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System for containing and dispensing a liquid, and method for pouring ethanol from a jar

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System for containing and dispensing a liquid, and method for pouring ethanol from a jar


A liquid dispensing system is provided. The liquid is preferably a grain-based distilled spirit. The system comprises a liquid container such as a Mason jar having a two-piece lid. The system also has a circular pouring cap. The pouring cap has at least two through-openings punched through the pouring cap. The circular pouring cap has a diameter dimensioned to enclose the open upper end of the jar and to be sealed between a screw-type ring and the upper end. In this way, the blank circular cap and the circular pouring cap are interchangeable. The system may also have at least two corks. The corks are dimensioned to be frictionally received within the at least two through-openings. In this way, the through-openings are selectively sealed. A method for pouring an alcoholic liquid from a Mason jar is also provided.
Related Terms: Dispensing System Elective Ethanol Liquid Container

USPTO Applicaton #: #20140072669 - Class: 426 2 (USPTO) -
Food Or Edible Material: Processes, Compositions, And Products > Treatment Of Live Animal



Inventors: Stanley P. Brown, Iii

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The Patent Description & Claims data below is from USPTO Patent Application 20140072669, System for containing and dispensing a liquid, and method for pouring ethanol from a jar.

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CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application claims the benefit of U.S. Patent Application No. 61/698,080, dated Sep. 7, 2012.

STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH OR DEVELOPMENT

Not applicable.

THE NAMES OF THE PARTIES TO A JOINT RESEARCH AGREEMENT

Not applicable.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention relates to liquid containers and dispensers. More specifically, the invention relates to a system for containing and dispensing a liquid such as ethanol, and a method for dispensing ethanol or other liquid.

2. Technology in the Field of the Invention

It is a Southern tradition to drink liquids such as “sweet tea” from a so-called Mason jar. Mason jars are typically clear jars that are used for canning and storing food. Mason jars are particularly popular for those seeking to can home-grown fruits and vegetables.

The typical Mason jar is a molded glass jar wherein the upper end, or mouth, has screw threads on its outer perimeter to accept a metal ring (or “band”). The band, when screwed down, presses a separate stamped-steel, disc-shaped lid against the rim of the jar. An integral rubber ring on the underside of the lid creates a hermetic seal to the jar. The bands and lids usually come with new jars, and bands and lids are also sold separately. While the bands are reusable, the lids are intended for single use when canning.

Mason jars are commonly made of soda-lime glass. They may have a 2⅜ inch (60 mm) or wide 3 inch (76 mm) mouth diameter. They come in a variety of sizes including cup (half-pint), pint, quart, and half-gallon.

The most common U.S. brands of Mason jars are Ball and Kerr. Both of these brands are now part of the Jarden corporation based in Rye, N.Y.

According to Southern lore, “bootlegged” whisky, that is, home-stilled grain sold without license or without accounting to the Internal Revenue Service, was distributed in and/or consumed from Mason jars. Recently, some states such as Tennessee have created laws opening up the ability of companies to manufacture and sell distilled spirits. An example of such as a law is the amended Tennessee Code §§57-3-202 and 57-3-203 passed in 2009 and 2011.

It is desirable under the new law to “can” and sell licensed distilled spirits, that is, beverages containing ethanol, in Mason jars. However, pouring any beverage from a Mason jar can be messy for the consumer due to the enlarged rim at the mouth of the jar. Therefore, what is needed is a system for containing and dispensing ethanol or other liquid using a liquid container having a two-piece lid. Further, a need exists for a method of pouring ethanol or other liquid from a Mason jar.

BRIEF

SUMMARY

OF THE INVENTION

A liquid dispensing system is first provided herein. The liquid is preferably a grain-based distilled spirit containing ethanol. Examples include vodka, bourbon, corn mash whisky, and so-called “moonshine” or “white lightnin'.”

The system first comprises a liquid container. The liquid container has an open upper end forming a mouth. The liquid container further has external threads at the mouth. Preferably, the liquid container is a so-called Mason jar having the enlarged rim.

The system also has a screw-type ring, or band. The ring is dimensioned to be threadedly fastened or screwed onto the external threads of the jar.

The system further includes a blank circular cap. The cap serves as a lid for the Mason jar. The cap has a diameter dimensioned to enclose the open upper end of the jar, and to be sealed between the screw-type ring and the upper end.

The system also has a circular pouring cap. The pouring cap has at least two through-openings punched through the pouring cap. The circular pouring cap also has a diameter dimensioned to enclose the open upper end of the jar and to be sealed between the screw-type ring and the upper end. In this way, the blank circular cap and the circular pouring cap are interchangeable.

The system optionally also has at least two corks. The corks are dimensioned to be frictionally received within the at least two through-openings. In this way, the through-openings are selectively sealed.

A method for pouring an alcoholic liquid from a Mason jar is also provided herein. The Mason jar has an open upper end with external threads, a screw-type ring for threading onto the external threads, and a blank circular cap having a diameter dimensioned to enclose the open upper end. The circular cap is designed to be sealed between the screw-type ring and the upper end when the ring is screwed down onto the external threads at the mouth of the Mason jar.

The method first includes providing a Mason jar. The Mason jar is as described above.

The method also includes providing a circular pouring cap. The pouring cap has at least two through-openings punched through the pouring cap. The circular pouring cap also has a diameter dimensioned to enclose the open upper end of the jar and to be sealed between the screw-type ring and the upper end. In this way, the blank circular cap and the circular pouring cap are interchangeable.

The method further comprises providing corks. The corks are dimensioned to be frictionally received within the at least two through-openings for selectively sealing the through-openings.

It is preferred that the through-openings are on opposite sides of the pouring cap.

The method also includes placing the circular pouring cap and the corks into a bag. The method then includes providing the bag for the Mason jar for retail sale. Preferably, the bag with the circular pouring caps and the corks are attached to the Mason jar for retail sale.

In one aspect, the method also includes the steps of: unscrewing the screw-type ring from the upper end of the Mason jar; removing the blank circular cap from the upper end of the Mason jar; placing the circular pouring cap onto the upper end of the Mason jar; screwing the screw-type ring onto the upper end of the Mason jar; and pouring the ethanol from the Mason jar and through one of the through-openings into a beverage container.

The method may further include drinking the ethanol from the beverage container. Thereafter, the corks may be secured in the through-openings for later use.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

So that the manner in which the present invention can be better understood, certain illustrations, charts and/or flow charts are appended hereto. It is to be noted, however, that the drawings illustrate only selected embodiments of the inventions and are therefore not to be considered limiting of scope, for the inventions may admit to other equally effective embodiments and applications.

FIG. 1A is an exploded perspective view of a Mason jar having a two-piece lid.

FIG. 1B is an exploded view of an interchangeable pouring cap of the present invention, in one embodiment. Corks are shown exploded away from the cap.

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of a bag as may be used as a package for holding the pouring cap and corks of FIG. 1B.

FIG. 3 is a view of a mason jar with a ring threadedly coupled to the upper end of the mason jar and securing the circular pouring cap to the upper end of the jar.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

OF CERTAIN EMBODIMENTS Definitions

As used herein, the term “Mason jar” means a translucent or transparent liquid container having a mouth with external threads and a rim, and configured to receive a threaded band or ring for tightening down on a cap and sealing the jar.

Discussion of Specific Embodiments

FIG. 1A is an exploded view of a Mason jar 110 having a two-piece lid 120/130. FIG. 1B is an exploded view of an interchangeable pouring cap 140 of the present invention, in one embodiment. Corks 150 are shown exploded away from the cap 140.

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of a bag 160 as may be used as a package for holding the pouring cap 140 and corks 150 of FIG. 1B. Preferably, the bag 160 is a transparent bag. However, it may alternatively be fabricated from something more elegant such as velvet.

Together, the components of FIGS. 1A, 1B and 2 make up a liquid dispensing system, collectively numbered at 100.

The mason jar 110 serves as a liquid container. The liquid is preferably a distilled spirit, but it may alternatively be a juice or other non-carbonated beverage. The liquid is most preferably a grain-based spirit containing ethanol. Examples include vodka, bourbon, whisky, and so-called “moonshine” or “white lightnin\'.” The alcoholic liquid may include any of a fruit, a spice, a nut, a grain, a charcoal, rum, or other flavoring.

The liquid container 110 has a base 112 and an open upper end 114 forming a mouth. The liquid container 110 further has external threads 115 at the mouth 114. Preferably, the liquid container 110 is a so-called Mason jar.

The system 100 also has a screw-type ring, or band 130. The ring 130 has an open interior 135. The ring 130 is configured and dimensioned to be threadedly fastened or screwed onto the external threads 115 of the jar 110.

The system 100 further includes a blank circular cap 120. The cap 120 serves as a part of the lid for the Mason jar 110. The cap 120 has a circumferential sealing ring 122 and a solid center 125. The cap 120 has a diameter dimensioned to enclose the open upper end 114 of the jar 110, and to be sealed between the screw-type ring 130 and the upper end 114. An integral rubber ring on the underside of the blank circular cap 120 creates a hermetic seal to the jar.

The system 100 also has a circular pouring cap 140. The pouring cap 140 has a circumferential sealing ring 142 and a center 145. The pouring cap 140 has at least two through-openings 144 punched through the center 145 of the pouring cap 140. In one aspect, the through-openings 144 are formed using a punch press.

The circular pouring cap 140 also has a diameter dimensioned to enclose the open upper end 114 of the jar 110 and to be sealed between the screw-type ring 130 and the upper end 114. An integral rubber ring on the underside of the circular pouring cap 140 creates a hermetic seal to the jar. In this way, the blank circular cap 120 and the circular pouring cap 140 are interchangeable.

The system 100 further optionally has at least two corks 150. The corks 150 are dimensioned to be frictionally received within the respective at least two through-openings 144. In this way, the through-openings 144 are selectively sealed. The corks 150 may be fabricated, for example, from quercus suber or from a synthetic cork. Alternatively, the corks 150 may be fabricated from a synthetic elastomeric material.

A method for pouring an alcoholic liquid from a Mason jar is also provided herein.

The method first includes providing a Mason jar. The Mason jar may be designed in accordance with fluid container 110 and lid pieces 120/130 of FIG. 1A.

The method also includes providing a circular pouring cap. The pouring cap may be designed in accordance with pouring cap 140 described above in FIG. 1B.

The pouring cap 140 has at least two through-openings 144 punched through the pouring cap 140. It is preferred that the through-openings 144 are on opposite sides of the pouring cap 140. Further, the through-openings 144 have a diameter that is dimensioned to provide a stream of fluid when poured from the jar 110. The diameter is preferably “tuned” to ensure the cleanest stream. For a 750 ml jar, each of the through-openings may be between about 0.15 inches (3.81 mm) to 0.30 inches (7.62) in diameter but embodiments are not so limited.

It is noted that one through-opening may be designated as a pouring hole while the other through-opening may serve as an air hole. Further, the pouring cap 140 may use more than one through-opening as pour holes and more than one through-opening as air holes. In either case, for a 750 ml jar, it is preferred that the total area for the pour hole is about 0.05 in2.

The method further comprises providing corks. The corks may be in accordance with corks 150 of FIG. 1B. The corks 150 are dimensioned to be frictionally received within the at least two through-openings for selectively sealing the through-openings 144. The corks 150 are removed for pouring, and then inserted for storing.

The method also includes placing the circular pouring cap 140 and the corks 150 into a bag. The bag may be in accordance with illustrative bag 160 of FIG. 2. The method then includes providing the bag 160 for the Mason jar for retail sale. Preferably, the bag 160 with the circular pouring cap 140 and the corks 150 is attached to the Mason jar for retail sale. Alternatively, the bag 160 with its contents may be offered separately as a promotional item or for sale. Preferably, the bag 160 will contain brief instructions for the consumer along with branding information.

It is preferred that the Mason jar contains a fluid such as a distilled spirit, or ethanol. The ethanol may have a fruit flavoring added to it. Alternatively, the fluid may be a tea.

In one aspect, the method also includes the steps of: unscrewing the screw-type ring from the upper end of the Mason jar; removing the blank circular cap from the upper end of the Mason jar; placing the circular pouring cap onto the upper end of the Mason jar; screwing the screw-type ring onto the upper end of the Mason jar; and pouring the ethanol from the Mason jar and through one of the through-openings into a beverage container.

The method may further include drinking the ethanol from the beverage container. Thereafter, the corks may be secured in the through-openings for later use.

Under an alternative embodiment, the jar may be sold with the ring 130 securing both the cap 120 and the pouring cap 140 to the upper end 114 of the jar with the pouring cap 140 lying flush over the cap 120. Under this embodiment, a user may unscrew the ring 130 from the jar, remove the cap 120 and the pouring cap 140, separate the cap 120 from the pouring cap 140, place the pouring cap 140 back on the upper end 114 of the jar, and secure the ring 130 over the pouring cap 140 for dispensing the contained liquid. Alternatively, the method may include the step of filling the Mason jar with a liquid alcohol fit for human consumption.

While it will be apparent that the inventions herein described are well calculated to achieve the benefits and advantages set forth above, it will be appreciated that the inventions are susceptible to modification, variation and change without departing from the spirit thereof.



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stats Patent Info
Application #
US 20140072669 A1
Publish Date
03/13/2014
Document #
14019366
File Date
09/05/2013
USPTO Class
426/2
Other USPTO Classes
222545, 222546, 222130, 222/1
International Class
65D47/12
Drawings
4


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Dispensing System
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Food Or Edible Material: Processes, Compositions, And Products   Treatment Of Live Animal