Friday’s ad is from Pabst, from 1903. Many brewers made other related products besides beer, notably malt extract, to be used primarily in cooking as an ingredient in breads and desserts and even as a tonic. According to Briess, which still offers it today. “What is Malt Extract? Malt can be further processed to produce liquid or dried sweeteners called Malt Extracts.” They were essentially “the original starch- or grain-based sweetener.” Many brewers survived prohibition making malt extract, both for legal uses and for homebrewing, but Pabst was making and advertising decades before. In this ad, titled simply “Strength” I love how they’ve made a barbell out of holding two bottles of Pabst Malt Extract, raising to the sky. It’s just that strong, I guess.
Today is Don Feinberg’s 62nd birthday, along with his wife Wendy Littlefield, ran the Belgian export company Vanberg & DeWulf. Their portfolio included such great beer lines as Dupont, Castelain and Dubuisson (Bush). They were also the original founders of Brewery Ommegang. Several years ago they celebrated their 30th anniversary of being involved in the beer industry and bringing great beer to America. Plus, they’re great fun to hang out and drink with. Unfortunately, a couple of years ago they sold Vanberg & DeWulf, and are taking some time off, before deciding on their next project. Hopefully, we’ll learn something soon. Join me in wishing Don a very happy birthday.
Wendy Littlefield, Don and Greg Engert at a Vanberg & DeWulf tasting in Washington, D.C. (photo by Chuck Cook)
Thursday’s ad is from Pabst, from 1901. Many brewers made other related products besides beer, notably malt extract, to be used primarily in cooking as an ingredient in breads and desserts and even as a tonic. According to Briess, which still offers it today. “What is Malt Extract? Malt can be further processed to produce liquid or dried sweeteners called Malt Extracts.” They were essentially “the original starch- or grain-based sweetener.” Many brewers survived prohibition making malt extract, both for legal uses and for homebrewing, but Pabst was making and advertising decades before. In this ad, a man is working construction on a tall skyscraper, pulling up a steel girder all by himself. Though it’s unclear which one he is, but there are apparently two kinds of people, nervous or nerveless. And Pabst Malt Extract will help no matter which. “It steadies unsteady nerves — it makes steady nerves.”
Originally a sculptor, Jen Garris, has been involved in San Francisco’s beer scene as long as anyone I know. She’s worked for Magnolia and New Belgium, as well as many others in the Bay Area. A few years ago she opened the Pi Bar in San Francisco, along with boyfriend Rich Rosen, who also co-owns Chenery Park. I absolutely love Pi’s white bacon pizza. More recently, they opened Bel, a Belgian-themed bar/restaurant on Mission St. in Bernal Heights. Today is Jen’s 29th or so birthday. Join me in wishing her a very happy birthday.
Jen and Matt Salie, from Big Sky Brewing, at the 18th Celebrator Anniversary Party.
Wednesday’s ad is from Pabst, from 1901. Many brewers made other related products besides beer, notably malt extract, to be used primarily in cooking as an ingredient in breads and desserts and even as a tonic. According to Briess, which still offers it today. “What is Malt Extract? Malt can be further processed to produce liquid or dried sweeteners called Malt Extracts.” They were essentially “the original starch- or grain-based sweetener.” Many brewers survived prohibition making malt extract, both for legal uses and for homebrewing, but Pabst was making and advertising decades before. In this ad, which uses possibly the weirdest words to say you had a bad day, they start with “After the day’s business foretells nervous prostration.” Luckily, there is a cure. You probably already know what it is: Pabst Malt Extract.
Today is the birthday of Emile Anton Hubert Seipgens (August 16, 1837-June 25, 1896). Seipgens was born in Roermond, the Netherlands. He was the son of a brewer, and after school and some failed jobs, joined his father at the brewery in 1856. By 1859, he was running the brewery along with his brother. But apparently he wasn’t happy there, and in 1874 decided to pursue his dream of becoming a writer. Throughout his life, he wrote poetry, novels, plays and much more.
Here’s a translated biography of his literary career, from Literary Zutphen:
Emile (Anton Hubert) Seipgens, born August 16, 1837 in Roermond, from 1876 until 1883 teacher of German at the Rijks HBS in Zutphen. He founded a literary reading companion for his disciples and was a member of the “Circle of scientific maintenance. He lived Nieuwstad A128-2. Seipgens was an outspoken Limburg author. His work – theater, novels and novellas village – is invariably located in Limburg, and sometimes – his songs – even written in Limburg dialect. Some of his best known and most read titles he wrote in his Zutphense period: The chaplain Bardelo (1880), from Limburg. Novellas and Sketches (1881). In this period made Seipgens, who was first trained to be a priest, then was brewer, then teacher, to eventually become a writer, definitively separated from the Catholic Church. He started on the assembly line to write stories, which he published in magazines such as The Guide , Netherlands and Elsevier . One of those stories, Rooien Hannes , had worked to folk drama and staged by the Netherlands Tooneel great success. Later titles are: In and around the small town (1887), along Maas and Trench (1890), The Killer Star (1892), Jean, ‘t Stumpke, Hawioe-Ho (1893), The Zûpers of Bliënbèèk (1894) and A wild Rosary (1894). In 1892 Seipgens secretary of the Society of Dutch Literature in Leiden, and in that place he died 1896. Posthumously published yet his novel on June 25, Daniel (1897) and the beam A Immortellenkrans (1897). Seipgens, which is one of the earliest naturalists of the Netherlands became completely into oblivion, until the late 70s of the last century actually was a small revival. Which among other things led to reprint the novel The chaplain Bardelo and stories in and around the small town , and to the publication of his biography, written by Peter Nissen: Emile Anton Hubert Seipgens (1837-1896). Of brewer’s son to literary (1987), and the placing of a memorial stone at Seipgens birthplace. But this revival was short-lived. If Emile Seipgens remembered voortleeft, it will have to be on the legend of the rovershoofdman Johann Bückler based ‘operabouffe’ Schinderhannes (1864), which to this day in Roermond is staged!
And here’s another account from “The Humour of Holland,” published in 1894.
Today is the birthday of American poet, novelist, and short story writer Charles Bukowski (August 16, 1920-March 9, 1994). Bukowski was a hard-living individual, as well as a hard drinker. Wikipedia gives a summary of his life, albeit a very brief one.
His writing was influenced by the social, cultural, and economic ambience of his home city of Los Angeles. His work addresses the ordinary lives of poor Americans, the act of writing, alcohol, relationships with women, and the drudgery of work. Bukowski wrote thousands of poems, hundreds of short stories and six novels, eventually publishing over 60 books. The FBI kept a file on him as a result of his column, Notes of a Dirty Old Man, in the LA underground newspaper Open City.
In 1986 Time called Bukowski a “laureate of American lowlife.” Regarding Bukowski’s enduring popular appeal, Adam Kirsch of The New Yorker wrote, “the secret of Bukowski’s appeal. . . [is that] he combines the confessional poet’s promise of intimacy with the larger-than-life aplomb of a pulp-fiction hero.”
If you haven’t read his work, you’re definitely missing out. I think my favorite quote by him is from an interview he did in Life magazine, in December of 1988. “We are here to drink beer. We are here to kill war. We are here to laugh at the odds and live our lives so well that Death will tremble to take us.” A collection of his poems, entitled “Love Is a Dog From Hell,” was published in 1977, and includes the poem “Beer.” A few months ago, an Italian animation studio, NERDO, created a short animated film of that poem, and it’s pretty awesome.
Today is also the 48th birthday of John Pinkerton, founder and brewmaster of Moon River Brewing in Savannah, Georgia. He also brews some terrific beers and is great fun to drink a beer or three with. In addition, he helped to found the Georga Craft Brewers Guild and is its current president. Join me in wishing John a very happy birthday.
Today is the birthday of Johan Gustav Christoffer Thorsager Kjeldahl (August 16, 1849-July 18, 1900) He was a Danish chemist who developed a method for determining the amount of nitrogen in certain organic compounds using a laboratory technique which was named the Kjeldahl method after him.
Kjeldahl worked in Copenhagen at the Carlsberg Laboratory, associated with Carlsberg Brewery, where he was head of the Chemistry department from 1876 to 1900.
He was given the job to determine the amount of protein in the grain used in the malt industry. Less protein meant more beer. Kjeldahl found the answer was in developing a technique to determine nitrogen with accuracy but existing methods in analytical chemistry related to proteins and biochemistry at the time were far from accurate.
His discovery became known as the Kjeldahl Method
The method consists of heating a substance with sulphuric acid, which decomposes the organic substance by oxidation to liberate the reduced nitrogen as ammonium sulphate. In this step potassium sulphate is added to increase the boiling point of the medium (from 337 °C to 373 °C) . Chemical decomposition of the sample is complete when the initially very dark-coloured medium has become clear and colourless.
The solution is then distilled with a small quantity of sodium hydroxide, which converts the ammonium salt to ammonia. The amount of ammonia present, and thus the amount of nitrogen present in the sample, is determined by back titration. The end of the condenser is dipped into a solution of boric acid. The ammonia reacts with the acid and the remainder of the acid is then titrated with a sodium carbonate solution by way of a methyl orange pH indicator.
In practice, this analysis is largely automated; specific catalysts accelerate the decomposition. Originally, the catalyst of choice was mercuric oxide. However, while it was very effective, health concerns resulted in it being replaced by cupric sulfate. Cupric sulfate was not as efficient as mercuric oxide, and yielded lower protein results. It was soon supplemented with titanium dioxide, which is currently the approved catalyst in all of the methods of analysis for protein in the Official Methods and Recommended Practices of AOAC International.
And Velp Scientifica also has an explanation of his method, which is still in use today.
Kjeldahl (center) in his laboratory.
Today is the 49th birthday of Dann Paquette, who along with his wife Martha Holley-Paquette, founded the Pretty Things Beer and Ale Project. It was a fairly unique idea. They didn’t own a brewery but they didn’t contract brew either. They rented the brewery and Dann did all the work brewing the beer. Certainly other contract beers were similar, but I liked that Pretty Things makes such a point of the distinction that it’s essentially beyond reproach. Oh, and did I mention he made some of the best beers I’ve tasted? Unfortunately, they recently decided to wind up the business and stop brewing while they decide what the next chapter of their lives will be. From the several philosophical discussions I’ve had with Dann, I consider him a kindred spirit, so hopefully it will be something amazing, and still in brewing. Join me in wishing Dann a very happy birthday.
Note: Last three photos purloined from both Dann and Martha’s Facebook pages.