Posts Tagged “beer”

Keeping It Fresh: Enjoy a Beer – the Fresher, the Better!

By |

By Dave Comber, ALC Madison

Many of us like to enjoy a beer at a sporting event, while watching our favorite sports teams on TV, at picnics, or at any other gathering with family and friends. Most of us never think about the fact that beer is considered a perishable product. However, beer is a fragile product that needs care when being transported. 

Beer is food. As with most foods, it deteriorates as a result of the action of bacteria, light, and air. To combat this, breweries, prior to bottling, make beer undergo some form of stabilization to extend its shelf life. The two primary forms of stabilization are sterile filtration, where the beer is passed through a microporous filter that will not let through any crunchy bits larger than 0.5 microns, and pasteurization, whereby the beer is heated briefly to kill any microbial wildlife.

The length of time it takes for a beer to become stale is determined by the alcohol strength and hopping level of the beer. Alcohol and hops help preserve beer – stronger beers with more hops keep longer. The freshness for a lager is about four months, five months for stronger craft brewed ales, and about six months to one year for high strength beers such as doppelbocks. 
In most cases beer is at its best before it leaves the brewery. The further it travels from the brewery, the more difficult it becomes to maintain quality. Everyone involved in the production, distribution, and service of beer shares a responsibility for familiarizing themselves with, and maintaining product freshness. The sooner the beer can get from the brewery to the consumer, the better. Transportation providers play a large role in ensuring beer gets to the consumer expeditiously to ensure product quality.

When transporting beer, it is critical that carriers understand what it takes to cross state lines. Many states require permits to be able to legally haul beer in and out and through their state. All transportation providers need to ensure they have the proper permits to haul the product. Fines are possible, and delays getting the product to the store can occur if a truck is detained because they do not have the appropriate permits.  
Since beer is a food product, the trailer needs to be inspected to ensure that it is clean and free of any odors. Some beer companies require that reefer trailers are used to haul their beer to slow down the oxidation process to keep it fresh longer. The temperature of beer hauled in reefers is generally around 40 to 45 degrees Fahrenheit. Keeping the beer at the proper temperature keeps beer fresh longer. Also, in the winter, if hauling beer in a dry van trailer, it is imperative that beer is not kept outside too long depending on the outside temperature. Beer will not freeze at 32 degrees Fahrenheit due to the alcohol and sugar in beer. However, if beer is being transported on a dry van in cold temperatures in winter months, it should be delivered straight through to the receiver, or early the next morning. If temps are extreme (15 degrees F. or less) beer loads should only be transported with a reefer trailer, with the reefer running between 40-45 degrees Fahrenheit.  

The transportation industry plays a big role in ensuring that beer goes from the brewery to the consumer in a timely manner. When purchasing beer, remember to think about all that the transportation industry does to ensure the freshness of beer. Enjoy and respect beer, and always drink in moderation.


Dave Comber is the manager of ALC Madison and has been with the Allen Lund Company for eight years. He worked for three years as the assistant manager, before being promoted to his current role. Comber brought with him over 20 years of management and customer service experience within the transportation industry from Northern Freight Service, Inc. and Schneider National, Inc. Comber attended Lawrence University in Appleton, WI and earned a B.A. in Liberal Arts with a Major in History.

Read more »

Show Me a Cat, or a Woman, That Will Fetch a Paper

By |

Cats are very controversial animals.

It’s amazing how cats can bring out the worst in some people. For some strange reason cats are not a “neutral” animal. Everyone seems to have a definite opinion of cats. They are either liked or intensely disliked. You could see a yak walking down the street and when someone said “Hey look there goes a yak” the response would be a shrug of the shoulders and a comment like “so what, yaks are yaks.”

However, you can see a cat cross the street and make the comment “Look a cat,” and someone will almost always respond with a death threat for the cat. There are many articles written about why people hate cats and almost all are written by cat lovers. They all seem to miss the point and many attribute the dislike of cats to some primal “fear of cats.”

Fear could not be further from the truth. Most cat haters derive their dislike of cats from experience with them. Cats are not very trainable. You never see a duck hunter going out with his retriever cat to bag some mallards. You never see a fetch cat get the morning newspaper, or see a sign that says “Beware Watch Cat.”

Cats have an attitude. They are demanding and tend to ignore any command you give them. Come to think of it, so do most wives.

On the other hand a friend of mine says they are just stupid and don’t have the capacity for learning commands and spoken words like dogs do.

Cats don’t like water and most humans do. This may have something to do with it. You can always take a dog out boating. Dogs love to swim and play in the water. Cats on the other hand, almost never bathe. They sit around and lick themselves. I’m sorry, licking yourself is no substitute for a good soaking bath.  John S. Nichols said, “Cats aren’t clean, they’re just covered with cat spit.”

On top of that, they cough up large slimy hair balls. You would think that cats would learn that eating your own hair makes you barf, but no,they keep doing the same thing and expecting different results.  Sort of like politicians.

Women seem to like cats more than men do. Maybe they have more in common with cats than with dogs. After all, I don’t know of any women who are good at fetching a downed bird.

Dogs are very grateful animals. They will wag their tail to show satisfaction and they will eat just about anything you give them. Cats are no where near as amiable.

Cats wag their tail to show you they are annoyed, and they quite often turn down  the same food they just ate four hours ago. Cats are not reliable sniffers. This may be the reason you never see an officer walking around an airport with his drug sniffing cat. Cats get away with more.

If the cat took a dump on your wife’s favorite rug it would be no problem. You would hear comments like “poor thing, you must be feeling bad.”

But if you just happen to spill some barbeque sauce or beer on the same rug all hell would break loose. Just what is it about these worthless cats that deserves this special treatment? Cats are just not very smart. A cat will whine and want to go outside on a cold raw day only to whine and want back inside 10 minutes later. Then in an hour or less the stupid cat will forget how raw and cold it was and want back outside again.

In my opinion cats bring out the empathy in most right-brained people. Cats, being basically worthless, bring out an unconscious empathy for such a stupid creature. A lot of people are also like that. Not all cats are cast from the same mold. Some cats have an identity crisis and even think they are dogs.

There is no greater cat hater than a cat that thinks it’s a dog, sort of like reformed smokers. Now don’t get me wrong. Not all cats are worthless. Some cats are very good mousers and ratters. Outdoor cats are preferred by most ranchers and farmers for that very reason. I guess most of us guys can learn to tolerate

 Larry Oscar is a graduate from the University of Tulsa and holds a degree in electrical engineering. He is retired and lives with his wife on a lake in Oklahoma where he brews his own beer, sails, and is a member of numerous clubs and organizations.


Read more »

Thank God for Beer Drinkers!

By |

By Larry Oscar

It’s been a few years since some studies were conducted that support the theory that drinking beer is a prerequisite for good health. In a study, published in March of 2008, researchers at the National Institutes of Health released a study showing that frequent drinking in moderation may protect men from death due to cardiovascular disease.

 Men who reported drinking 120 to 365 days a year had a 20% lower cardiovascular death rate than those who drank one to 36 days a year. In a 2003 study, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, Adults over age 65 who drank one to six alcoholic beverages over the course of the week had a lower risk of dementia than non-drinkers. A 2006 report that appeared in the American Heart Association journal also showed that a drink or two a day may result in a better cognitive function in women.

Now this isn’t news to those of us who have savored the health benefits from drinking for several decades. We know that our consumption of beer, wine, and other “beverages” have helped us become the geniuses we are today. And doing some simple research on just how much beer Americans drink has produced some mind boggling numbers. The United States produces about 200 million barrels of beer per year. That’s roughly 20 US gallons of beer for every man, woman, and child every year. It’s nice to know that the United States is still ahead of the rest of the world in something besides teenage pregnancy.

 Now you take the volume of Skiatook Lake in Northeastern Oklahoma where I live, which is over 2.1 billion barrels and divide that by 200 million barrels of beer and that means that the beer drinkers of the United States consume the entire volume of the lake in beer about every 10 ½ years. Now there is something that we can all take pride in as a nation. Thank God for beer drinkers. Beer brewing goes back to over 6,000 BC. It is one of the oldest beverages mankind has produced. Beer is also something that has brought nations together in times of crisis. Many high level negotiations between nations and kings and queens have been conducted over a few pints of ale.

 It has been suggested that beer may be responsible for over one half of the amount of the human population. In 1931 a study was conducted that proved beyond any doubt that after a few beers women become more attractive. I have personally never experienced this, of course, but it would be a logical conclusion given the lack of beauty enhancing cosmetics during the 1300’s.

 And a point of note is the modern beer advertisement. Do you ever see a beer commercial with some “skank” holding up a frosty glass of brew? Of course you don’t. The obvious implication here is that beer attracts babes, and if you drink the right brand of beer you will leave the bar with some beauty hanging on your arm. I can assure you that these commercials are misleading.

 However, perception is reality to some people. Just look at who some guys have married when walking around Wal- Mart! If it wasn’t for beer we might have hoards of very overweight women roaming the streets with knives and pitchforks demanding husbands. Beer levels the social playing field. You can always crack a joke at a party if you have a beer in your hand. For example, take the old beer joke “What does a drunk walrus have in common with a woman at a Tupperware party?….. They’re both out looking for a tight seal.” Now you wouldn’t get away with that joke in a social setting while holding a glass of champagne, but with a beer in your hand everyone laughs, and you look like a cool dude.

 Now that we are well into 2012, and this year is supposed to be the last, according to some ancient Mayan prophecy, maybe we should make a serious resolution. (I never understood why anyone would ever believe a prediction from anyone who missed predicting their own demise.) However, we should all adopt a new resolution to drink as many different beers this year as possible. And what better country in which to drink beer.  After all, it may not have been the Constitution that made America great. It may have been Anheuser-Busch !!

Read more »