Patent No. 2660039A: Drinking Glass Construction

Today in 1953, US Patent 2660039 A was issued, an invention of Carl D. Newell, for his “Drinking Glass Construction.” There’s no Abstract, although in the description it includes this summary:

It is, therefore, the primary object of the present invention to provide drinking glasses and other relative glass matching items wherein the main body or base thereof is constructed of a plastic composition such as fine porcelain or china, pottery or other ceramic materials capable of withstanding the intense heat used in firing patterns or designs, to the end that drinking glasses and relative glass items may be provided with designs or patterns identical with the designs or patterns used on dinner or dish sets constructed of porcelain or pottery or ceramic materials thereby completing the set even to the drinking glasses.

Another object of the invention is to provide drinking glasses and relative glass matching items constructed of porcelain, pottery or other ceramic materials, and having a part or liner of glass or similar material extending beyond the upper edge of the body or base portion of the drinking glass, providing a lip engaging portion so that the person using a drinking glass will get the same effect in drinking from the glass as he would from the usual glass tumbler.


The Cult Of Propaganda

Some of the definitions of a cult, as defined by, include 1) “an instance of great veneration of a person, ideal, or thing,” 2) “a group or sect bound together by veneration of the same thing, person, ideal, etc.,” 3) “a religion or sect considered to be false, unorthodox, or extremist, with members often living outside of conventional society under the direction of a charismatic leader,” and 4) “any system for treating human sickness that originated by a person usually claiming to have sole insight into the nature of disease, and that employs methods regarded as unorthodox or unscientific.” That sure sounds like Alcohol Justice, and many other prohibitionist groups, to me. They hold up the ideal that alcohol is bad, and anyone making it, selling it or saying anything good about it is not only wrong, but evil. They use extremist rhetoric and tactics to advance their agenda and they’re certainly “outside of conventional society” since the majority of people enjoy alcohol from time to time, and without question they use “methods regarded as unorthodox or unscientific,” especially the unscientific variety masquerading as science. I don’t know if I’d call Bruce Lee Livingston “a charismatic leader;” he seems like more of an opportunist than an evangelist, but he’s also a “dancer” and a “tennis player,” so who knows? But as far as I can see, they pass the test for being a cult.

So it’s slightly amusing to see that the cult of propaganda, a.k.a. Alcohol Justice, has placed Anheuser-Busch InBev in the AJ Doghouse for the sin of making something that’s “flavored” and “glow-in-the-dark,” which of course means that it must be “youth-attractive,” whatever that means. And if that wasn’t vague enough for you, they helpfully include a link in their tweet to their doghouse explanation entitled “Flavored? Glow-in-the-dark? A-B InBev.” Which by itself seems fairly silly. I’m pretty sure almost everything, with the possible exception of neutral spirits, has a flavor of some kind. Frankly, even the neutral ones taste of something, I mean nobody confuses them with water. But why is glow-in-the-dark such a danger? Lots of things light up at night. What is Sheriff AJ so worried about this time?

In a desperate attempt to gain back young drinkers with tricks children enjoy, A-B InBev is going to dangerous lengths. A-B InBev hopes that its release of Oculto, a new tequila-infused citrus-flavored beer, will lure Millennials back to the A-B InBev stable and brands such as Bud Light.

I’m not sure what led them to declare it was “desperation” that led ABI to make Oculto, but the link tells you everything you need to know. It’s a Fast Company article from March of this year, meaning it took AJ nine months to sound the alarm. In its title, they ask Can AB InBev Seduce Millennials with a New Tequila-Infused Beer?, in which “Vice President of U.S. Marketing Jorn Socquet outlines the strategy behind the brewer’s new brand Oculto, which includes masks and secret messages.”

So who are these Millennials of which they speak? I’m never quite sure where one named generation starts, and another ends, so I took to that series of tubes known as the interwebs. When you Google the term, the immediate answer is “a person reaching young adulthood around the year 2000; a Generation Yer.” So that would mean ABI is targeting drinkers who reached adulthood at least 15 years ago. Oh, the horror. But other sources do claim Millennials include people who were born as late as 2000. But regardless to insist that ABI is targeting people below 21, who are legally unable to buy what they’re selling is, as usual, an absurdity. I’m not a fan of Oculto as a type of drink, alcopops, or even many of ABI’s products more generally, but they have enough legal customers not to risk doing something illegal or trying to court underage customers. That AJ continues to insist that they’re doing exactly that strains credulity and exposes them as charlatans who would say or do anything to advance their agenda, whether it make sense or not. But AJ goes on in their delusional way.

With a campaign based on elaborate masks, whispered secrets, and mysterious club parties where new drinkers are indoctrinated into the brand, more brand ambassadors join the Oculto fold. Yes, it does sound like a dangerous cult or hazing ritual.

No, it sounds like a bad idea to pander to young adults’ love of Halloween by co-opting imagery from Mexico’s — and all of South America’s — Day of the Dead celebrations. But if you’re worried about a dangerous cult, you need look no further than a mirror. When you start manufacturing controversy, you’re engaging in your own cult-like behavior. Don’t look behind the curtain, reality is what we say it is.

Like other alcohol brands hoping to appeal to youth and attract those who would otherwise reject beer, A-B InBev is focusing the majority of its Oculto marketing strategy on social media, e.g. Instagram. The label includes a glow-in-the-dark, Day-of-the-Dead-inspired skull that looks and acts like a children’s decoration. While A-B InBev attempts to illuminate the Oculto brand label, the risk of harm to young people inside the bottle glows brightly.

You keep using that word “youth.” I do not think it means what you think it means. AJ acknowledges that it was inspired by the Day of the Dead, but mis-characterizes it as “a children’s decoration.” Have they seen a Day of the Dead celebration? Apparently not, or they’d know better than to accuse a glow-in-the-dark skull as being exclusive;y for children. What is it about something that glows in the dark that makes it “youth-attractive” anyway? That similarly makes absolutely no earthly sense. I love phosphorus gadgets, and our house and outside of it, is filled with them. I’m about as far away from youth as one can get, and I love things that glow in the dark.

Also, the idea that the target for Oculto is to “get” people “who would otherwise reject beer” is ridiculous, and completely misleading and false. Did AJ even read the article they’re using to put ABI in the doghouse? The people who are rejecting beer are drinking “hard booze,” drinks like “whiskey and tequila.” So this is really AJ specifically targeting beer — sigh, again — and not alcohol in general. If they were really worried about kids, or people’s health, they’d be applauding this effort to get young adults to drink something far less potent than hard liquor. Oculto, even at 6% ABV, is still no where near as strong as the weakest tequilas or whiskies. Tequila is usually 80 proof, or 40% ABV, while whiskey is around 40-46% ABV. But ABI’s in the doghouse for trying to get people to drink their weaker offering. How does that make any kind of sense?

Their laughable insistence that anything kids, or even young adults perhaps not quite 21, might find appealing is, by definition, “youth-attractive,” is a canard, and a dangerous one that they use time and time again. There is no division between “youth-attractive” and “adult-attractive.” Such delineations do not exist in the real world. Many things adults like, kids like, too. And many things kids love, adults continue to enjoy, as well. The only people who “put away childish things” as so-called grown-ups are, in my opinion, idiots with a stick up their ass who forgot how to enjoy their one and only life. But they’re just the sort of person who might join a cult, even one trying to rid the world of beer.


Patent No. 4708938A: Alcoholic Fermentation

Today in 1987, US Patent 4708938 A was issued, an invention of Stephen J. Hickinbotham, for his “Alcoholic Fermentation.” Here’s the Abstract:

Fermentation method and apparatus comprising an outer container with a plastics bag hung from the neck of the container to define a chamber between the bag and the container. Means to pressurize the chamber with a temperature controlled medium to control fermentation of material within the bag. Additional pressurization of the chamber causing the fermented liquid to be expelled from the mouth of the bag.


Pretty Beer To Stop Brewing

Sad news. Dann and Martha Paquette, co-owners of the Pretty Things Beer and Ale Project posted on their website today their decision to cease the operations of their company. Explaining their decision in For a Beginning, there must be an End, here’s what’s up:

Seven years ago we sold our first glass of beer at The Publick House in Brookline. We didn’t foresee then that our strange project would become such a part of our lives.

It has been a crazy fun time. We’ve dressed up in more costumes than a Bob Hope special. Amazing employees and friends have conspired with us along the way. Bocky, Anya, and John Funke have channeled our project almost better than we have done ourselves. And we found a rag tag group of like-minded creative brewers out there in the world as well.

Brewing our beers has been a great labor and a great joy. But best of all we shared it with so many great beer drinkers. It really feels like we met you all. We’ve stood in shops, bars, restaurants, on stages, in VFW halls. Sometimes you were already fans. Sometimes you spat out our beer. Sometimes you just fancied a chat. We always felt happy to meet you by the end. It was always fun, or funny, or we sold a beer, or learned something. Many of you became friends. We’ve loved drinking beers with you.

We hope our beers brought you joy and brought you closer together. There’s no greater goal for a batch of beer or a project like ours.

After seven years it’s time to draw the curtains and head off to a new adventure. A poorly drawn grain of barley called Jack D’Or made this whole thing possible. He’ll be coming with us.

Besides making great beer, Dann’s thoughtful approach to everything they do has been great to watch, if only from afar. The few times we’ve spent any time together I’ve loved talking philosophically with him and certainly hope his voice won’t be lost as he transitions to whatever adventure awaits him in the next chapter of his journey. And I wish Dann and Martha the best of best wishes going forward.

Pretty Things beer will be available until it runs out, probably sometime in January of next year. If I were you, I’d stock up while you can.

Their parting shot.

Patent No. 2422750A: Plastic Bottle Crowner

Today in 1947, US Patent 2422750 A was issued, an invention of Harold E. Rue, assigned to Pabst Brewing Co., for his “Plastic Bottle Crowner.” There’s no Abstract, although in the description it includes this summary:

This invention appertains to bottle capping and more particularly to a novel machine for forming or molding plastic crown caps on bottle necks to bring about the tight sealing of the bottles.


Beer Can Plinking

I’m not exactly a gun person, but don’t have anything against them under the right circumstances — target shooting, hunting for food, etc. Although I don’t own any, I did earn an Expert Marksmanship badge when I was in the Army and I had a BB gun as a kid (note: I didn’t shoot my eye out). My psychotic stepfather owned quite a few, both pistols and rifles, and we’d sometimes go out in the woods and shoot targets, usually beer cans. But until this morning, I didn’t realize there was a name for doing that: plinking. Wikipedia describes plinking as “informal target shooting done at nonstandard targets such as tin cans, glass bottles, and balloons filled with water. The term is an onomatopoeia of the sound a bullet or other projectile makes when hitting a tin can, or other similar target, referring to the sharp, metallic sound, known as a ‘plink.'” It’s certainly a satisfying sound, and nicely validates your aim.

My stepdad also took me skeet shooting a couple of times, and that was fun, too, though I don’t remember being very good at it; I recall missing more often than not. Apparently, someone figured out a way to combine the two, The Targeteer Beer Can Target Launcher. I recently stumbled upon an old ad for this, Flying Beer Can Targets, which was sold through the Sunset House mail order catalog from 1964.


It seems like a great way to combine target shooting, skeet and recycling (or at least repurposing). It was actually patented in 1960 and Vox Box, a packaging blog, has the full story on the Targeteer Beer Can Launcher. It also seems like you could use it to shoot beer cans at another target, which may be why they weren’t more popular. I’m also afraid my stepfather would have drank the beer right before using them as a target, which wouldn’t necessarily be the best idea, in my experience guns and beer generally don’t, or shouldn’t, mix.


Patent No. 331251A: Apparatus For Filling Kegs With Beer

Today in 1885, US Patent 331251 A was issued, an invention of George L. Kearney, for his “Apparatus For Filling Kegs With Beer.” There’s no Abstract, although in the description it includes this summary:

The object of this invention is to supply beer to kegs and barrels, for filling the same with out the formation of foam in the keg or other receptacle, as is now the case. This I accomplish in the manner and by the means hereinafter described and claimed.


Beer In Ads #1738: Suddenly, She Never Looked Prettier!

Monday’s ad is for Oland’s Export Ale, from 1966. The Oland Brewery was located in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada and their Export Ale was a popular brand in Eastern Canada after its introduction in the 1920s. The Oland family sold their brewery to Labatt’s in 1971. The Oland’s also founded Moosehead, which different members of the family still own and operate. The 1960s illustration in this ad looks great, though I’m not sure if it’s meant to appear as if it’s clear — presaging Zima — or that it brings more color to the woman’s cheeks, thereby increasing her attractiveness, even though she, technically, is the beer holder.


Patent No. 1161272A: Method Of Preserving Hops

Today in 1915, US Patent 1161272 A was issued, an invention of Henning Wennersten, for his “Method of Preserving Hops.” There’s no Abstract, although in the description it includes this summary:

My invention is particularly designed to preserve the fresh or prime hops, or similar flowers or substances, in their best condition, so to prevent the escape of the valuable volatile elements, such as lupulin, and the deterioration of the hops by reason of the air coming more or less in contact therewith. It is also designed to produce a new product, which will add greatly to the convenience of handling and shipping the hops, which will also preserve them an indefinite length of time in any climate, and which in its nature may readily be employed in the manufacture of beer and other products where hops are essential, insuring accuracy in the use of the valuable chemical elements, or the ingredients employed, and dependability upon the grade or quality of such ingredients.


Patent No. D136684S: Design For A Drinking Glass

Today in 1943, US Patent D136684 S was issued, an invention of George L. Kearney, for his “Design for a Drinking Glass.” There’s no Abstract, although in the description it includes this summary:

The ornamental design for a drinking glass, and ornamental Design for a Drinking Glass, substantially as shown.