Patent No. 1995626A: Manufacture Of Minim Alcohol Beverage

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Today in 1935, US Patent 1995626 A was issued, an invention of Karl Schreder, for his “Manufacture of Minim Alcohol Beverage.” There’s no Abstract, as far as I can tell, Minim means low-alcohol. I wonder if that was a common term back then? It’s not one I hear these days. Curiously, although the invention relates to what they call “low alcohol beverages,” the percentage of alcohol is never discussed, which strikes me as odd. Here’s what is revealed:

It has been found that Termobacterium mobile (Lindner) (Pseudomonas Lindneri-Kluyver) discovered by Professor Dr. Lindner is particularly suitable for the manufacture of beverages containing a low proportion of alcohol.

A process for the manufacture of beverages of this kind forms the subject-matter of the present application.

For obtaining a high grade end product it is essential that the preparation of the malt and of the wort be carried out carefully.

Okay, but what is the “high grade end product?” Is it non-alcoholic or near beer below 0.5% a.b.v.? Or something that might be considered a session beer with an alcohol percentage lower than a beer of typical strength?
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Patent No. 1021669A: Beer-Tapper

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Today in 1912, US Patent 1021669 A was issued, an invention of William W. Frisholm, for his “Beer-Tapper.” There’s no Abstract, but the description states that his “invention is an improvement in beer tappers, and consists in certain novel constructions, and combinations of parts, hereinafter described and claimed. Sometimes the language in these is just wonderful, case in point:

The object of the invention is to provide an improved device for tapping beer and other effervescing liquids which will permit the entering of the device into the keg or other receptacle without waste, and which, while permitting the free egress of the liquid, will also permit the entrance of air under pressure to force out the liquid.

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Patent No. 848228A: Cooler For Beer

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Today in 1907, US Patent 848228 A was issued, an invention of Johann Ettel, for his “Cooler for Beer or Other Beverages.” There’s no Abstract, and the description is without a doubt one of the worst OCR conversions I’ve ever seen. For example, here’s what should be the introduction, verbatim:

To afl’ whom` if my Concern.- l Be it’known that I, JOHANN ETTEL, a enbject of the Em eror of AustriaHungalj, Brooklyn, county of Kings,

new and useful Improvements in (loolers for Beer or other Beverages, of Whiel’ithe following is eepeei’lieet-ion- L The`presentinvention ‘has for its object to provide n. meier for heer or other beverages principally in hors;restaurant-s, mul the like.- v

Which I think we can infer that Johan Ettel, who was from Austria-Hungary, but living in Brooklyn, invented a new beer cooler.
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Beer In Ads #1505: Count ‘Em


Wednesday’s ad is another one for Budweiser, from 1960. It’s another ad from their “Where there’s life” series, this one features puppies and is called “Count ‘Em!” Bud wants you to look at 7 — count ‘em, 7 — words on their label. They don’t say which ones, but I assume it’s “Choicest Hops, Rice and Best Barley Malt.” Or you could go with “Brewed by our original all natural process,” though it’s hard to see what is so original. At any rate it doesn’t seem wide to let the consumer pick which seven words to pick off the label to tell them “why Bud is so good.”

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Beer In Ads #1504: Ahoy!


Tuesday’s ad is for Budweiser, from 1957. It’s another ad from their “Where there’s life” series, this one is a sailing ad called “Ahoy!” And it tells the reader to do more reading. “Next time you buy beer take a reading.” By which they mean, read the label. That seems like an awful lot of work, plus it would eat into the time I’d rather be spending pouring a beer for my eye candy, who sits smiling on the boat while I do all the work.

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Patent No. 3501934A: Apparatus For Repairing Kegs

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Today in 1970, US Patent 3501934 A was issued, an invention of Albert W. Engel and Gerald J. Forbes, for their “Apparatus For Repairing Kegs.” There’s no Abstract, but the description states that the invention relates to a “method and apparatus for repairing metal kegs, such as the aluminum kegs used for containing beer. The apparatus includes a die shaped to the outside form of the keg. The deformed externally projecting parts of the keg are pressed into an area defining original confines of the keg. In other words all external projections are forced inwardly by pressure. To return the keg to its original condition, the keg is filled with water, and an explosive is placed in the keg. The explosive is detonated to blow the keg back to its original form. The method comprises a hydraulic means of expanding kegs against a closed die to return the kegs to their original shape.”
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Beer In Ads #1503: Teddy Roosevelt’s African Safari


Monday’s ad is for Schlitz, from 1935. Today in 1909, Theodore Roosevelt set sail for Africa for a year-long safari, shortly after leaving office as President. His party arrived in Mombasa, British East Africa (now part of Kenya) and added local guides so that their number were just over 250 people. The hunting party included “legendary hunter-tracker R. J. Cunninghame, scientists from the Smithsonian and, from time to time, Frederick Selous, the famous big game hunter and explorer.” During their time there, they collected 11,400 “specimans” for the Smithsonian Institution and for the American Museum of Natural History in New York. These ranged from local flora and fauna up to big game, including “17 lion, 3 leopard, 7 cheetah, 9 hyena, 11 elephant, 10 buffalo, 11 (now very rare) black rhino and 9 White rhino.” You can read more about his adventures in On Safari With Theodore Roosevelt and the Smithsonian–Roosevelt African Expedition.

But in the beer world, the thing that Teddy Roosevelt’s safari is most know for it this. “President Theodore Roosevelt took more than 500 gallons of beer with him on an African safari. Must have been thirsty work!” You see this all over the place, including in today’s ad, which features the tagline “Said T.R. ‘I Want It in Africa.'” And then the artwork, illustrated by Ralph Frederick, shows Roosevelt in Africa followed by men carrying cases of Schlitz beer. Unfortunately, it’s not true. Here’s one account:

Our 26th president loved his beer to the point of brining 500 gallons back from a safari in Africa. That isn’t actually true – it’s a myth. Reality is that Theodore Roosevelt did not drink beer, or much at all, except an occasional Mint Julep. However Teddy Roosevelt knew that beer was powerful, and while training the Rough Riders in Texas, he bought the men all the beer they could drink as a morale booster.

I’ve also read that it was Bass Ale that he took on the safari, but regardless of which beer, it doesn’t really matter which brand since it never happened in the first place. None of the historical accounts of the safari mention the beer which, given the large and heavy amount of beer, you’d expect to be part of the record of the trip. It’s not, as far as I can tell. But it’s a powerful, and persistent, story, and a good story beats the truth almost any day of the week.

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Patent No. 3174650A: Bung Withdrawing Assembly

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Today in 1965, US Patent 3174650 A was issued, an invention of Frank A. Bellato, for his “Bung Withdrawing Assembly.” There’s no Abstract, but the description states simply that the “invention relates to a device for removing the wooden bungs from beer kegs and similar containers after such kegs have been emptied of their contents.” Then the goals of their patent application are laid out:

A major object of the invention is to provide an auger, of special form for the purpose, having a pilot portion arranged so as to first penetrate the bung along a path axially of the bung without possible deviation from such path such as grain direction or irregularities in the wood of the bung might cause, and having a portion following the pilot portion arranged to then advance into the bung in a manner to cause the bung to be withdrawn from the bung hole and split into separate sections so that such sections will fall of themselves from the auger.

It is another and important object of the invention to provide a means for operatively mounting the auger, both for rotation and axial movement, in an upwardly facing position, and a means for supporting the keg above the auger in such a position that the bung, which as usual is in one side of the keg, will be disposed in a downwardly facing position directly in line with the auger.

The importance of having the bung disposed in an inverted position, with the auger disposed below the keg and bung, is that no chips or wood dust, as created by the action of the auger, can enter the keg but will drop down clear of the keg.

A further object of the invention is to provide a catch tray and carryotf chute in connection with and directly below the auger which will receive, and cause to be carried alway, all chips, withdrawn bung pieces, as well as any liquid residue dropping from the empty keg when the bung is withdrawn, and keep such waste matter from possibly fouling the auger supporting and operating mechanism.

The keg, when initially placed on the supporting means, may not always be disposed with the bung in the necessary downwardly facing position, and a still further object of the invention is to provide a keg support-ing means which enables the keg, after once being supported, to be easily rotated so as to dispose the bung in the proper position for engagement by the auger.

In connection with this latter feature, it is also an object of the invention to provide a clamping unit for engagement with the top of the keg, which will rst exert a yieldable hold-down action on the keg which still allows the keg to be rotated if necessary, and which will then clamp the keg against any movement. At the same time, the clamping means is mounted so that it can be readily moved clear of the keg so as to offer no interference with the placement of the keg on or removal of the same from the supporting means.

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Beer In Ads #1502: Recipe For Corn


Sunday’s ad is for Budweiser, from 1960. It’s another ad from their “Where there’s life” series, this one a “Recipe.” By recipe, they’re talking about the ingredients of Bud, which they claim are “printed on every Budweiser label.” What’s funny about that is since at least the 1888 label, the list included rice as one of the ingredients, while the ad features a man chowing down on an ear of corn. Shouldn’t he be eating a bowl of rice?

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Patent No. DE2145298A1: Instant Beer Powder

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Today in 1973, US Patent DE 2145298 A1 was issued, an invention of Siegfried Beissner, for his “Instant Beer Powder — by vacuum-freeze drying.” Here’s the Abstract:

Beer is subjected to vacuum-freeze drying at -10 degrees to -20 degrees C, under a press. of about 0.5 atm. with agitation. Beer can be rapidly restored by treating the powder with water and a source of CO2 (pure CO2 or a mixt. of NAHCO3 and tartaric acid) and/or alcohol. The CO2-source and/or alcohol can be enclosed in capsules made from water-sol. gelatine and packed together with the beer powder.

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Given that we’re seeing this type of product in the trade recently, and the anti-alcohol groups have been going apeshit, I would have thought this was a more recent invention. But a version of it was around at least as early as 1973, over forty years ago. I wonder why it took so long for it to make it to market?