Patent No. 6739087B2: Garden Pest Trap With Beer

patent-logo
Today in 2004, US Patent 6739087 B2 was issued, an invention of Isaac Weiser and Margaret Weiser, assigned to Exhart Environmental Systems, Inc., for their “Garden Pest Trap.” Here’s the Abstract:

A pest trap for trapping snails, slugs, and the like comprising a base structure and a decorative cover. The base structure comprises a planar surface, a sloping surface surrounding at least part of the planar surface, two or more recesses formed in the planar surface for retaining a liquid for luring the pests, and a containment surface that is inclined and surrounds each recess. The cover rests over the base structure, preferably mounted on one or more side walls that partially enclose the planar surface and optionally have flanged ends for partially enclosing the recesses. Use and maintenance of the trap of the present invention is thereby greatly simplified and may be environmentally friendly utilizing common beer or other non-liquid luring means.

US06739087-20040525-D00001
US06739087-20040525-D00002

Patent No. 5906151A: Apparatus And Method For Brewing An Alcoholic Beverage

patent-logo
Today in 1999, US Patent 5906151 A was issued, an invention of Adam Firestone, Jeffers Richardson, Donald E. Othman, and Michel A. Blom, assigned to Firestone Walker, LLC, for their “Apparatus And Method For Brewing An Alcoholic Beverage and Beverage Brewed by Same.” Here’s the Abstract:

An apparatus for brewing an alcoholic beverage includes a plurality of wooden barrels including at least one first wooden barrel, at least one second wooden barrel, and at least one third wooden barrel; an enclosed trough; a plurality of first conduits providing flow communication between each of the plurality of wooden barrels and the enclosed trough; an enclosed catch pot in flow communication with the enclosed trough; a plurality of second conduits providing flow communication between the enclosed catch pot and each of the plurality of wooden barrels; and devices, such as valves, for controlling flow between each of the plurality of wooden barrels and the second conduit. The at least one first wooden barrel is a new barrel that has been filled with an alcoholic beverage up to 5 times, the at least one second wooden barrel is a middle aged barrel that has been filled with an alcoholic beverage from 6 to 12 times, and the at least one third wooden barrel is an old barrel that has been filled with an alcoholic beverage from 13 to 30 times.

This is essentially a patent for Firestone Walker’s modified Burton Union System that they pioneered when they first started, and then scaled-up when they bought the old SLO Brewery in Paso Robles and increased the size of their beer production. Jeffers, of course, is still there is the Barrelmeister, or Director of the Firestone Walker Barrelworks. That system is one of only two such brewing systems left in the world, the other being at Marston’s in Burton-on-Trent in England.
US5906151-1
US5906151-2
US5906151-3

Here’s a few photos of the system at the Paso Robles brewery in 2012.

P1040642

P1040672

Beer In Ads #1921: Men’s Night In The Kitchen


Tuesday’s ad is entitled Men’s Night In The Kitchen, and the illustration was done in 1951 by Douglass Crockwell. It’s #52 in a series entitled “Home Life in America,” also known as the Beer Belongs series of ads that the United States Brewers Foundation ran from 1945 to 1956. In this ad, the women — for once — are spectators, while the menfolk temporarily take over the kitchen to cook dinner. How subversive.

052. Men's Night In the Kitchen by Douglass Crockwell, 1951

Historic Beer Birthday: Joseph Theurer

Schoenhofen
Today is the birthday of Joseph Theurer (May 24, 1852-May 14, 1912). Born in Philadelphia of German descent, who became a well-known brewer in both his native Pennsylvania and Illinois. After he married Emma Schoehofen, he became VP of his father-in-law’s Chicago brewery, the Peter Schoenhofen Brewing Company in 1880. After Peter passed away in 1893, Theurer became president and remained at the helm until his own death in 1912.

joseph-theurer

Here’s a biography from Find a Grave:

Joseph Theurer, who was of German descent, was born in Philadelphia in 1852. He became one of the most knowledgeable brewers of his day. He served as Treasurer of the Illinois State Brewers Association from 1898 to 1911 and he held title of President of the United States Brewing Association from 1903 to 1905.

Joseph arrived in Chicago in the Fall of 1869 and worked as an apprentice to brewers Adam Baierle and K.G. Schmidt. In 1871, he had been working at the Huck Brewery for less than a week when the brewery was destroyed in The Great Chicago Fire.

So he returned to Philadelphia for a year to work at the brewery of Bergdoll & Psotta. And then headed back to Chicago in 1872 to work at Bartholomae & Leicht brewery until 1874. He was also employed for one season at the Clybourn Avenue Malthouse of F. Wacker & Co. before returning to Philadelphia until his marriage to Peter Schoenhofen’s daughter, Emma Schoehofen, in 1880.

Upon his marriage to Emma, he became Vice President of Schoenhofen Brewing Company in Chicago until his father in law Peter’s death in 1893. Joseph took over as President of Schoenhofen Brewing from 1893 until 1911.

In 1896, Joseph commissioned what is now known as the Theurer-Wrigley Mansion. The Mansion, built in the late Italian Renaissance style, was designed by Richard Schmidt and listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1979. The 20,000+ square foot mansion features 11 bedrooms and 6 baths. Furnished with nearly all Tiffany light fixtures, many have been removed by previous owners or sold. An original Tiffany stained glass window from the Mansion is currently on display at the Chicago History Museum. Recent reports show the Mansion being listed for 9.5 million dollars as a foreclosure in 2011, but it has since been purchased and is currently occupied by a single owner.

On May 14, 1912 Joseph died from pneumonia and was laid to rest along with Peter Schoenhofen in the magnificent Egyptian revival style tomb in Graceland Cemetery. Services were conducted on May 17th in front of the tomb and conducted in both English and German. Attendees included members of the Illinois and Cook County Brewers Associations as well as a large number of charitable organizations, family and close friends.

Joseph was survived by his widow Emma, two sons, Peter S. and Joseph Jr., and two daughters Miss Margareta Theurer and Mrs. Marie (Richard) Ostenrieder.

joseph-theurer-late

The Encyclopedia of Chicago has a concise history of the Peter Schoenhofen Brewing Co.:

Peter Schoenhofen, a Prussian immigrant, was in Chicago working in the brewing trade by the 1850s. In 1861, he started a partnership with Matheus Gottfried; they were soon operating a brewery at Canalport Avenue and 18th Street where, during the early 1860s, they made about 600 barrels of lager beer a year. In 1867, Schoenhofen bought out his partner, and the company became the Peter Schoenhofen Brewing Co. By 1868, annual output had increased to about 10,000 barrels. During the 1890s, when the business was owned by the City Contract Co. of London, England, annual output reached 180,000 barrels. Around 1900, the Schoenhofen family regained control of the company, which employed about 500 people at its brewery on West 12th Street by 1910. During this time, the company was also known as the National Brewing Co. The company’s “Edelweiss” brand of beer was a big seller. Operations shut down during Prohibition, but by 1933, after the national ban on alcohol production was lifted, the company was back in business as the Schoenhofen-Edelweiss Co. After being purchased by the Atlas Brewing Co. in the late 1940s, Schoenhofen became part of Dewery’s Ltd. of South Bend, Indiana, in 1951, and thereafter assumed the Dewery’s name. By the beginning of the 1970s, there was nothing left of its Chicago operations, although Dewery’s reintroduced the famous Edelweiss brand in 1972 after nearly a decade-long hiatus.

Edelweiss-Beer-Paper-Ads-Peter-Schoenhofen-Brewing-Co

Today, the land where the brewery was located is known as the Schoenhofen Brewery Historic District and to see earlier photos of that area, Forgotten Chicago has a short history, with lots of pictures.

edelweiss-yellow

5,000-Year-Old Beer Recipe Found In China

pottery
There was exciting news yesterday about a find in China by a research team from Stanford University. According to one source, “Archaeologists have discovered what they believe to be the earliest direct evidence of beer brewing in China, a trove of beer-making equipment dating from between 3400 and 2900 BCE, discovered at the Mijiaya site in Shaanxi province. Along with this archaeological find, scientists conducted an analysis of residue on the ancient pottery, jars, and funnels found, revealing a surprising recipe for the beer.” Their findings will be published in the PNAS (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America).

Here’s the abstract:

The pottery vessels from the Mijiaya site reveal, to our knowledge, the first direct evidence of in situ beer making in China, based on the analyses of starch, phytolith, and chemical residues. Our data reveal a surprising beer recipe in which broomcorn millet (Panicum miliaceum), barley (Hordeum vulgare), Job’s tears (Coix lacryma-jobi), and tubers were fermented together. The results indicate that people in China established advanced beer-brewing technology by using specialized tools and creating favorable fermentation conditions around 5,000 y ago. Our findings imply that early beer making may have motivated the initial translocation of barley from the Western Eurasia into the Central Plain of China before the crop became a part of agricultural subsistence in the region 3,000 y later.

china-stanford-5

Significance

This research reveals a 5,000-y-old beer recipe in which broomcorn millet, barley, Job’s tears, and tubers were fermented together. To our knowledge, our data provide the earliest direct evidence of in situ beer production in China, showing that an advanced beer-brewing technique was established around 5,000 y ago. For the first time, to our knowledge, we are able to identify the presence of barley in archaeological materials from China by applying a recently developed method based on phytolith morphometrics, predating macrobotanical remains of barley by 1,000 y. Our method successfully distinguishes the phytoliths of barley from those of its relative species in China.

I’m not sure how that squares with Chateau Jiahu, the beer made by Dogfish Head based on a 9,000-year-old find in China, from Northern China. They also found preserved pottery jars “in the Neolithic village of Jiahu, in Henan province.” The difference, as far as I can tell is the ingredients themselves, although in both they do use barley. This beer recipe calls for broomcorn millet (Panicum miliaceum), barley (Hordeum vulgare), Job’s tears (Coix lacryma-jobi), and tubers to be fermented, whereas the earlier one from Jiahu used “pre-gelatinized rice flakes, Wildflower honey, Muscat grapes, barley malt, hawthorn fruit, and Chrysanthemum flowers.” So their claim that this is older seems suspect unless there’s some qualifier I’m missing. As is typical, academic papers are only available online if you’re already an academic or are willing to pay to look at it for a short period of time, so I’ve not been able to look at their full claims or at the recipe itself, except what’s been written about it by more mainstream news outlets.

According to Gizmodo’s coverage:

Step aside with your claims to long legacies, craft breweries! This reconstructed beer recipe is over 5,000 years old. It’s the earliest beer recipe—and the earliest known use of barley—in China.

Archaeologists at Stanford University, while digging along China’s Wei River, made an intriguing discovery: A marvelously complete set of brewing equipment. And at the bottom of that equipment was something even more wonderful: Residue from the drink it once brewed.

After scrapping that gunk from the pots, researchers analyzed it and confirmed that it was, indeed, leftover froth from a 5,000-year-old beer. They were also able to pin down the recipe of that beer to an unlikely, but delicious-sounding, combination of broomcorn millet, barley, Job’s tears, and tubers.

So they claim, or rather Stanford claims, this is “the earliest known use of barley in China.” I didn’t think that the Chateau Jiahu added the barley to the original recipe, which was developed with the Patrick McGovern from the University of Pennsylvania, and I have a call into Dogfish Head to find out. But failing that, there’s a 4,000-year difference in the two claims that it seems hard for me to believe the Sanford team wouldn’t have uncovered.

The report from CBS News calls the barley a “secret ingredient,” which seems really odd, but seems to reflect the surprise of the researchers on this project. But McGovern’s find in the Jiahu area of China is more than ten years old, and got considerable media attention when the modern version of the beer was first released in 2007, so again I’m not sure a) how they could have missed it or b) what makes this find different, and if it is why none of the news reports are addressing that difference. Some news outlets, such as IFL Science, do mention that beer is older than 5,000 years, which is fairly well-known. Whether it was known in China at the very beginning, as it was in the fertile crescent seems to be gaining ground as a theory.

Although most of the paper is unavailable, there is supplemental information that is available, and that does give some information about the brewing process:

china-stanford-1

china-stanford-2
china-stanford-4
china-stanford-3

Beer In Ads #1920: Winter Evening At Home


Monday’s ad is entitled Winter Evening at Home, and the illustration was done in 1951 by Douglass Crockwell. It’s #51 in a series entitled “Home Life in America,” also known as the Beer Belongs series of ads that the United States Brewers Foundation ran from 1945 to 1956. In this ad, a group of people dressed up (I’d be in more comfortable clothes for an evening of staying in) and are making popcorn on the fire and drinking beer rather than going outside on a presumably cold winter night. I guess that’s one way to kill an evening. But I love the tagline in the inset below the art: “Beer and ale — mealtime favorites.”

051. Winter Evening at Home by Douglass Crockwell, 1951

Patent No. DE2751778A1: Beer Piping Cleaning System

patent-logo
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.

2751778

Beer In Ads #1919: Holiday Visitors


Sunday’s ad is entitled Holiday Visitors, and the illustration was done in 1950 by Douglass Crockwell. It’s #50 in a series entitled “Home Life in America,” also known as the Beer Belongs series of ads that the United States Brewers Foundation ran from 1945 to 1956. In this ad, friends and family are arriving, bearing gifts, for a Christmas party. It’s cold outside, but a fire going inside and a tray of beer waiting for them. Sounds like a party to me.

050. Holiday Visitors by Douglass Crockwell, 1950

Patent No. 1959501A: Beer Dispensing Device

patent-logo
Today in 1934, US Patent 1959501 A was issued, an invention of Elton F. Ross, for his “Beer Dispensing Device.” There’s no Abstract, though it’s described this way in the application:

This invention relates to a device for dispensing beer and other carbonated liquids discharged under pressure from a keg or other source of supply, and particularly to a dispensing device designed to supply measured quantities of the liquid and to control the discharge so as to prevent waste of the liquid and other objections due to wildness of the liquid.

US1959501-0
US1959501-1

Patent No. 821208A: Beer Glass Tray

patent-logo
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.

US821208-0