Re: Freight cars for brewery late 40's to early 50's


SLRX shipped Bud.A

----- Original Message -----
From: <smithbf@...>
To: <STMFC@...>
Sent: Saturday, September 04, 2004 10:25 PM
Subject: Re: [STMFC] Freight cars for brewery late 40's to early 50's

Michael asks:

What type of cars would one typically find at a brewery in the post
WWII era? What would they haul? Would reefers need to be iced for
this service and would the brewery ice their own cars?

Having just spent the afternoon helping my better half through her first
all-grain brew (a Belgian ale) I feel I must comment. The concept that
beer must be shipped and stored cold is a figment of a more modern
marketing man's imagination. While it is true that lager beer should be
handled chilled, the vast majority of beer consumed in the post WWII years
would have been ales (or fermented with Ale yeast, such as porters, stouts
and the like). These beers are fermented at room temperature, and are not
harmed by long term storage at room temperature. Indeed, the need to
"filter" beer is ALSO a modern marketing invention, as beer at that time
would have been bottle or keg primed, requiring live yeast and
fermentation to generate the needed CO2.

Reefers may well have been the car of choice to ship beer, but they were
most often being used as an insulated boxcar. The idea was to protect the
beer from temperature fluctuations and not to refrigerate the beer. In
fact, refrigerating the beer would have compounded distribution issues as
once chilled, beer should not be allowed to come back to room temperature
(hence the need to ship lagers chilled since they are fermented chilled).

Having consumed a 2 year old, unfiltered, unpasteurized, unrefrigerated
Russian Imperial Stout (of my own brewing) this afternoon, I can happily
confirm that Real Beer does not have "born on dating" <VBG>


Bruce Smith
Auburn, AL

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