1. 4000 BC: the Sumerians brew the first beer. The clay tablets with the recipe, or the crude tools used to stir this live changing brew have to be the oldest pieces of breweriana.
Congratulations, All About Beer on 25 years. What a long, strange sip it’s been.
2. The patent application for a corkscrew on August 24, 1795 suggests that collecting could have been active. Varieties of this invention became as ornate as the sacred church key used by many of the clergy to lock up the altar wine.
3. The approval of the Bass red triangle, Britain’s oldest trademark, in 1777, meant everyone could recognize the beer, even though few could read in those days.
4. The American Brewer and Maltster is first published in 1815. This was the voice for the brewing industry, at a time when a flood of European immigrants was about to descend on U.S. soil. Could a magazine called All About Beer be far behind? These early publications are the backbone of many collections in brewerianists’ quest for accurate history.
5. The invention of the glass-pressing machine in 1827 allowed for a lower-cost and more uniform bottle to be produced. These blob-top bottles were crude by today’s standards, but pioneers in their day.
6. 1840: the pilsner beer style is introduced. In less than 100 years, it is the world’s dominant style, and a complement to the new developments happening in glassware in Bohemia.
7. Maine introduces the first Prohibition law in 1846. (Interesting, and maybe ironic, that Maine is also where our most famous horror novelist hails from.)
8. Louis Pasteur publishes studies of beer in 1876. This allowed for the transportation of beer, thanks to pasteurization. Now Milwaukee, Cincinnati, and St. Louis beers could be shipped greater distances. What would be next? Beers from other countries?
9. Robert Smith invents the wood pulp coaster in 1892, entertaining collectors and saving furniture for over 100 years.
10. William Painter invents the first bottle cap (crown) in 1892. It s one of the few things I have found that could top beer. His company went on to become Crown Cork & Seal, the General Electric of the container and sealing industry today.