What is a Beer Koozie – And Why Your Beer Needs One
So your curiosity has peaked and you want to know What is a beer koozie?. Well, believe it or not, a beer koozie is more than just some sort of foam beer-cover that is often handed out at festivals or trade shows as a marketing ploy.
In this article, we are not only going to go into the history of how these little beer jackets came about, but also let your in on the koozie secrets of all secrets! The proof is in the pudding when it comes to why your beer needs some form of a koozie. So pop open a cold one and by the end of this you’ll definitely want to wrap that sucker up with more than just your sock (no judgment).
The History of a Beer Koozie
By definition, the word “koozie” is trademarked as an insulating sleeve to keep a bottled or canned drink cold. However, it was not always known as a “koozie.” Dating back to the late 1800s, Europeans would use knitted fabric to keep their tea kettle warm for their afternoon tea gatherings. We guarantee that you would not hear two proper ladies of society saying “be a dear and fetch me my kettle koozie.” Although that would be pretty hilarious and would have definitely changed the image we have of a koozie now.
Fortunately, or unfortunately, however you want to look at it, the word “koozie” for beer came long after the 1800s. In fact, the first developer of a contraption to keep beer cold was Alex Lang from Australia in the mid-1970s with his creation of a “stubby holder.” It was named so because of the shape of the beers in Australia.
Then in 1981, an Idaho woman named Bonnie McGough patented an “insulated drink cozy” for use “with cold drinking utensils such as a 12-ounce beverage can.” It was not long after Bonnie’s patent that the Koozie craze took off! Almost in sync with Bonnie’s patent, the Texas-based corporation Radio Cap began their mass production of a koozie like an apparatus for cold beverages.
Although their original formation of the koozie was clunky and cumbersome, people fell over themselves to get their hands on one. It also became a huge appeal to businesses who saw a huge opportunity to capitalize on this fad.
Today, after a drawn-out legal battle for the “koozie” name, it is officially owned by BIC, the pen-and-lighter company.
What is a Beer Koozie Made Of
The evolution of the beer koozies we are familiar with today have come a long way from where it began. As mentioned before, insulation to keep tea warm was in the form of knitted material. After that, it went through several adaptations until the neoprene ones we all have stashed away in a random kitchen drawer and they are still being adapted. In recent years the koozie can be called a beer insulator and has been upgraded to a stainless steel insulated bottle rocket if your will.
If your beer gets too warm it can actually give the beer a cardboard flavor
Although we may not have captured them all (who’s got that kind of time), below is a list of some materials known that were used in making insulating beverages sleeves.
Leather with straps
StyroFoam / Multi-Use Foam
The Secret Truth of a Beer Koozie
For those of you who actually read the article thus far, here is where you get what we initially promised; the koozie secret of all koozies! You see, most people (us included) believed that beer koozies were meant to keep your beer from getting too hot and/or keep your hands from getting too cold or from slipping around from the water drops that accumulated while you enjoyed your hoppy beverage. While those are all true benefits from having a beer koozie, it’s not the main reason koozies were invented in the first place.
“Everybody’s got to believe in something. I believe I’ll have another beer.” – W.C. Fields
According to the University of Washington Professor Pale Duran, the most important function a beer koozie has is to keep the condensation from forming on the outside of it (UW, 2013). It’s the condensation that is the real enemy of changing the way you enjoy beer. Those little devils can actually adjust the temperature of your beer, making it taste different than the brewers actually intended it to taste. If your beer gets too warm it can actually give the beer a cardboard flavor (yes we’ve all eaten cardboard at least once as a child) as it becomes oxidized. The same goes if your beer gets to the point of freezing or just about; it can mute the aromas and taste just bland.
I know, we’re blowing your mind right now but what did I tell you, the secret of all koozies secrets! If you’re still holding that beer, we’ve got two suggestions for you. One either get yourself a koozie that actually does the job better than your sock or DRINK FASTER silly!
A Beer Koozie That is Right for You
With the hot summer days and nothing to do (thanks COVID-19), I’d imagine most of us are gulping down our crafty hops or domestic goodness like the brewers are going to run out. However, unless you’re chugging suds from your keg-o-rater, those condensation drops will still get you and your need to wrap your beer up.
Honestly, any type of beer koozie is better than nothing because it will keep those little condensation enemies out and keep your beer tasting good. However, if you are a slow drinker and want your beer to stay cold for at least 20-30 minutes, you might need to invest in a beer insulator. I myself have been known to take my time drinking beer (like I am driving Miss Daisy) and I would end up wasting a lot if I didn’t have something to keep it cold for at least 30 minutes. Soon I will release my personal favorites of insulators that keep your beer cold the longest, but for now, I suggest you put a koozie on that beer of yours that works better than your sock (even if it’s bedazzled).
Then as you are sipping on some delicious hops your can do some buzzed retail therapy and get yourself a collection of all the beer insulators. Although I am mostly kidding, I would recommend first identifying what kind of beer drinker you are (social or solo), how fast your drink your beer (like a bad habit on fire or a three-legged turtle), and then do some research (cost vs value). There are plenty of options out there and the best one is the one you’ll use the most!
One Koozie At a Time
Beer sleeves have come a long way but their intention has remained the same, to keep beer insulated so that it keeps its great taste. I’m sure even before the scientist revealed just how important insulated beer huggers were, people, figured out that warm beer, that is not meant to be ingested warm, just tastes like piss! That was most likely their reason for the insulation creation in the first place.
Now that you’ve learned all about “What is a beer koozie,” it’s time your stop reading and get to drinking (or more drinking) with your favorite beer protected with its new super chill Koozie!
Check out our best koozies of 2020 here What is the best beer koozie? – The gift that keeps on giving