Beer Birthday: Rich Higgins

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Today is the 37th birthday of Rich Higgins, who wears many hats in the San Francisco beer scene. He left his job as the brewmaster at San Francisco’s Social Kitchen & Brewery a few years ago, and was also the President of the San Francisco Brewers Guild and Director of SF Beer Week for a time. He’s currently focusing his attention on his consulting, Rich Higgins Consultant à la Bière, and Rich is one of only six people to have earned the title “Master Cicerone.” I’ve gotten to know Rich working on SF Beer Week over the last few years, and he’s a great person, as well as a terrific brewer. Join me in wishing Rich a very happy birthday.

Rich Higgins at the Social Kitchen Brewery
Rich at the Social Kitchen Brewery.

Dave McLean & Rich Higgins at Magnolia
Dave McLean owner of Magnolia, and Rich, at the brewpub during SF Beer Week two years ago.

Rich Higgins, me and Hop-Meisters hop farmer Marty Kuchinski
Rich, me and Hop-Meisters hop farmer Marty Kuchinski.

Clockwise from Left: Rich Higgins, John Tucci, Brenden Dobbel & Aron Deorsey with the 4 bottles of dessert
Rich, John Tucci, Brenden Dobbel & Aron Deorsey with 4 bottles of dessert at the end of a Sierra Nevada beer dinner in Chico two Decembers back.

Patent No. 6871579B2: Device For Producing Beer And A Unit For After-Fermentation

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Today in 2005, US Patent 6871579 B2 was issued, an invention of Evgeny Konstantinovich Belkin, Andrei Arkadievich Peshkin, Vladimir Gennadievich Matveev, Leonid Mikhailovich Prikhozhan, and Yury Vasilievich Artamonov, for their “Device For Producing Beer and a Unit for After-Fermentation.” Here’s the Abstract:

The invention relates to the food industry. In order to reduce sales expenses and preserve the taste of beer, the inventive device is provided by i-number communication units, necessary for operational connection and disconnection of i-number units for after-fermentation, and each of i-number units for after-fermentation is embodied in such a way so that it is transportable, thermally insulated, hermetic, protected from deposited yeast mixing with non-filtrated beer while transportation and can be connected to a cooling system, arranged at a point of sale and/or dispense.

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Beer In Ads #1508: Saturday Night


Saturday’s ad is another one for Budweiser, this one from, I think, the early 1960s. It’s another ad from their “Where there’s life” series, this one is called “Saturday Night.” A couple are out for dinner on, presumably, a Saturday night, or maybe just having drinks, as there’s only a basket of bread on the table. Those are some large looking glasses of beer.

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Patent No. 1177529A: Beer-Faucet

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Today in 1916, US Patent 1177529 A was issued, an invention of Frederick Marquardt, for his “Beer-Faucet.” There’s no Abstract, but the description states that the “invention is to provide a faucet especially adapted to be used for dispensing beer, ale orthe like, and the faucet is provided with a meter which is operated by the passage of the liquid through the same to register the quantities of liquid drawn through the faucet.”
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Reservoir Dogs Beers

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The debut film of auteur filmmaker Quentin Tarantino was the violent heist film Reservoir Dogs. I remember being blown away by it when I saw it in the theatre when it was released in 1992, and especially the stylish opening credits scene with the principal characters walking down an alley in slow-motion to the nearly forgotten 1970s hit Little Green Bag by the George Baker Selection.

One of my favorite devices is that the six characters involved in the heist are each given code names so they won’t accidentally reveal their names during the diamond robbery and be able to give away each other’s identities should they be caught. Here’s the main cast, in order of their appearance in the slow-motion opening credits:

  1. Harvey Keitel as Lawrence Dimmick: Mr. White
  2. Michael Madsen as Vic Vega: Mr. Blonde
  3. Chris Penn as Eddie Cabot: Nice Guy Eddie
  4. Steve Buscemi: Mr. Pink
  5. Lawrence Tierney as Joe Cabot
  6. Edward Bunker: Mr. Blue
  7. Quentin Tarantino: Mr. Brown
  8. Tim Roth as Detective Freddie Newandyke: Mr. Orange

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Earlier this month, Brazilian art student Peter de Andrade, for a school project created a series of beer labels based on the film, using “cães de aluguel,” which translates in Portuguese to, of course, Reservoir Dogs. The artist created the labels as if they were brewed by the Brazilian brewery Cervejaria Wäls, which each label and type of beer based on the film character’s code name color. As far as I know, Wäls was not involved and isn’t planning on making the Reservoir Dogs beers. Coincientally, there is a Reservoir Dogs Brewery in Slovenia.

Mr. White, a Pilsner
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Mr. Blonde, an Ale, presumably a Blonde Ale
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Mr. Blue, a Weisss beer
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Mr. Brown, a Stout
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Mr. Orange, an Amber Ale
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It’s a pretty cool idea, and I’d love to see the actual beer made. There’s really only one question about all of this. Where the hell is Mr. Pink?

Patent No. 3311267A: Measuring Attachment For Beer Keg Or The Like

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Today in 1967, US Patent 3311267 A was issued, an invention of James E. Houston, Ryals E. Lee,and George M. Norman, for their “Measuring Attachment for Beer Keg or the Like.” There’s no Abstract, but the description states that the “invention relates to the dispensing of liquids including beer from closed opaque kegs or containers subjected to pressure to discharge the contents and with regard to which it is desirable to be able to determine the amount of liquid contained at any particular time between the initial dispensing and exhausting of the contents of such keg or container.” There’s not much more, but they explain its object:

It is an object of the invention to provide a simple, practical, readily usable, measuring attachment for a beer keg or the like, which can be quickly applied and removed, and by means of which an immediate reading of the contents can be made at any time.

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Beer In Ads #1507: Next Time


Friday’s ad is still another one for Budweiser, this one from 1959. It’s another ad from their “Where there’s life” series, this one is called “Next Time.” It’s hard to see what’s going on in this ad. A couple in a darkened room, their faces shiny from the dark red light. They’re dressed up, but he’s taken off his jacket and has his sleeves rolled up. On the counter, bar, table or whatever they’re leaning on, there’s a newspaper, a bag of potato chips and an ashtray, while the woman is pouring a can of beer into a pilsner glass. By the looks of it, if she doesn’t stop right this second, that glass is going to overflow, and with a pretty solid stream still coming out of the can, it may happen anyway.

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Beerish Birthday: Nathan Fillion

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This is not, strictly speaking, a beer birthday, which is why I called it a “beerish” one, but my wife and I are both Browncoats, fans of the criminally short-lived television show Firefly. Like many Browncoats, we’ve continued to follow its cast members, especially the star of Firefly, and its companion film Serenity, Nathan Fillion. Today is Nathan Fillion’s 44th birthday.

Fillion is currently one of the stars of the hit TV show on ABC: Castle, which is now in its seventh season. He was also Captain Hammer in Dr. Horrible’s Sing-a-Long Blog (in fact a few years ago in All About Beer magazine’s “It’s My Round” when I wrote Living In The Silver Age, the photo showed me wearing a Captain Hammer t-shirt). Some of Fillion’s films include Waitress and Slither, and he was the “wrong” Ryan in Saving Private Ryan. Some of his television appearances include Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Lost, Drive and Desperate Housewives, and he got his start on the soap opera One Life To Live.

Before he’d had a hit TV series, my wife attended a Firefly convention in Los Angeles and Fillion not only attended it but was at one of the after parties that she was involved in. Thanks to me, she brought the beer — a collection of whatever I could part with from the cellar at that time. Sarah snapped a photo of Fillion drinking one of those beers, Drake’s IPA, through a curly straw. Join me in wishing Nathan a very happy birthday. And if you aren’t watching Castle or haven’t seen Firefly, you owe it to yourself to right that wrong.

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Patent Nos. 2546250A & 2546251A: Process Of Concentrating Yeast Slurries & For Drying Yeast

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Today in 1951, US Patents 2546250 A and 2546251 A were issued, both inventions of Stanley L. Baker, for his “Process of Concentrating Yeast Slurries” and “Process for Drying Yeast.” There’s no Abstract for either, but the description for the first is an “invention relat[ing] to the concentration of dilute suspensions or slurries of yeast and especially of brewers yeast slurry which will be referred to hereinafter as an example although it will be understood that the invention is not restricted thereto.”
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His second patent is described as an “invention relat[ing] to drying dilute suspensions or slurries of yeast and especially brewers yeast slurry which will be referred to hereinafter as an example, although it is to be understood that the invention is not restricted thereto.” You may have noticed that this description is exactly the same as the first. What’s clear is while these are two different patents, they are vey similar and are both about roughly the same yeast process. Even the drawings are only slightly different from one another.
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Oskar Blues Buys Perrin Brewing

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Oskar Blues, makers of Dale’s Pale Ale and other canned beers, has announced acquisition of the Perrin Brewing Co. of Comstock Park, Michigan (near Grand Rapids). MLive is reporting the deal, and that as part of it, Keith Klopcic, who formerly worked with nearby West Side Beer Distributing, becomes the new president at Perrin Brewing Co., replacing founder and former brewery head Randy Perrin. According to the article, “financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.” I love this quote: “Other than that, it’s the same company,” said Klopcic. “Nothing changes.” Not to second guess the deal, especially since I don’t personally know the parties involved (apart from Dale Katechis from Oskar Blues), but saying nothing changes when a brewery head and (I presume) a founder leaves a company when it’s sold doesn’t strike me as a particularly honest assessment.

Dan Perrin and Jarred Sper will continue running the brewery alongside production manager and head brewer John Stewart and his team. Sper, who will be vice president of sales and marketing at Oskar Blues-owned Perrin, said the brewery is very excited by the acquisition deal.

According to MLive, here’s what Dale had to say:

In a statement, Oskar Blues founder Dale Katechis called the deal “a radical thing.”

“We at Oskar Blues love the Michigan craft beer scene and what the guys at Perrin are doing,” Katechis said. “We feel that Perrin and Oskar Blues have the same mindset toward the craft industry and this partnership will allow us to share information and innovative ideas with one another.”

In December, the breweries teamed up on a lager called “Cornlaboration” that was sold only in Michigan, a state in which Oskar Blues began distributing in 2013.

Until Oskar Blues’ canned beer sales outstripped their original brewpub, they were considered one of the country’s largest brewpubs, so it’s interesting to see them reach a point where they’re acquiring additional brands and another brewery.

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