Today is the 37th birthday of Garrett Marrero, co-founder and brewmaster of Maui Brewing. His brewery started as a brewpub on the island in 2005, and quickly expanded to include a small production brewery, but more recently Maui built a much, much bigger brewery in Kihei, which is centrally located, and not too far from the airport. I’ve known Garrett for a number of years, but finally had the chance to visit his breweries on Maui during a family vaction there during Thanksgiving week last year. Garrett’s a great person and terrific brewer, giving you more than enough reasons to visit him on the island of Maui. Join me in wishing Garrett a very happy birthday.
Today in 1974, US Patent 3840435 A was issued, an invention of Rees Damon, assigned to Rahr Malting Co., for his “Malting Apparatus.” There’s no Abstract, although in the description it includes this summary:
Apparatus for malting barley including an elongated germination compartment and a plurality of vertically extending, transversely spaced augers moveable longitudinally within the compartment for intermittently mixing the barley during the germination period. To remove the malted barley from the germination compartment, the compartment floor includes a centrally positioned, longitudinally extending opening. A plurality of longitudinally spaced pairs of gates are pivotably mounted within the floor opening; the gates comprising each pair are pivotally attached to opposite edges of the opening for pivotal movement between a generally horizontal floor-forming position closing the opening and a downwardly inclined position allowing the malt within the compartment to pass through the opening to suitable means (e.-g. a conveyor) for transporting the malt to a drying kiln. A transversely extending auger is removeably mounted immediately behind the vertically extending augers and adjacent the compartment floor for moving the barley transversely within the germination compartment toward the centrally positioned floor opening during the compartment unloading operation. Pneumatic switches are positioned along the side of the germination compartment to automatically and independently pivot (i.e., open) the floor gates at successive predetermined positions of the transversely extending auger.
Wednesday’s ad is for Labatt’s Pilsener, from 1955. First of all, there’s a funny-looking moose sitting on a stump wearing boots and a flannel shirt. Beyond “The Swing Is Definitely To Labatt’s,” there are some gems in the copy for this ad. “When thirst has you by the horns, just call for a tall, cool glass of sparkling Labatt’s PILSENER,” and “the wonderful dryness of Pilsener makes any thirst vaMOOSE fast!” There’s also a pretty interesting claim toward the bottom of the ad. “The only beer in the world endorsed by brewmasters of seven other breweries.” I wonder which ones?
Today in 1980, US Patent 1087120 A1 was issued, an invention of Walter T. Nagodawithana and Janet M. Cuzner, assigned to the Jos. Schlitz Brewing Company, for their “Method of Fermenting.” Here’s the Abstract:
A method of fermenting a fermentable substrate, such as brewer’s wort. The substrate, having a high concentration of fermentable carbohydrate which would normally ferment very slowly or incompletely, is fermented by utilizing water dilution at a process point in the fermentation. The dilution is effected after the initial foam head produced in the fermentation collapses so that the headspace of the fermenting vessel normally allocated for the foam can be used for the fermentation of the diluted substrate. The water dilution reduces the osmotic pressure and ethanol concentration in the substrate, thus allowing the fermentation to proceed without inhibition by the combined effect of the two factors. The reduced osmotic pressure also increases the ethanol gradient between the inside and the outside of the yeast cells to enable the fermentation to proceed to completion.
Today is Tomme Arthur’s 42nd birthday. Tomme is Director of Brewery Operations for Port Brewing and the Lost Abbey. One of the established stars of the San Diego brewing scene, Tomme is justly famous for his terrific beers, like his Cuvee de Tomme, the Red Poppy, the Angel’s Share and the Track series. Plus, he introduced washoes to the brewing community. Join me in wishing Tomme a very happy birthday.
After the Five Guys and a Barrel Beer Dinner, a toast was offered with Isabelle Proximus, the Collaborative Sour Ale made by blending beer and done by the five of them. Top row: Adam Avery, Rob Tod, Bruce Paton and Sam Calagione. Bottom row: Tomme and Vinnie Cilurzo.
Today in 1902, US Patent 710631 A was issued, an invention of Paul A. Johnson, for his “Bung and Bung Attachment.” There’s no Abstract, although in the description it includes this summary:
My invention relates to an improved bung and faucet for kegs or barrels for beer, ale, and other liquids; and the object thereof is to provide a tight bung easily put in place and a faucet so constructed that said bung may be readily opened and the contents of the keg or barrel removed therefrom at will.
SABMiller released a statement this morning rejecting the latest takeover offer from Anheuser-Busch InBev. You may, or may not, be able to read the statements released by SABMiller on their website, and there are some fairly scary disclaimers including language that, depending on your jurisdiction, claims that the publicly available information may not be legal to read, and in such case advise you to “exit this web page.” Which while I’m sure is required by some law, probably UK law, also feels fairly ridiculous. At any rate, quite a few news outlets, such as the Wall Street Journal, Reuters and the New York Times are all reporting on it, so it must be okay for the likes of me.
The gist of it is the SABMiller board unanimously rejected ABI’s latest takeover offer, for the primary reason that they believe ABI’s offer “substantially” undervalues their company (currently the offer values SABMiller at $104 billion), among a few other technical reasons having to do with the timing, regulatory issues and others. The current offer is for roughly £65.14 billion, which is $99.76 billion dollars.
The Wall Street Journal helpfully created a graphic showing the recent history of the potential deal as it’s been unfolding.
There’s little doubt this is not the end of it, but there will continue to be a back and forth as this high-stakes game unfolds. And it really is a game, sad to say. Apparently negotiations have been tense, which really should not come as a shock to anybody, yet you see statements like this. “AB InBev is disappointed that the board of SABMiller has rejected both of these prior approaches without any meaningful engagement.” The absurdity of that reveals the gamesmanship involved, as it plays out in the media. It’s going to be an interesting few weeks.
Tuesday’s ad is for O’Keefe, from 1958. “The Choice Is Yours!” reminds of the Blues Brothers movie, when the band plays at an old honky tonk, and the owner tells them what kind of music they feature. “We have both kinds of music: country and western.” In this case the choice is between “O’Keefe Old Stock Ale” and “O’Keefe Ale.” This first is “hearty and full-bodied” while the second is “smooth and light.” So they have both kinds.
Today in 1936, US Patent 2056524 A was issued, an invention of Paul A. Johnson, for his “Combination Bushing For Beer Barrels.” There’s no Abstract, although in the description it includes this summary:
This invention relates to a universal bushing for beer barrels.
Barrels which are to contain beer have bung holes through which the barrel is filled. The beer is pumped or otherwise tapped from the barrel. It is common to provide at the bung hole of the barrel a bushing, of metal. Many and different types of bushings are used with which are associated plugs and/or valves for sealing the barrel against escape of the beer and with which a tapping mechanism may be used to withdraw the beer from the barrel.
There are several systems of tapping the beer from the barrel with each of which special plugs or valves for the different systems are used and heretofore it has been necessary, with a particular type of bushing used, to use with it a particular valve or plug designed to fit the bushing or be used therewith or integrally connected thereto. With my invention I provide a universal bushing capable of being sealed against escape of the beer and with which any of the different regular makes of plugs or valves may be used.
I continue to be fascinated by the design work still being done on beer glassware to figure out the perfect shape for beer, or for specfic types of beer. I just stumbled on yet another effort, these glasses from Los Angeles-based Sempli, which was founded by Swedish designer Daniel Semeraro in 2011. They consist of four glasses, part of a set known as the Monti Taste Collection. Each glass was mouth-blown from lead-free crystal.
Two of the four glasses were created to enhance to specific types of beer, while the other two are generic, but are meant to fit particular size packages.
On the left was designed for IPAs, next for pilsner (known as the “pils”). The third glass will hold a pint — 16 ounces — and the last glass the contents of a 12-ounce bottle or can (and called “the birra”).
They all seem to have a pyramid shape in the bottom of the glass, possibly to encourage or enhance nucleation. They call it a “conical inverted bases,” and claim it’s “designed to catch the first splash of a pour and help ‘lead the effervescence of the brew up to the surface.'”
They’re not yet available for sale, but will be released later this month, on October 23. They can be pre-ordered on the Sempli website. The pilsner glass doesn’t look that drastically different from traditional pilsner glasses, and for that matter the IPA glass seems to be a following at least a general trend. Still, I’m certainly keen to see how it compares to other recent designs for IPAs.