter and the rotatable pipe has a series of orifices which are adapted to draw off yeast from the fermenter or to spray cleaning solution into the fermenter. The pipe is arranged such that by rotating it the elevation of the orifices can be varied to permit the yeast to be drawn off to the desired level. One end of the rotatable pipe has a fluid connection to an external pipe through a connector which permits relative rotation between the two pipes while fluid is passing through. Suitable valve means are provided so that cleaning solution can be forced into the vessel or yeast can be drawn out of the vessel through the connector and rotatable pipe.


Historic Beer Birthday: Otto Bremer

Today is the birthday of Otto Bremer (October 21, 1867-February 18, 1951). He was born in the Lower Saxony (Niedersachsen) area of Germany, and along with his brother Adolf, settled in Minnesota, in the St. Paul area.


Bremer was a German American banker and philanthropist. He founded Bremer Bank and the Otto Bremer Foundation, which grants funds for use in the communities where the banks operate. His brother Adolf married brewer Jacob Schmidt’s daughter, and my 1901, Adolf and Otto Bremer owned 25 percent of the Jacob Schmidt Brewing Company stock. When Schmidt passed away in 1911, the Bremer brothers took control of the brewery. When Adolf died in 1939, Otto assumed the role of president of Schmidt’s brewery until he died in 1951.

Otto Bremer with a sandwich and a beer.

Here’s a partial history of the Jacob Schmidt brewery during the time the Bremers were involved, from Wikipedia:

Jacob Schmidt started his brewing career in Minnesota as the Brewmaster for the Theodore Hamm’s Brewing Co. He left this position to become owner of the North Star Brewing Co. Under Schmidt’s new leadership the small brewery would see much success and in 1899 Schimdt transferred partial ownership of his new brewery to a new corporation headed by his son in law Adolph Bremer, and Adolph’s brother Otto. This corporation would later become Bremer Bank. With the new partnership the Jacob Schmidt Brewing Company was established. In 1900 the North Star Brewery would suffer a fire that would close it for good. With the new management team in place a new brewery was needed, the new firm purchased the Stahlmann Brewery form the St. Paul Brewing Co. and immediately started construction on a new Romanesque brewery incorporating parts of Stahlmann’s original brewery along with it including the further excavation of the lagering cellars used in the fermentation process to create Schmidt’s Lager Beer

Upon Schmidt’s death in 1911 the Bremers took full control of the company and continued to see success and growth. In 1920 National Prohibition came to Minnesota and stopped the production and sale of intoxicating beverages. Schmidt’s was one of the few breweries to see success and remain open all throughout prohibition in offering nonalcoholic beverages or near beers such as Malta and City Club as well as other beverages. It was rumored that Schmidt’s continued to produce real beer during prohibition complete with a secret underground tunnel that allowed for beer to be transported from the brewery on the bluffs to awaiting ships on the Mississippi river below. None of these rumors were ever confirmed though.

Since Schmidt’s never stopped production of beverages in the brewery it was one of few breweries in Minnesota that was ready to produce real beer when prohibition was lifted in 1933. Schmidt’s re-released City Club beer as an strong beer with the new slogan of “Tops in any Town”. After prohibition Schmidt’s saw widespread success and continued to grow. This Success brought attention to the Bremer family leading to the kidnapping of Edward Bremer by the Barker-Karpis gang on the 16th of January, 1934; he was released on the 7th of February of the same year with 200,000 bail. As Schmidt’s continued to grow becoming the 7th largest brewery in the country by 1936 it was decided offering City Club in cans would be more profitable and became one of the first brewers in Minnesota to offer beer in cans. Like Hamm’s Schmidt’s offered beer in flat top cans, but became one of the only brewer to switch back to cone top cans after. During World War II Schmidt’s was granted a contract from the government to supply beer to the troops, made possible by a long standing friendship between the Bremers and Franklin D. Roosevelt.

In 1951 Otto Bremer died and City Club beer began to be phased out. In 1954 due to mounting pressure and competition from outside National Brewers the Bremers decided to leave the brewing industry and sold the company to Detroit based brewer Pfeiffer.


And here’s another biography of both Adolf and Otto Bremer, from Funding Universe:

Otto Bremer and his younger brother Adolph immigrated to the United States from Germany in 1886. The Midwest, where the young men settled, had experienced a period of rapid growth: the population had exploded and business opportunities were abundant. Otto Bremer’s first job was as a stock clerk for a wholesale hardware business in St. Paul, Minnesota. In 1887, he took a bookkeeping position with the National German-American Bank–he had three years of elementary banking training in Germany, according to a Ramsey County History article by Thomas J. Kelley. Bremer eventually became chief clerk.

The boom days of the 1880s were followed by a bust in the early 1890s. Banks in St. Paul’s sister city of Minneapolis went under. The National German-American Bank had to suspend operations for a time. By the end of the decade, the nation was in a deep economic depression.

Otto Bremer left the National German-American Bank at the turn of the century to make a run for the office of city treasurer. A well established and respected member of the community by this time, he won the election and served for five terms. (He had an unsuccessful but closely contested race for mayor in 1912.) Meanwhile, his brother Adolph was making his own headway in St. Paul’s business community. One connection led to a romance as well. Adolph married Marie Schmidt, the daughter of North Star Brewery owner Jacob Schmidt, in 1896.

While serving as city treasurer, Otto Bremer became a charter member of the board of directors for the American National Bank. The bank was formed in 1903 through the merging of two St. Paul banks. Bremer held 50 of the 2,000 shares of capital stock. The charter members of the board of directors, well aware of potential pitfalls, operated a conservative banking business, unlike the days of wild growth when banks and customers were extended beyond their means.

Brother Adolph’s responsibilities also continued to grow. When the brewery was reorganized as the Jacob Schmidt Brewing Company in 1899, he was named president. Adolph Bremer took over operating control when Schmidt died in 1910. He brought Otto in as secretary and treasurer shortly thereafter.

As Adolph gained ownership in the brewery, Otto Bremer increased his holdings in the bank, becoming a major shareholder by 1916. Adolph joined his brother on the American National Bank board of directors that year.

In 1921, Benjamin Baer, the bank’s second president and an original board member, died. Otto Bremer was named chairman. He also bought much of Baer’s stock and by 1924 gained controlling interest in the bank.

The brewery and its sales agencies in rural Minnesota, North Dakota, and Wisconsin provided a direct link to the Bremers and American National Bank in St. Paul. The brewery or the Bremers owned the land or buildings the sales agencies occupied, creating a starting point for further business relationships in the communities.

Otto Bremer became an advisor to local bankers, who often formed corresponding partnerships with American National. Dependent on the cyclical agricultural economy, country banks needed loans from city banks with a more diverse and therefore a more stable of base of business. Otto Bremer formed a deep commitment to the rural communities, and when economic disaster struck he was there to help.

Trouble began with a ramp-up of farm production in response to the needs created by the United States’ entry into World War I. Farmers began planting more acres and buying expensive machinery. Agricultural land increased in value. Farmers took out larger loans to drive the expansion. Demand collapsed following the war. Harsh weather conditions in the Midwest further hampered farmers. Loans went unpaid. A recession hit the nation in 1920, taxing city banks supporting the stressed country banks.

“Bent on maintaining the public trust in the country banks, Otto Bremer loaned them his good name and his money. Throughout the 1920s banks came into the fold of the American National Bank or the Bremer group,” wrote Kelley. Eventually, Bremer had to begin borrowing against his assets to keep country banks afloat.

By 1933, he held large or controlling interests in 55 banks in Minnesota, North Dakota, Wisconsin, and Montana, apart from his holdings in American National. However, he was $8 million in debt. The backing of Adolph Bremer’s shares in the Jacob Schmidt Brewing Company and a loan from the Federal Reconstruction Finance Corporation helped Otto Bremer keep his stock in American National and the country banks in the family.

Despite the one-two punch delivered by the farm recession and Great Depression, the Bremer brothers had kept control of both the brewery and the bank. When Adolph Bremer died in 1939, Otto Bremer succeed him as president of the Jacob Schmidt Brewing Company.

Otto Bremer in 1943.

In 1943, he created the Otto Bremer Company. The bank holding company consolidated his holdings in the country banks and would protect them from being sold to settle his estate, according to the Kelley article.

The Otto Bremer Foundation was formed the next year to make charitable grants in the communities served by the country banks. The ownership of the Otto Bremer Company was transferred to the foundation in 1949. After Bremer’s death in 1951, the banking chain entered an extended period of consolidation. The brewery was sold in 1954, but descendants of Adolph Bremer held stock in American National until it was sold to Milwaukee-based Firstar Corp. in 1996.


Patent Nos. 548587A & 548588A: Machine For Blowing Glass

Today in 1895, both US Patent 548587 A and US Patent 548588 A were issued, and both are related inventions of Michael J. Owens, under the same name: “Machine For Blowing Glass.” There’s no Abstract, although in the description it includes these claims for the first one:

This invention relates to a partially-automatic machine for blowing glass into pastemolds, the object being to provide a machine which is susceptible of practical use for the rapid production of large quantities of glass vessels or objects of a given shape.

The machine of this invention embodies a means for supporting the blow-pipe with its one end in communication with the air-supplying device and its other in operative proximity to or within the mold; certain means for automatically admitting air through the blow-pipe; a sectional mold, which is adapted to be closed about or adjacent the gathering end of the blowpipe and to be also automatically opened, whereby the paste covered inner surface thereof may be subjected to a sprinkling action; means for automatically effecting the closing and afterward the opening of the mold-sections and for imparting to them while they are closed rotary motions, and means for automatically causing a sprinkling of the paste-lined mold-sections while opened. The automatic operations are instituted by and in consequence of the placing of the blow-pipe which has the gathering of glass thereon in the machine in its position of support and for the reception of air communication therethrough.


And here’s a description of the claims for the second patent:

This invention relates to improvements in machinery for blowing glass into sectional [O molds, and particularly to the organization in a machine of means for severally and respectively performing automatically and mechanically operations which heretofore have been done manually or through the operation of implements or devices which have been manipulated or in some manner actuated by or dependent upon hand, foot, or lung power.


With these two patents under his belt, Michael Owns co-founded, along with Edward Drummond Libbey, the Owens Bottle Machine Co., which today is Owens-Illinois. O-I supplies a lot of beer bottles to the brewing industry, of course.


Patent No. 548618A: Steep Tank

Today in 1895, US Patent 548618 A was issued, an invention of William H. Prinz, for his “Steep Tank.” There’s no Abstract, although in the description it includes these claims:

This invention relates to a novel construction in a steep-tank employed for steeping barley and like cereals, and more especially relating to a steep-tank for steeping barley to bring the same to a condition for germinating in the manufacture of malt.

The object of the invention is to provide a construction whereby the steeping can be can ried on and the steep-tank emptied under the most favorable circumstances, at the same time providing means whereby the steep-water can be admitted from the upper or lower end of the tank.


Beer Birthday: Jonathan Cutler

Today is the 44th birthday of Jonathan Cutler, brewmaster/owner of Piece Brewing in Chicago. His brewpub makes great pizza and even better beer. Plus, he’s a terrific, fun person. He even got a shout-out at the Academy Awards a couple of years ago, when Quentin Tarantino said “Piece Out” during his acceptance speech. Join me in wishing Jonathan a very happy birthday.

Serving beer and pizza at the CBC Reception at the Field Museum.

At Stone Brewery during CBC in San Diego in 2008. From left: Peter Schell, Eric Rose (Hollister Brewing), Ian Ward (Brewers Supply Group), Jonathan Cutler (Piece Brewing), Chad Kennedy (Laurelwood Public House) and Fal Allen (now back at Anderson Valley).

Jonathan picking up another GABF award for Piece in 2007.

Jonathan Cutler always cries at weddings
Jonathan tearing up during Dave Keene and Jennifer Smith’s wedding during GABF a few years ago.

Patent No. 209163A: Improvement In Barrels Or Kegs

Today in 1878, US Patent 209163 A was issued, an invention of William H. Ewing, for his “Improvement in Barrels or Kegs.” There’s no Abstract, although in the description it includes these claims:

My invention relates to certain improvements in barrels and other like packages, the heads of the same being of wood, arranged and secured in a novel manner, while the sides, or that part usually made of wooden staves, are made of sheet metal, which is manipulated in the following way: A sheet or plate of metal of suitable thickness and size is passed through a train of rolls or under a hammer in such way as to draw out or lengthen the middle of the plate in one direction. The object of this is to secure the requisite bulge or swell to the barrel or keg, both for convenience in handling and to give additional strength. The sides of the plate which correspond to the ends of the barrel or keg: are stamped or out in any convenient way, so as to form a series of three or more clips, a, thereon. These clips are used for securing the heads, and also chine-hoops, as presently described.