Today in 1971, US Patent 3558326 A was issued, an invention of William J. Durant, William C. Herwig, and Donald H. Westermann, assigned to Miller Brewing, for their “Process for Isomerizing and Purifying Hop Extracts.” There’s no Abstract, but they describe it as a “hop extract substantially free from waxes, oils, and nonacidic hop components is prepared by treating a waterimmiscible solvent solution of hop extract with an aqueous alkaline solution to isomerize acid hop components in the aqueous phase. The waxes, oils, and nonacidic hop components enter the nonaqueous phase and are removed with the latter. The aqueous phase is acidied, more solvent is added, and the hop acids enter the solvent phase and are recovered therefrom. The extract is used in making beer of improved light stability.”
David G Westermann says
My father worked for Miller Brewing company for many years and later for Jos. Schlitz Brewing Company. He was also involved in the development of the clear beer bottle at Miller. I remember him frequently bringing home samples of new beers they were developing or testing in the labs. When Stroh’s bought Schlitz and asked him to move to Detroit he said no and finished out his professional career as a consultant. He designed an ethanol plant for a customer years before it was ever popular. He was a brilliant and wonderful man.