Beer Birthday: Jean Moeder

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Today is the 39th birthday of Jean Moeder, founder of the Moeder Lambic bar in Brussels, Belgium. I first met Jean at his bar a few years back and have run into him since a couple of times. He’s very passionate about beer, and his place (both of them now) are amazing. Join me wishing Jean a very happy birthday.

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Jean and good friend Jean Van Roy, from Cantillon, at Brasserie de la Senne earlier this month.

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In front of Monk’s Cafe in Philadelphia: Pierre Tilquin, Jean, Jean Van Roy and owner Tom Peters, in 2012.

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But this is by far my favorite, again with Jean and Jean Van Roy, this time from 2014.

[Note: all photos purloined from Facebook.]

Historic Beer Birthday: Harry MacElhone

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Today is the birthday of famed bartender and bar owner Harry MacElhone (June 16, 1890-September 16, 1996) who opened the famous Harry’s New York Bar in Paris, France in 1911.

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“Harry MacElhone was a defining figure in early 20th-century bartending, most famous for his role at Harry’s New York Bar, which he bought in 1923. Born in Dundee, Scotland, on 16 June 1890, he published books including Harry’s ABC of Mixing Cocktails and Barflies and Cocktails.

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MacElhone also worked at Ciro’s Club in Deauville and the Plaza Hotel New York. He is often credited with inventing many cocktails, including the Bloody Mary, sidecar, the monkey gland, the White Lady, the boulevardier, and an early form of the French 75. As of 2011, his descendants continued to run Harry’s Bar.”

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Harry (at right) as head barman at Ciro’s in London.

Harry’s New York Bar was originally founded by American jockey Tod Sloan, who so wanted to create the atmosphere of a New York saloon that he actually bought one in New York, had it dismantled, shipped to Paris and rebuilt it where it stands to day at 5 rue Daunou (Sank Roo Doe Noo). It’s original name was simply the New York Bar when it opened on Thanksgiving Day in 1911.

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Harry’s New York Bar in Paris.

Sloan initially hired a Scottish bartender from Dundee named Harry MacElhone to run it, who twelve years later bought the bar in 1923 and added his first name to it. Shortly after opening, it began attracting American expatriates and celebrities, including such “Lost Generation” writers as F Scott Fitzgerald, Gertrude Stein and Ernest Hemingway. George Gershwin supposedly wrote “An American In Paris” there, and it has been visited by many movie stars over the years, from Humphrey Bogart to Clint Eastwood. In the book Casino Royale, Ian Fleming’s character Bond said it the best place in Paris to get a “solid drink.” It’s also where the Bloody Mary was first conceived, as well as the White Lady and the Sidecar.

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A few years aho, Harry’s New York Bar celebrated its 100th anniversary and there were articles detailing the place, such as Harry’s Bar: The Original and A century of Harry’s Bar in Paris, by the BBC.

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Harry later in life.

Patent No. 7735412B2: Apparatus For Distributed Production Of Beer

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Today in 2010, US Patent 7735412 B2 was issued, an invention of William E. Burdick, assigned to the Granite City Food and Brewery, Ltd., for his “Apparatus for Distributed Production of Beer.” Here’s the Abstract:

A commercial multiple barrel beer brewing apparatus includes a brew kettle at a first location; a hopped wort holding vessel; a chiller for chilling the hopped wort stored in the holding vessel to a temperature range of approximately 29° F. to 40° F.; a transportation vessel on a vehicle to transport chilled hopped wort to a brew pub; a first conduit between the chilled hopped wort holding vessel and the transportation vessel; a fermentation vessel located a brew pub; and a second conduit between the transportation vessel and the fermentation vessel.

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Observe & Report The Next Session

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For our 113th Session, our host will again be Boak & Bailey. For their topic, they’re asking everyone to Observe and Report, a very specific Session mission, which they more fully explain in their announcement, Mass Observation: The Pub and The People.

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In the late 1930s a team of social researchers descended on Lancashire and spent several years observing the people of Bolton and Blackpool as they went about their daily lives. As part of that, in 1937 and 1938, they made a special study of pubs, which led to the publication of one of our favourite books of all time, The Pub and The People, in 1943.

We’re hosting the 113th edition of The Session in July and we’re asking you to go to the pub, observe, and report.

In the late 1930s a team of social researchers descended on Lancashire and spent several years observing the people of Bolton and Blackpool as they went about their daily lives. As part of that, in 1937 and 1938, they made a special study of pubs, which led to the publication of one of our favourite books of all time, The Pub and The People, in 1943.

This is an extract from a typical entry from the original observation logs, probably from 1938, describing the Vault of a pub in Bolton:

13 men standing, 8 sitting. 4 playing dominoes. 2 of the sitters are postmen.

2 men, about fifty, short, sturdy, caps and scarves, shiny worn blue shirts quarrelling about politics. One keeps saying, ‘If ee don’t like the country why don’t ee go away? No one stops me getting a living.’ Then he suddenly shouts ‘Why shouldn’t the king and queen be there. I’m for them! They should be there.’ … Barman comes round with a small canvas bag, jangling it, asks me if I want a penny draw for a pie. So I put my hand into the bag and get out a worn brass disc about size of a half penny, which says Riggs Pies and has a number in the middle. The draw takes place somewhere else. Number 9 wins… and he gets a small hot pie, the sort you can get for fourpence.

What we want people to do for The Session is to recreate this exercise in 2016: take a notebook to a pub or bar — any one you fancy — and write a note of what you observe.

  • How many people are drinking?
  • Which beers are on tap, and which are people actually drinking?
  • What are they eating?
  • How are they passing the time?
  • What are the topics of conversation?
  • How is the pub decorated?
  • How many TVs are there and what are they showing?
  • Are there pot plants, parrots, spittoons?
  • How many smokers are there? And vapers?
  • Is there a dartboard, pool table or quiz machine, and are they in use?

Over the years, people have fretted about Mass Observation’s attitudes to privacy and so, in line with original Mass Observation practice, you might want to anonymise the pub — city centre sports bar, suburban dining pub, industrial estate brewery tap, and so on. And it’s bad form to give names and details which might allow individuals to be identified from your descriptions.

And an Optional Extra

As a chaser, after your observations, write whatever you like spurred by the idea of ‘The Pub and The People’. Really, whatever you like, as vaguely related to theme as it might be. Or instead of making any observations, even. The main thing is that you feel inspired to write something.

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This is what my copy looks like.

If you’re curious about the book, The Pub and the People: A Worktown Study (Mass Observation Social Surveys), used copies of two versions are available on Amazon, the original and Cresset Library reprint, or you can read excerpts on Google Books.

So anytime in the next couple weeks, get yourself to a pub or bar with your checklist, and start observing and reporting. Then post the results on or around Friday, July 1. Let the hosts know about your participatory Session post by either posting a comment to the original announcement or by tweeting the link to @boakandbailey. They’re playing fast and loose with the deadline for submission, so as soon as you get around to it in early July is probably fine.

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Patent No. 889140A: Bar Counter Box

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Today in 1908, US Patent 889140 A was issued, an invention of Joseph Lehnbeuter and Charles R Brunnacker, for their “Bar Counter Box.” There’s no Abstract, though it’s described this way in the application:

Our invention has relation to improvements in bar-counter boxes; and it consists in the novel construction of box more fully set forth in the specification and pointed out in the claims.

The invention relates to a class of cabinets or refrigerators which are employed in conjunction with a bar counter over which draft beverages are dispensed, the cabinet being known commercially as a novelty-box; and the invention has for its special object to so mount the drip-pan below the dispensing faucet that it may readily be shoved out of the way in making room for the insertion of the cask or barrel inserted into the space or compartment beneath the pan.

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Patent No. DE2751778A1: Beer Piping Cleaning System

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Today in 1979, US Patent DE 2751778 A1 was issued, an invention of Heinz Stricker, for his “Beer Piping Cleaning System — with suction nozzle for disinfectant inserted in tap water circuit.” Here’s the Abstract:

A system for the cleaning out of piping between bar barrels and the taps in a bar consists of a hose which is coupled between a water tap and a beer tap and includes a suction nozzle. A beaker with a disinfectant is attached to the nozzle so that the flow of water entrains the disinfectant. The piping in the cellar is disconnected from the barrels and coupled together so that the fluid can rise to another beer tap and out into a sink. After a certain retention time the whole is flushed out with clean water. This provides a chemical cleaning in addition to the conventional sponge cleaning.

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Patent No. 821208A: Beer Glass Tray

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Today in 1906, US Patent 821208 A was issued, an invention of Friedrich Voss, for his “Beer Glass Tray.” There’s no Abstract, though it’s described this way in the application:

This invention relates to a beer-glass tray which absorbs the drippings and conveys the same to a receiving-trough, so that cleanliness is insured.

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Portland’s Early Bars

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The city of Portland, Oregon was founded in 1845, incorporated on February 8, 1851, and the charter creating the city became effective April 6, 1851. In my regular searches, I’ve turned up a number of photos of early saloons, bars and taverns in Portland and it seemed like today was as good a day as any to share them.

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This is the Columbia Saloon, which served Henry Weinhard beer and had a bowling alley inside.

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The Fountain Saloon, also known as Hergert’s Saloon, was located E Union and Russell. Henry Elias Hergert Sr. (1876-1937) is shown behind the bar.

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The exterior of Hergert’s Saloon.

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Another view inside Hergert’s Saloon.

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The White Eagle Saloon, built in 1905. According to one source, it “was at once an opium den, bordello and wild watering hole, a trifecta that resulted in so many ugly bar fights that the place eventually earned the nickname ‘Bucket of Blood,'” and is considered haunted. “One spirit is blamed for most of the mischief: The ghost of Sam Warrick, an early White Eagle cook and bartender who spent his last days living above the bar. A ghost with a prankster side, he’s been known to toss large containers of mustard across the kitchen with great force, startling the cook who’s taken over his old post.”

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Inside the White Eagle, which is now operated by McMenamins.

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Erickson’s Saloon, built in the 1880s. Here’s a history of the place.

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Erickson’s card room.

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The Gem Saloon and Oro Fino Saloon and Theater, located on First Street between Oak and Stark, in 1876.

And finally, below is the Oregon Experience Documentary “Beervana,” about how beer culture has evolved in Portland. Happy Birthday Portland.

Patent No. 580303A: Apparatus For Cleaning Pipes

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Today in 1897, US Patent 580303 A was issued, an invention of Henry E. Bailey, for his “Apparatus For Cleaning Pipes.” There’s no Abstract, although in the description it includes this summary:

In using beer and other malted liquors there is found a tendency to the formation of slime and other offensive matter that is deposited therein by the liquid from which it emanates. This deposition will soon produce a cloudy appearance and objectionable taste in the liquid that flows through the pipe.

The object of my invention is to provide an apparatus that will chemically dissolve the slime and other depositions in the pipe and then, by a flow of clear water which passes through the apparatus,thoroughly cleanse the pipe of all improper matter and restore it to a condition of purity and cleanliness.

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Patent No. 4730463A: Beverage Dispenser Cooling System

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Today in 1988, US Patent 4730463 A was issued, an invention of Ted M. Stanfill, for his “Beverage Dispenser Cooling System.” Here’s the Abstract:

A beverage dispensing system further cools the beverage where it is dispensed at a considerable distance from the beverage storage container. The beverage conduit between the storage and dispensing sites is carried in a bundle located within an insulated jacket conduit. The bundle also contains parallel chilled liquid lines through which chilled liquid is circulated. A concentric coil is located at the dispensing site. A manifold connects the parallel beverage and chilled liquid lines to the concentric coil and to the dispensing valve.

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