Patent No. 3035603A: Beer Barrel Tapper

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Today in 1962, US Patent 3035603 A was issued, an invention of Walter H. Despres and Phillip D. Jamieson, for their “Beer Barrel Tapper.” There’s no Abstract, though it’s described this way in the application:

This invention relates to a new and improved beer barrel tapper, that is, a device for tapping beer kegs or barrels and has particular reference to a device of the type set forth wherein a compressed gas is introduced into the barrel or the like for removing the liquid contents, such as beer, under pressure.

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Beer In Ads #1562: Man Size Pleasure Of Golf


Thursday’s ad is another one for Falstaff, also from 1959. Today is National Golf Day, so this ad seemed appropriate for today’s featured ad. Like yesterday’s ad, the copy asks. “Got A Thirst For Man Size Pleasure?” I guess golf is slightly manlier than ice skating, but I’m still not convinced it’s among the more physically demanding sports one associates with manly pursuits. Although I suppose it does take balls to play.

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Beer Birthday: Nick Matt

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Today is the 70th birthday of Nick Matt, chairman and CEO of F.X. Matt Brewing in Utica, by the Adirondack Mountains of upstate New York. The brewery was originally founded in 1888, and their main brand today is Saranac. Nick is an active member of the beer industry, and especially through the Brewers Association, and a big supporter of the community as a whole. Join me in wishing Nick a very happy birthday.

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Nick and Fred Matt at the Rare Beer Tasting at Wynkoop during GABF.

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A promo shot at the brewery, Nick with his nephew, and company president, Fred Matt.

Patent No. 2792692A: Keg Cooler And Dispensing Bar Unit

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Today in 1957, US Patent 2792692 A was issued, an invention of Reed A. Bryan, for his “Keg Cooler And Dispensing Bar Unit.” There’s no Abstract, though it’s described this way in the application:

The primary object of the invention is to provide a combined keg cooling enclosure simulating a large beer barrel, dispensing bar and faucet, and auxiliary pressurizing equipment in a single unit for use at picnics, beach and boat parties, club outings and the like events.

More specifically, it is intended now to provide a keg enclosure in the form of a relatively large open-top barre]. A bar-top removably fitted over the top of the barrel so that a keg may be set down within the barrel and packed with ice, and tapping and dispensing equipment including a faucet mounted on the bar-top and a carbon dioxide cylinder mounted exteriorly of the barrel with gas connections to the top. By this arrangement there is to be provided a complete unit which may be set up iced by a distributor or dealer and delivered to the consumers in readiness for tapping and utilization without further ado.

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Patent No. 1951996A: Brewing Pan

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Today in 1934, US Patent 1951996 A was issued, an invention of Josef Schaefer, for his “Brewing Pan.” There’s no Abstract, though it’s described this way in the application:

My invention relates to improvements in brewing pans, and more particularly in the construction of the rotary liquid heater. One of the objects of the improvements is to provide a liquid heater which is simple in construction, and in which the water of condensation is readily removed from the heating coil. With this object in view my invention consists in providing the liquid heater with a single heating pipe wound into a coil having several superposed windings, each winding being preferably substantially in the form of a star. By constructing the coil from a single pipe only two openings are needed in the supply one for admitting the steam and the other for removing the water of condensation.

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The Most Distinctive Causes Of Death By State

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This is somewhat interesting, though it was little to do with beer. The CDC released the results of an analysis of the “most distinctive cause of death for each state and the District of Columbia, 2001–2010.” I never realized this, but it makes sense. The CDC uses a standardized List of 113 Selected Causes of Death, based on the International Classification of Diseases, 10th Revision. This is to help the data collected be more useful, and allows comparisons to be drawn if the data is not affected by local bias or custom. Then the data used was “age-adjusted state-specific death rate for each cause of death relative to the national age-adjusted death rate for each cause of death, equivalent to a location quotient.”

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The analysis that went into creating the map was done by Francis Boscoe, who’s a researcher at the New York State Cancer Registry. Here’s the main findings, from the CDC website:

The resulting map depicts a variety of distinctive causes of death based on a wide range of number of deaths, from 15,000 deaths from HIV in Florida to 679 deaths from tuberculosis in Texas to 22 deaths from syphilis in Louisiana. The largest number of deaths mapped were the 37,292 deaths in Michigan from “atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease, so described”; the fewest, the 11 deaths in Montana from “acute and rapidly progressive nephritic and nephrotic syndrome.” The state-specific percentage of total deaths mapped ranged from 1.8% (Delaware; atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease, so described) to 0.0005% (Illinois, other disorders of kidney).

Some of the findings make intuitive sense (influenza in some northern states, pneumoconioses in coal-mining states, air and water accidents in Alaska and Idaho), while the explanations for others are less immediately apparent (septicemia in New Jersey, deaths by legal intervention in 3 Western states). The highly variable use of codes beginning with “other” between states is also apparent. For example, Oklahoma accounted for 24% of the deaths attributable to “other acute ischemic heart diseases” in the country despite having only slightly more than 1% of the population, resulting in a standardized mortality rate ratio of 19.4 for this cause of death, the highest on the map. The highest standardized mortality rate ratio after Oklahoma was 12.4 for pneumoconioses in West Virginia.

A limitation of this map is that it depicts only 1 distinctive cause of death for each state. All of these were significantly higher than the national rate, but there were many others also significantly higher than the national rate that were not mapped. The map is also predisposed to showing rare causes of death — for 22 of the states, the total number of deaths mapped was under 100. Using broader cause-of-death categories or requiring a higher threshold for the number of deaths would result in a different map. These limitations are characteristic of maps generally and are why these maps are best regarded as snapshots and not comprehensive statistical summaries.

Notice that despite prohibitionists claiming that alcohol is the “3rd-Leading Preventable Cause Of Death,” it’s actually not even on the list. It’s not even on the list of 113, apart from the more specific “Alcoholic Liver Disease.” Also, cancer isn’t among any of the top cause for any individual state, which is surprising given that it’s usually listed as the number two cause overall. Some of the stranger ones include Oregon and Nevada, whose leading cause is “legal intervention.” Then there’s Alabama and Tennessee with “accidental discharge of firearms,” while in Arizona and Arkansas it’s “discharge of firearms, undetermined intent.” Is anyone else bothered by the fact that in four states you’re most likely to die by being shot, whatever the reason?

Beer Birthday: Judy Ashworth

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Today is Judy Ashworth’s birthday. She’s the Grand Dame of Publicans, having once owned the Lyons Brewery Depot in the East Bay, one of the earliest bars to really embrace, support and promote craft beer. Judy sold the pub in 1998 after some health troubles sidelined her, but she’s still a fixture in the Bay Area beer scene. I’ve judged with her many times and these days she’s very supportive of the homebrewing movement and she can be seen at most of the major beer events throughout the year. Join me in wishing Judy a very happy birthday.

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Judy with Shaun O’Sullivan (21st Amendment) and Chris Black at his Falling Rock Taphouse during GABF week in 2007.

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Out in front of The Bistro in Hayward at the Wood-Aged Beer Festival in August of 2008. From left: Jeremy Cowan, owner of He’Brew, Judy, Dave Heist, and Zak, also from He’Brew.

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At the Toronado Barleywine Festival in 2008, Judy Ashworth, Matt Salie (with Big Sky Brewing) and Judy’s daughter Laurel.

Judy Ashworth, Stephen Beaumont, me & Peter Hoey at the Pliny the Younger release
Judy with Stephen Beaumont, me and Peter Hoey at the 2010 Pliny the Younger release.

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Dave Suurballe, Judy, Julie Nickels and Bruce Paton at Anchor Brewing for the book release party for Tom Acitelli’s “Audacity of Hops” earlier this month.

Patent No. 428101A: Apparatus For Extracting Hops

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Today in 1890, US Patent 428101 A was issued, an invention of John Irlbacker, for his “Apparatus For Extracting Hops.” There’s no Abstract, though it’s described this way in the application:

My present invention has general reference to improvements in hop-extractors; and it consists in the novel and peculiar combination of parts and details of construction, as hereinafter first fully set forth and described, and then pointed out in the claims.

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Beer In Ads #1560: Make A Date With Good Taste


Tuesday’s ad is another one for Blatz, this time from 1945. In the ad, an attractive young woman is on the phone, which of course means she’s talking to a boy, most likely making a date. But no, they mean “Make A Date With Good Taste,” or Blatz, the beer that’s “always ripe and ready.” So at least there’s no double entendres there.

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