Sunday’s ad is for Bière Phénix, from 1936. From the late 1800s until the 1980s, poster art really came into its own, and in Europe a lot of really cool posters, many of them for breweries, were produced. I’ve been posting vintage European posters all last year and will continue to do so in 2020. This poster was created for Brasserie du Phénix, which was founded in 1886 in Marseille, which is located in the Bouches-du-Rhône area in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region of southern France. A brewery had been on the same site since 1821, and a new one was rebuilt in 1872, and 14 years later it was bought by a new owner, who called it the Brasserie et Malterie du Phénix. They later changed their name to the Brasserie de la Valentine, and today it is owned by the Heineken Group. This was a promotional calendar they apparently did annually for a time, and this one is from 1936. I don’t know who the artist is who created this poster.
Archives for August 16, 2020
Today is the birthday of Emile Anton Hubert Seipgens (August 16, 1837-June 25, 1896). Seipgens was born in Roermond, the Netherlands. He was the son of a brewer, and after school and some failed jobs, joined his father at the brewery in 1856. By 1859, he was running the brewery along with his brother. But apparently he wasn’t happy there, and in 1874 decided to pursue his dream of becoming a writer. Throughout his life, he wrote poetry, novels, plays and much more.
Here’s a translated biography of his literary career, from Literary Zutphen:
Emile (Anton Hubert) Seipgens, born August 16, 1837 in Roermond, from 1876 until 1883 teacher of German at the Rijks HBS in Zutphen. He founded a literary reading companion for his disciples and was a member of the “Circle of scientific maintenance. He lived Nieuwstad A128-2. Seipgens was an outspoken Limburg author. His work – theater, novels and novellas village – is invariably located in Limburg, and sometimes – his songs – even written in Limburg dialect. Some of his best known and most read titles he wrote in his Zutphense period: The chaplain Bardelo (1880), from Limburg. Novellas and Sketches (1881). In this period made Seipgens, who was first trained to be a priest, then was brewer, then teacher, to eventually become a writer, definitively separated from the Catholic Church. He started on the assembly line to write stories, which he published in magazines such as The Guide , Netherlands and Elsevier . One of those stories, Rooien Hannes , had worked to folk drama and staged by the Netherlands Tooneel great success. Later titles are: In and around the small town (1887), along Maas and Trench (1890), The Killer Star (1892), Jean, ‘t Stumpke, Hawioe-Ho (1893), The Zûpers of Bliënbèèk (1894) and A wild Rosary (1894). In 1892 Seipgens secretary of the Society of Dutch Literature in Leiden, and in that place he died 1896. Posthumously published yet his novel on June 25, Daniel (1897) and the beam A Immortellenkrans (1897). Seipgens, which is one of the earliest naturalists of the Netherlands became completely into oblivion, until the late 70s of the last century actually was a small revival. Which among other things led to reprint the novel The chaplain Bardelo and stories in and around the small town , and to the publication of his biography, written by Peter Nissen: Emile Anton Hubert Seipgens (1837-1896). Of brewer’s son to literary (1987), and the placing of a memorial stone at Seipgens birthplace. But this revival was short-lived. If Emile Seipgens remembered voortleeft, it will have to be on the legend of the rovershoofdman Johann Bückler based ‘operabouffe’ Schinderhannes (1864), which to this day in Roermond is staged!
And here’s another account from “The Humour of Holland,” published in 1894.
Today is also the 51st birthday of John Pinkerton, founder and brewmaster of Moon River Brewing in Savannah, Georgia. He also brews some terrific beers and is great fun to drink a beer or three with. In addition, he helped to found the Georga Craft Brewers Guild and is its current president. Join me in wishing John a very happy birthday.
Today is the birthday of Johan Gustav Christoffer Thorsager Kjeldahl (August 16, 1849-July 18, 1900) He was a Danish chemist who developed a method for determining the amount of nitrogen in certain organic compounds using a laboratory technique which was named the Kjeldahl method after him.
Kjeldahl worked in Copenhagen at the Carlsberg Laboratory, associated with Carlsberg Brewery, where he was head of the Chemistry department from 1876 to 1900.
He was given the job to determine the amount of protein in the grain used in the malt industry. Less protein meant more beer. Kjeldahl found the answer was in developing a technique to determine nitrogen with accuracy but existing methods in analytical chemistry related to proteins and biochemistry at the time were far from accurate.
His discovery became known as the Kjeldahl Method
The method consists of heating a substance with sulphuric acid, which decomposes the organic substance by oxidation to liberate the reduced nitrogen as ammonium sulphate. In this step potassium sulphate is added to increase the boiling point of the medium (from 337 °C to 373 °C) . Chemical decomposition of the sample is complete when the initially very dark-coloured medium has become clear and colourless.
The solution is then distilled with a small quantity of sodium hydroxide, which converts the ammonium salt to ammonia. The amount of ammonia present, and thus the amount of nitrogen present in the sample, is determined by back titration. The end of the condenser is dipped into a solution of boric acid. The ammonia reacts with the acid and the remainder of the acid is then titrated with a sodium carbonate solution by way of a methyl orange pH indicator.
In practice, this analysis is largely automated; specific catalysts accelerate the decomposition. Originally, the catalyst of choice was mercuric oxide. However, while it was very effective, health concerns resulted in it being replaced by cupric sulfate. Cupric sulfate was not as efficient as mercuric oxide, and yielded lower protein results. It was soon supplemented with titanium dioxide, which is currently the approved catalyst in all of the methods of analysis for protein in the Official Methods and Recommended Practices of AOAC International.
And Velp Scientifica also has an explanation of his method, which is still in use today.
Kjeldahl (center) in his laboratory.
Today is the 52nd birthday of Dann Paquette, who along with his wife Martha Holley-Paquette, founded the Pretty Things Beer and Ale Project. It was a fairly unique idea. They didn’t own a brewery but they didn’t contract brew either. They rented the brewery and Dann did all the work brewing the beer. Certainly other contract beers were similar, but I liked that Pretty Things makes such a point of the distinction that it’s essentially beyond reproach. Oh, and did I mention he made some of the best beers I’ve tasted? Unfortunately, they recently decided to wind up the business and stop brewing while they decide what the next chapter of their lives will be. From the several philosophical discussions I’ve had with Dann, I consider him a kindred spirit. Their newest project is in Sheffield, England, and is called The Brewery of St. Mars of the Desert. Join me in wishing Dann a very happy birthday.
Note: Last three photos purloined from both Dann and Martha’s Facebook pages.