Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Weird beer science
Tom Smith

Miller has come out with a new bottle for its light beer, a billboard for which appears on the freeway I take every day.  The neck of the bottle is apparently supposed to create a vortex when pouring. Huh, you say, and well you might.  It looks to me like the idea derives from Viktor Schauberger's extremely odd but interesting theories (but more odd than interesting) about water and vortexes.  There are various odd products out there, including no doubt ruinously expensive water pipe you can install in your house, that will introduce vortexes into your water.  This is supposed to give it some sort of weird energy, or something, and I guess make it taste better.  It's one of those IMHO kinda creepy Euro-green nature-mystic ideas. It would be interesting to know how this strange notion actually made it all the way to a product from a major brewer.  I suspect that given the affinity of water, brewing and Austria, where Schauberger came from a old family of mystical foresters, weird ideas about water have been floating around the brewing industry for some time.

This captures some of the flavor of this peculiar man.  More mad than scientist. (NB:  I suspect large parts of this article are pure fiction.  Linkage is not endorsement.)

Hmmm.  It also occurs to me that the vortex design might allow the beer to flow out of the bottle more quickly, which would make the beer useful in drinking contests, binge drinking etc.  So there might be a less exotic explanation.

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Tom Smith


Special pyramidal energy vortex generators cleanse excess carbon ions for clear fresh taste and saving planet.

Posted by: Jonathan | Jun 9, 2010 7:27:19 PM

You CAN do some nifty stuff with vortexes, though. Like a vortex tube for separating hot from cold air molecules in the same air mass -- almost like Maxwell's demon.

Posted by: G.R. Mead | Jun 9, 2010 8:24:38 PM

Whatever the actual explanation for Miller's new bottle design, when I hear "beer vortex" I cannot help but think of Das Boot in Beerfest. I suppose reasonable people can disagree as to whether that's a positive association.

Posted by: The Curmudgeonly Ex-Clerk | Jun 10, 2010 9:16:16 AM

You shall not talk against Broken Lizard. Except for Club Dread. What the hell was that?

But Beerfest rocked, except for hinting at Weedfest which we have not been given.

I'm not that drunk.

Posted by: unhhyphenatedconservative | Jun 10, 2010 9:46:27 AM

This idea about vortex sounds good, but does it work? Beer vortex?

Posted by: Michael Roberts | Jun 10, 2010 12:18:12 PM

Well, it sounds like a marketing gimmick for a very mediocre product in a very competitive niche filled with a lot of other very medoiocre products. A gimmick that is likely far cheaper than actually improving the quailty of the product.

Posted by: km | Jun 11, 2010 8:02:52 AM

Freedom of thought is really free. You navigate universe?

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