Beer Birthday: Chris Black

Chris Black, who along with his brother, owns the Falling Rock, the best beer bar in Denver and HQ for beer people during GABF, turns 53 today. Chris is a great guy and one of a handful of early Publicans across the country doing things right when it came to beer, something that happily we’re seeing more of now. Join me in wishing Chris a very happy birthday.

Chris and me toward the end of the night at GABF several years ago.

Vinnie Cilurzo from Russian River Brewing with Chris at the Celebrator’s 18th Anniversary Party.

Shaun O’Sullivan (21st Amendment), Judy Ashworth (Publican Emeritus) and Chris at Falling Rock during GABF in 2006.

Megan Flynn, of Beer NW & Chris Black, Owner of The Falling Rock
Megan Flynn, of the now-defunct Beer NW (later Beer West), with Chris at the end of GABF Week in 2009.

Patent No. 2414446A: Illuminated Beer Tap

Today in 1947, US Patent 2414446 A was issued, an invention of Carl Vincent Carbone, for his “Illuminated Beer Tap.” There’s no Abstract, although in the description it includes this summary:

This invention relates to new and useful improvements in beer taps, the principal object being to provide a beer tap having illuminating means for illuminating advertising imposed thereon.


Patent No. 2186835A: Foam Removing Utensil And Strainer

Today in 1940, US Patent 2186835 A was issued, an invention of John J. Mccauley, for his “Foam Removing Utensil and Strainer.” There’s no Abstract, although in the description it includes this summary:

This invention is an improved foam removing utensil and strainer and is intended especially for use as a bartenders implement as will hereinafter be more fully set out.


Beer Birthday: Matt Bonney

Today is the 42nd birthday of Matt Bonney, formerly of Brouwer’s and Bottleworks, both in Seattle, Washington, and now proprietor of Toronado Seattle. Bonney’s one of my favorite people in the industry. You’d be hard-pressed to find a person more passionate about good beer. He also knows how to throw a party and is always a gracious host. He does still need some work on his Washoe playing, but I’ll let that slide. Join me in wishing Bonney a very happy birthday.

Matt with Chris Black, from Falling Rock Taphouse in Denver, pouring candy sugar to create Publication at Russian River Brewing in May of 2008.

Matt (3rd from left) with the final judges at the 2009 Hard Liver Barleywine Festival at Brouwer’s.

Matt with Dave Keene, from the Toronado, at the A Night of Ales beer dinner during SF Beer Week.

Dr. Bill with Matt at Slow Food Nation 2008.

Patent No. 1981627A: Coaster

Today in 1934, US Patent 1981627 A was issued, an invention of Ralph S. Merriman, assigned to the Closure Service Company, for his “Coaster.” There’s no Abstract, although in the description it includes this summary:

My invention relates to an article of manufacture designed for use as a tray or holder for glass tumblers, bottles or the like.


Patent No. 5980959A: Methods And Apparatus For Enhancing Beverages

Today in 1999, US Patent 5980959 A was issued, an invention of Bernard Derek Frutin, for his “Methods and Apparatus for Enhancing Beverages.” Here’s the Abstract:

Enhancing the foam head on a bottled beverage where a pressurized container is housed within the neck of the bottle and above the level of the liquid and so arranged that upon opening of the bottle the pressurized container also opens to release the liquid stream therefrom initially to float on the top surface of the beverage in the bottle.


Patent No. D191695S: Holder For Beer Foam Scrapers

Today in 1961, US Patent D191695 S was issued, an invention of Harold Austin, for his “Holder for Beer Foam Scrapers or the Like.” There’s no Abstract, although in the description it includes this summary:

The ornamental design for a holder for beer foam scrapers or the like as shown and described.


Patent No. 7810679B2: Beer Dispensing System With Gas Pressure Reservoir

Today in 2010, US Patent 7810679 B2 was issued, an invention of Albert W. Wauters, Ian Anderson, and Edward P. Duffy, assigned to Anheuser-Busch Inbev S.A., for their “Beer Dispensing System with Gas Pressure Reservoir.” Here’s the Abstract:

A home beer dispensing apparatus has a keg having a self-contained bag filled with a beer and a pressure system. The pressure system creates a pressurized air space between the keg inner walls and the bag to assist in the dispensing of the beer. The pressure system has a keg one-way air valve mounted to a top wall of the keg to permit entry of pressurized air into the keg. The pressure system has a pressure reservoir mounted in the dispensing apparatus outside the keg and in fluid flow communication with the keg one-way valve. The reservoir stores a charge of pressurized air and supplies at least a portion of this charge to the keg through the keg air valve when the dispensing apparatus is operated to dispense the beer. The reservoir provides a reserved charge of pressurized gas that is on hand to reduce dampening pressure fluctuations during beer dispensing which can result in beer frothing, especially during the early stages of beer dispensing when the air head space in the keg is small. Further, the apparatus may also have a pressure sensing system adapted to measure time rate of pressure change in the keg. The apparatus has a signaling device responsive to the time rate of pressure change in the keg to produce a signal related to volume of beer remaining in the bag. Preferably, the signal is displayed visually on the dispensing apparatus.


Patent No. 6953256B2: Illuminated Tap Handle

Today in 2005, US Patent 6953256 B2 was issued, an invention of Brent Turner, for his “Illuminated Tap Handle.” Here’s the Abstract:

One object of the invention is to provide an illuminated tap handle including a handle with one end capable of being secured to a tap and a threadable and detachable end allowing the placement of a removable energy source into the handle completing a circuit and illuminating a light source connected to a conducting strip inside the handle when the threadable end is substantially threaded onto the handle and a conducting portion on the threadable end touches the conducting strip and energy source. Another object is where the conducting strip is situated within the tap handle such that when the threadable end is partially or completely unthreaded the tension of the conduction strip is released and situated just above and not touching the energy source, but when the threadable end is substantially threaded onto the tap handle, the conducting strip is again pressed onto the energy source completing the circuit.

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Patent No. 2016926A: Apparatus For Emptying And Cleaning Beer Pipes

Today in 1935, US Patent 2016926 A was issued, an invention of Rees Damon, assigned to Rahr Malting Co., for his “Apparatus For Emptying and Cleaning Beer and Other Pipes.” There’s no Abstract, although in the description it includes this summary:

My invention relates to methods of and apparatus for cleaning pipes, and other liquid containers and connections.

It is particularly applicable to the pipes, tanks, containers, and connections between the beer kegs and drawing faucets of beer dispensing apparatus, which are usually cleaned at the present time by discharging through the pipes and connections a cleaning fluid, such as water containing a cleaning material, and sometimes also air under pressure.

Before cleaning such pipes and connections, it has been necessary heretofore to draw 01f a considerable amount of beer in the pipes, which ‘was thus wasted. Furthermore, after the dispensing apparatus has been out of use overnight or during holidays, it has been necessary when dispensing was resumed, first to draw off all the beer in the pipes, etc., down to the supply kegs, because the beer becomes stale and otherwise deteriorates when it has been left standing in the pipes for a considerable period of time. All this beer was thus wasted causing considerable loss every day.

My invention comprises first a simple, convenient and effective method of and apparatus for forcing and restraining the beer in the pipes and. connections back into the supply kegs and thus saving all the beer, before cleaning the pipes and also before closing the bar for the night or holidays.

My invention also comprises a simple, convenient and effective method of and apparatus for cleaning the pipes and connections.

My invention also comprises various novel features of construction and combinations of parts hereinafter fully described and particularly pointed out in the claims.