Patent No. 739595A: Cooling Apparatus For Liquids

Today in 1903, US Patent 739595 A was issued, an invention of Hugo Fluegge, for his “Cooling Apparatus For Liquids.” There’s no Abstract, although in the description it includes these claims:

My invention relates to cooling apparatus for liquids; and the object of my invention is to provide an apparatus by means of which the carbonic-acid gas used in an apparatus for supplying beer or other similar liquids under gaseous pressure can at the same time be also used for the purpose of cooling `the liquid to be served out, this device therefore doing away with the necessity of cooling the liquid by means of ice, as hitherto was usually the case.

The principal feature of my cooling apparatus is the arrangement of a spiral pipe, which is securely fixed within a chamber containing water or other similar fluid. The carbonic-acid gas which flows through this spiral pipe cools the water surrounding the pipe to such an extent that it begins to freeze. Consequently the liquid to be served out, which is contained in air-tight glass cylinders and which are surrounded by the freezing water, can be cooled in this manner to any required degree.


Patent No. 2253883A: Beverage Dispensing Display Bar

Today in 1941, US Patent 2253883 A was issued, an invention of Valentine Beecher, for his “Beverage Dispensing Display Bar.” There’s no Abstract, although in the description it includes these claims:

The main object of the invention is to provide a beer dispensing system in which a transparent, insulated dispensing riser extends directly from a beer keg in a pre-cooling chamber through a bar or counter provided with transparent windows through which the riser and its contents may be seen at all times.

Another object of the invention is to provide a transparent dispensing riser of the character referred to constructed in the manner of the well known Thermos or vacuum bottle to maintain the temperature of the beer’being dispensed during its passage from kegs in the pre-cooling chamber to a dispensing faucet mounted on the bar or counter, and thereby eliminate the cooling coils, air ducts and ice chambers heretofore used for this purpose.


Patent No. 932284A: System For Dispensing Beverages

Today in 1909, US Patent 932284 A was issued, an invention of William Gee, for his “System For Dispensing Beverages.” There’s no Abstract, although in the description it includes these claims:

This invention relates to dispensing beverages, and particularly to cleaning and dispensing systems wherein the beverage is forced from a keg or a series of kegs through cooled piping to the service bar, and in which means for automatically cleaning the entire system forms a component part. In such systems the beer is carried through long coils of piping in order to expose a large surface of the same to the cooling medium, whereby no matter how rapid the flow the beer dispensed from the faucets is always cooled sufficiently. But because of the necessary employment of long coils of pipe there is always stored therein after tapping the kegs comparatively large quantities of beer, which if not removed when the bar is closed will spoil as a result of flattening and prolonged chemical action between the beer and the piping.

It is the object of my invention to introduce into such a system means operated from a single controller, which also operates the cleaning means of the system; to automatically cut off the flow of beer from the supply source and return such as remains in the pipe coils back into the kegs for proper preservation for future use; and to provide additional automatically operated means whereby said pipe coils, after the beer has been forced therefrom into the kegs or after a keg has been exhausted, may be blown out at will through the medium of compressed air or gas, and thereby cause any particles of beer adhering to the walls of the piping to be removed through the faucets.


Patent No. 681056A: Refrigerating And Tapping Box

Today in 1901, US Patent 681056 A was issued, an invention of Joseph Irr Jr., for his “Refrigerating and Tapping Box.” There’s no Abstract, although in the description it includes these claims:

The primary object of this invention is to provide a very simple, efficient, and compact refrigerating-box for the reception of a beer keg and for the convenient tapping of the same. In order that the beer-faucet may be conveniently operated, it must be at a fairly well defined height above the floor, while for the necessary connections to be conveniently made to the tapping-tube it must project a certain distance above the top of the beer keg. The result is that with an ordinary construction of cabinet to allow room for the insertion of a keg with the tap-tube would require the faucet to be placed at an inconvenient height, ‘wherefore the best that has and tapping of the keg all arranged in one compartment. There may be as many of these compartments laterally as desired. Where there is more than one compartment, the faucets may be provided in but one of them and properly connected with the others.


Beer Birthday: Tom Peters

My good friend Tom Peters, one of the owners of Monk’s Cafe and Belgian Beer Emporium in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, turns 62 today. His enthusiasm for and promotion of Belgian beer has few equals. A couple of years ago, I was privileged to travel through France and Belgium with Tom, which was amazing. And he throws perhaps the best late night parties of anyone I’ve ever known. Join me in wishing Tom a very happy birthday.

Tom Peters with Dave Keene, owners of the best two Belgian beer bars on both coasts.

Shaun O’Sullivan from 21st Amendment, Fergie Carey, co-owner of Monk’s, Lucy Saunders, the beer cook, and Tom Peters.

Tom Peters, with Rob Tod from Allagash in Portland, Maine, at GABF.

Me and Tom Peters
Me and Tom after the Great Lambic Summit at the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archeology & Anthropology during last year’s Philly Beer Week.

In Belgium, with a perfectly poured Orval, with Daniel Neuner, William Reed and Justin Low.

Also in Belgium, with a Fanta and Frites sandwich.

Beer Birthday: Jean Moeder

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.

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

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

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

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.


“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.


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.”

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.

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.


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.

Harry later in life.

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

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.


Observe & Report The Next Session

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.


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.

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.


Patent No. 889140A: Bar Counter Box

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.