The old kegs used for this purpose had been used to transport beer to pubs and restaurants until the early 1970s. The kegs had been sealed on the inside using brewers' pitch, a black natural resin which prevented the beer from taking on the aroma of wood, and the carbon dioxide from escaping. Over the decades, the layer of brewers’ pitch would occasionally get cracks, allowing the beer to seep into the barrel’s stave. Another layer of brewers’ pitch would be applied, thus locking the beer extract into the stave.
BEER BY-PRODUCTS FOR HEALTHY ANIMALS
Sepp Dähler from Stein in the Appenzellerland has been feeding his calves and cattle three by-products from Brauerei Locher since 1999. One of them is brewer's spent grain, the malt residue left after wort lautering, then there is the vorlauf, which consists of a mixture of water and beer, and finally there is also brewer's yeast from the bottom of the storage tanks. But do cattle actually like beer? The answer to this question is “Yes”! Animals like the bitterness of brewer's yeast. For the cattle, it is not just a treat – the numerous proteins, important vitamins and minerals it provides are actually good for their health.
Despite the slight alcohol content in their feed, the animals’ blood alcohol is 0.0%. According to Zurich Veterinary Hospital, this is because microorganisms in the rumen (stomach) break down the alcohol. The calves and cattle are given a hand brush massage twice a day. In the morning, vorlauf and yeast are applied, in the evening Swiss rapeseed oil. Not only do the animals enjoy the massage, it also cares for their coat and protects against parasites. The direct contact with humans makes the animals very tame and more resilient to stress.