by Leigh Beadon

Filed Under:
awesome stuff

Awesome Stuff: Bottoms Up!

from the it's-that-time dept

I know that for our California readers, "patio season" is flexible and its boundaries a matter of taste — but for many of us, and especially here in Toronto, it's a pretty limited window — and it's just starting to open up. With that in mind, here are some crowdfunded projects that aim to solve some of the age old problems of the nice cold one:

The Hop Top

Unlike most drinks, it's pretty imperative that you finish a beer soon after opening it, lest it go flat and stale. That's no huge challenge with the average bottle, but becomes a bigger concern if you've picked up a half-gallon growler of something special. The Hop Top seeks to offer a solution, and not in the form of a plain old cork: it's a two-stage regulator cap that allows you to suck out beer-spoiling oxygen and establish the perfect storage pressure with CO2.

Ice Gold

Recently, so-called "whiskey stones" — stone cubes to be chilled and used in place of ice in whiskey and other spirits, to bring down the temperature without watering down the drink — enjoyed a brief surge of popularity. Unfortunately, as great as the idea sounds, most people who tried them rated them somewhere between "barely useful" and "completely ineffective", which isn't surprising if you crunch the heat-conductivity numbers. But surely there's a better way to accomplish the same thing? According to Ice Gold, there sure is: phase change material encased in steel, further encased in 24-karat gold. They aint cheap, but they seem much more likely to work (and for those who wanted whiskey stones as a statement of style and sophistication... well...)

The ColdCan

The traditional way to keep a drink cold under the summer sun is to keep it in an insulated foam shell or "koozie", possibly one emblazoned with the logo of a sports team and acquired via beer company promotion. At best, these gimmicks will buy you a few extra minutes of cold beer goodness before caving in the face of entropy, which is why the ColdCan aims to update them. The key ingredient? Cryogel, aka silica aerogel, the insulating substance used in space suits and the Mars rover. Yes, it's time to dust off that old marketing hook of "space age technology" and wrap it around your beverage.

Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1. identicon
    Jake, May 10th, 2014 @ 1:42pm

    The Hop Top strikes me as only mildly useful outside of the trade; half a gallon is what, four and a half English pints?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2. icon
    charliebrown (profile), May 10th, 2014 @ 5:22pm


    ColdCan TM? Isn't that a description? Or is "ColdCan" allowed to be trademarked whereas "Cold Can" would not?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3. identicon
    Jack, May 10th, 2014 @ 7:15pm

    Re: Trademark?

    You can't trademark descriptive words like "Cold" and "Can". You can trademark a phrase of descriptive words, if you sign a waiver with the USPTO that you have no right to the individual word trademarks. So "Fiji Water" has no right to the words Fiji or Water, but they can trademark Fiji Water as a total brand name. Unusually, no other water from Fiji can be U.S. trademarked with the name "Fiji" as part of the brand. It's rumored that someone got a big payoff at the USPTO on that one...

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4. identicon
    Beersnob, May 11th, 2014 @ 1:39am

    "traditional beer cooling"

    A koozie is hardly traditional. The Bavarians developed a much better way of keeping their beer cool in the Biergartens generations ago. A low tech ceramic mug insulates well and keep the sun's rays out of the beer and, since Biergartens are usually set up under tree cover, a hinged lid on the mug to keep falling leaves and debris out of the drink. If you don't glaze the mug, it even allows the beer to sweat, further helping to keep it cool.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5. identicon
    Lawrence D’Oliveiro, May 11th, 2014 @ 5:07am

    Or, Make Your Own ...

    ... with the BrewPi.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6. icon
    John Fenderson (profile), May 11th, 2014 @ 7:51am


    Growlers are all the rage these days in the pacific northwest. There's a rather large potential market.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7. identicon
    Jake, May 11th, 2014 @ 10:47am

    Re: Re:

    I think you slightly missed my point. From personal experience, it takes at least an hour and a half for beer to go flat and nasty in an open bottle. Now, I'm not an especially heavy drinker by local standards, but I reckon one pint every half an hour is about typical for my intake on a typical evening at the bar.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8. icon
    Leigh Beadon (profile), May 11th, 2014 @ 11:39am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Yeah but the growler trend (which admittedly I'm not a part of, but the cap looks neat) appears to be more about buying something nice that you don't necessarily drink all at once, even if it's just a matter of having a pint tonight with dinner and one again tomorrow.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9. icon
    Leigh Beadon (profile), May 11th, 2014 @ 11:41am

    Re: "traditional beer cooling"

    Not all traditions are ancient! Maybe this is my Canadianness showing, but foam beer koozies with hockey team logos on them are definitely a tradition :)

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10. identicon
    Michael, May 12th, 2014 @ 5:33am

    Re: Re: "traditional beer cooling"

    They also protect the can in the event of a car accident.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11. icon
    John Fenderson (profile), May 12th, 2014 @ 8:23am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    That's right. My wife is very much into growlers (I don't drink beer, myself). She uses them like this -- a growler lasts her three days or so. It lets her have really nice, special microbrews without having to make a trip to the brewery every day.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

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