A Good Beer Blog


Have you read The Unbearable Nonsense of Craft Beer - A Rant in Nine Acts by Alan and Max yet? It's out on Kindle as well as Lulu.

Maureen Ogle said this about the book: "... immensely readable, sometimes slightly surreal rumination on beer in general and craft beer in particular. Funny, witty, but most important: Smart. The beer geeks will likely get all cranky about it, but Alan and Max are the masters of cranky..."

Ron Pattinson said: "I'm in a rather odd situation. Because I appear in the book. A fictional version of me. It's a weird feeling."


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Joe Mansfield -

They look to be approximately 5m diameter by 15m high, that would be 250-300kilolitres. Four of them would be somewhere in the ballpark of a million litres, or twice the amount stated for the great beer flood.

I worked on a brewery construction project in the '90's and my memory of the BBT's (Bright Beer Tanks - what we called the conditioning tanks) was that they held 250 kilolitres and they looked similar to those.

voytek -

I'm not sure I find it appropriate... I don't know if "the Gods went bowling" but I do know that at least 10 000 people lost their lives and many more everything they had. On top of that, things may get much worse if the efforts to cool down some nuclear cores fail. And here we are, musing about some overturned beer tanks. Of course, I don't have to read it or look at it but I do like this blog a lot! So Alan, please find some wisdom between looking for something to comment on and human decency.

Alan -

I take your point and I am happy to have you make it in the comments here or anytime but don't have the same reaction. It is not callous to comment on either the scale of the disaster or the relative degree of this one compared to another. It was certainly not meant as a joke - because these things are called "an Act of God" for a reason.

Alan -

Here is a photo from AP by Shuji Kajiyama, maybe from the same event. From the photo above, it would appear that the conditioning tanks fell because of the earthquake and not the tsunami. Here is a larger scale version of the photo above.

voytek -

I live in Whitby, equidistance from two nuclear power stations so I'm probably oversensitive. I guess looking on the upside, it's amazing that they are still standing after 9 on the Richter scale.

Alan -

Well, we look at these things with what we know. I have to admit it is the dynamics of the power of the event that are amazing me. Look at this photo which seems to indicate some of the flow. I don't understand why the middle row collapsed. And it seems that they must have been weakened and fell after both the quake and the tsunami as the beer foam would not be so localized.

But your concerns are quite valid, too, as 10 sales staff were not accounted for as of Saturday.

More here and NASA photos here.

Joe Mansfield -

The tanks were probably not all equally full - that would make a large difference to the way they respond to the earthquake harmonics. Those that fell, or perhaps even just one that fell and then took the others with it, had a volume that caused enough sloshing\swaying to bring them down. Even if they had internal baffles to prevent sloshing (and I doubt it as they would make cleaning more difficult) the differing masses alone would cause partially full tanks to behave differently.

This would be the opposite of the effect that the tuned mass damper in Taipei 101 has ( see it in action in response to a tremor in this video ). And for a slightly different example of the potentially disastrous effects that come from variable fluid levels and accelerating forces there is the pogo problem that liquid fueled rockets have to deal with (e.g. the Saturn V ).