From the HBD Archive
Subject: Wyeast's New Packages
Date: 1992-04-26 06:34:00 GMT

Well, I just picked up a package of Irish Ale Yeast at my local brewing store
(Brewmasters in Rockville, MD...a great little place with >200 brands of
extract in stock), and the new package struck a very familiar note. I'm in the
US Air Force, and have been forced occasionally to subsist on "field rations"
once in a while. If you followed the Gulf War human interest stories, you
may know the new field rations (since about 1987) are called "MREs", short
for Meal, Ready to Eat. These replaced the "C" rations, which had been around
since WWII. The main difference is the MRE comes in envelopes, while the C
rats came in cans (hence, MREs are far lighter). MREs are also much more pal-
atable, but that's beside the point. The main dish (scalloped potatoes with
ham, my personal favorite, or chicken ala king, etc., etc.) is in an olive
drab foil pouch. The rest of the meal is in other plastic and foil pouches
of similar blend-in-with-trees colors, and the whole thing is in a large
plastic bag.
Getting back to the point, the Wyeast package is PRECISELY the same as the
pouch in which the main dish of an MRE is packed. The same color, the same
double notches to tear it open on both sides, the same fabric-like pattern
from sealing all around, the same horizontal ridges in the bottom edge...the
only difference between the packages is the Wyeast label (which is stuck on).
So now we all know (or at least suspect) how Wyeast solved their packaging
problems...they copied the US military! Now if I can just get over the
flashbacks of cold "ham and cheese omelet" for supper. Can anyone at
Wyeast verify this? Was it intentional? The new packages work great, but
I never had a problem with the old one exploding, either.
- --Scott Welker

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