look what we did!

Category: 2014 Polyurethane Technical Conference, Appliances

Mike Robb (left) and Tom “Ozzy” Osborne, co-creaters of Beer Blizzard, shared how polyurethanes can keep your beer ice cold.

How can polyurethanes keep your beer or soda cold?

Mike Robb, the co-creator of Beer BlizzardTM, knows the answer. Learn more about Mike’s beverage innovation and how he incorporated durable polyurethanes below:

Q. Can you explain Cold Can Innovations’ Beer BlizzardTM and how did the idea happen?

A. Tom Osbourne (co-creator of Beer BlizzardTM) and I were at a hunting camp in West Virginia. We were sitting around drinking beer and it was hot outside. I noticed that all beer cans all had the same size regardless of brand so I decided to try something out. I turned the beer cans upside down in the freezer and then poured water in the indents of the bottom that were now facing up. I put a piece of cellophane over that and then let it sit. The water froze in a dome shape at the bottom of each beer can. I made about five of them and everyone loved them. Then I grabbed some joint compound and we smashed it into the cans and make hard molds that way.

Sometime later, I noticed that the gel insoles in my hunting boots had frozen after being left outside. I thought that might help with this idea of keeping beers colder. I went to the drugstore and bought some gel soles and cut them open, mixed up the gel in a bowl and then sucked it up with a syringe. I inserted them in bottom of gel can and then I had the perfect shape. The shape was more uniform when using gel. The water I had used before at the hunting camp wouldn’t always sit flat.

My friends and neighbors started keeping and using them. We went to a manufacturer that specializes in radiofrequency wielding and the material they recommended is thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) because it’s non-toxic and very durable. When you use the liquid in between weldings you can do it in a way so that nothing leaks.

Q. Did anything in particular inspire you?

A. I just hate hot beer. Everyone does. A coozie doesn’t make your beer cool. I thought why not design something that fits in the indentation of each can to make it colder and it works. I love that you can get any color in TPU, it doesn’t seem to wear out. It’s a very durable product and cost effective and that helps us stay in business. 

Q. Your product will improve the quality of icy cold beverages for a lot of consumers. What is the most exciting about innovating a product a like this?

A. The international demand has been really exciting. People all over the world love it and buy it. Someone in Stockholm, Sweden just emailed to say how much they love it. We get a lot of emails every day from international fans.

Q. What was the biggest challenge you overcame?

A. The logistics of getting our shipping coordination down. We have several hundred sales and need to do mass distribution. From our hands to the customer is the biggest challenge.

Q. What is the next step after Beer BlizzardTM?

A. We’ve started another company called Stay Cold that will sell the same product as BeerBlizzard. Some languages don’t have a word for “blizzard” so Stay Cold will be sold with a more international focus because of that language gap.

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