By day I am a technology nerd. I spend long hours in front of a computer attempting to bend their stubborn tenacity to my programmer’s will. By virtue of spending so much time in virtual space I also tend to nearly fetishize new and clever technology. Thus it should it should not surprise those that know me best that I enjoy combining my love for inventive new technology with my night-time love of craft beer. You might be thinking, “How much technology can go into the consumption of beer in the first place?” The answer is actually a lot more than you might think. There will alway be a better mousetrap and today I plan to share three such items for your consideration.
- Kaufmann Mercantile’s Hermetus Bottle Opener & Resealer: There are an incredible number of openers or “church-keys” available to the beer enthusiast and they all have their merits and flaws. They also all solve the same, single problem. Namely they remove that tiny piece of metal between you and delicious, delicious beer. Whether it is key ring church-key with your favorite brewery’s logo, or a less portable but heftier model, or whether it is a lighter or the edge of a counter these all solve the same problem; opening a bottle. The Hermetus solves that problem splendidly. What makes this opener different is that also allows you to re-seal a beer once opened. For a traditional 12oz bottle this is nothing significant. If you can’t finish an American pint in a single sitting then you shouldn’t be drinking beer. But more and more breweries are shying away from the four-pack or the six-pack for seasonal or even more rare beers in favor for larger 750mL bottles. Sometimes cracking upon a sixteen dollar of a strong DIPA or barleywine means you don’t want to drink closer to three beers. Sometimes you want a pint and want to save the rest for another night. Yet this isn’t easily done. Unless you have the Hermetus Bottle Opener and Resealer. Once you pop the top and decide you are done with the bottle for the night just slide the opener over the top of the bottle until is wedges firmly into place. This locks the bottle tightly and helps preserve the freshness and carbonation of the beer. I picked up two of these openers myself and having opened a rare bottle in the fridge, sealed the top and returned three days later to a still quality beer. While it wasn’t at its peak carbonation it was still carbonated and tasted fine. The website boasts still highly drinkable beers after five days in the fridge. Considering that an open bottle can often be totally flat in a few hours this re-sealing technology increases the lifespan of opened beers dramatically. For anyone who has found themselves in the position of wanting to finish a big bottle of beer another night, this opener is for you. (If only it could suck out the air in the bottle, then it would be perfect.)
- Case Coolie: What is one of the most annoying aspects to taking beer on the go? If you said keeping it cool then you aren’t alone. One of the most intolerable things about taking beer to the beach, park, picnic, or sporting event is attempting to keep your beer in that perfectly cool temperature. If you are drinking disgusting domestic swill then keeping your beer ice-cold is critical to being able to ignore the putrid flavor of the yellowed rice water pouring down your throat. Personally I find the necessity of getting ice, attempting to maximize space for beer while maintaining optimal ice coverage to be an annoying problem. Combine this with adding ice weight to an already heavy plastic cooler which only leads to messy, heavy water when the ice melts. Why all the muss and fuss to process of wanting portable cold beer? The Case Coolie is an invention to prevent all that hassle. It is basically a thermal shield cover that you wrap around a case of beer as-is! You buy a cold case of beer, wrap it in a Case Coolie, and the coolie keeps your beer cold for “at least ten hours.” No ice, no cooler, and what’s more they even added a nice strap to make carrying a case all the easier. I haven’t gotten my hands on one but play with but if it turns out to be as awesome as advertised I would want a few sitting around for summer parties.
- Corkcicle’s Chillsner: While the Case Coolie is great for keeping a 30 pack of your favorite canned beer cold it doesn’t help keep that beer in your hand as cold as you’d want while you drink it. That poor exposed bottle, once separated from the chilly sanctuary within specially designed walls, on a hot summer’s day can begin to warm at an alarming rate. But there is of course elaborate technology for that as well; the Chillsner. Keep one of these in your freezer and after opening a beer place the stainless steel rod into your beer. A special thermal coolant gel will keep your beer warm while you drink. The rod is attached to an airtight seal that forces beer to drink through the opening at the top of the Chillsner. Thus you don’t have to remove the cooling agent while you drink the beer. You can drink directly from the Chillsner while it covers the opening of your bottle. Sure it might look a little funny and seem a little silly but when your beer is still frigid long after your friends are drinking sun warmed lager you’ll seem like the smart one. While this might be a little extravagant for a single beer a solution to a first world problem for the enthusiastic drinker who wants the first sip of beer to be as nice as the last drop, this might just be something to consider.
Now that I’ve added a few new items for the beer drinkers utility belt I can only hope that you maximize the quality of your drinking experiences with a few, inexpensive yet handy tools. When you spend good money for a for a fine craft beer you want to enjoy every last bit of that investment. What’s wrong with spending a little more to make sure each mouthful of nectar is exactly as the gods intended? Not a damn thing.