Koozie Hacks: Upcycling Your Beer Koozies

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I can’t say “no” to a beer koozie. Even though I work in a brewery, and I have a box of 1,000 branded koozies next to my desk—I NEVER turn down a free koozie. It’s a problem.
Because these sexy tubes of neoprene and foam are so ubiquitous in my life (and probably in yours if you’re reading this), I’ve uncovered myriad uses for them in addition to that for which they were first invented.

Koozie hack #1: Protector for Miscellaneous Items

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Carrying easily bruised fruit around can be a challenge—unless you have a koozie. Koozies protect peaches, plums, tomatoes and more. There are few things sadder than cutting into that lunch avocado you’ve been toting around all morning to find mealy brown bruises where there should be velvety green delicious flesh. Am I right?

In truth, with a little duct tape (which we all also have a lot of, right?), you can tape up the holes and use a koozie to hold and protect spare change, jewelry, loose screws, or marbles. Ta-da!

Little known fact: Koozies are capable of spontaneous reproduction. Like bacteria or a Chucky doll movie.


Koozie hack #2: Oven Mitt or Pot Holder

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Not a camp stove, but a kitchen stove. Pro tip: keep fingers inside the koozie holes. Spicy pork sausage pairs well with IPA. Just saying.

We’ve all been camping and realized, usually when the water for the coffee is ready, that we forgot pot holders. And I can tell you from experience that bandannas don’t cut it for lifting a pot of boiling water off a camp stove. But koozies rock in this situation. Obviously, you have to watch out for the holes. I suggest double koozying if you’re lifting or touching something really hot.

Little known fact: you can wash koozies in the top rack of a dishwasher. Do not put them in your clothes dryer in case of meltage. Also, avoid microwaving them.


Koozie hack #3: Bike gloves

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Bonus points if your koozie glove matches your bike.

Who needs fancy shmancy bike gloves when you’re mountain biking? “Not I,” said the lazy dog. After your ride, of course, you can use your koozie bike gloves to protect and cool your summit beer—double trouble! Note that this works best if you cut the bottom of the koozie off.
You can also use koozie gloves to keep your hands sort of warm when taking photos in the cold. Or you can wear them dancing ala Michael Jackson. Where are my glitter koozies?
Another little known fact: The word “koozie” has sparked a number of trademark disputes.
While there are many words used to describe this important tool, koozie, like Kleenex, seems the most recognized and widespread usage. Other terms I’ve heard include cozy, beer hugger, and beer sleeve. I’ve engaged in more than one tipsy debate on the proper spelling of the word. Turns out, there isn’t one. So I’m right by default.


Koozie hack #4: Faucet Protector

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There’s a faucet under that there koozie. Yes, there are green leaves in the background, but remember, winter is coming.

Koozies aren’t just for summer anymore. Let’s pretend it’s winter, and there’s going to be another arctic blast. You need to protect your plumbing. Koozie to the rescue. The old-fashioned ‘80s-style foam koozies work best for this application.


Koozie hack #5: Bicycle Chain Guard

You’ll need scissors and some of those sticky-backed Velcro strips you can buy at the hardware store to make your own chain guard instead of buying one. Plus it will be cool if you get the branding in the right spot. I haven’t actually done this, but I’m sure it will work. Especially after you drink an “inspiration” beer.

Little known fact: Science says koozies protect your beer by both providing insulation and keeping condensation from forming on the outside of the can, which can increase the temperature of the nectar inside. Lesson of the day: always use a koozie for your shower beer. Yay science!


Koozie hack #6: Keep Non-Beer Cans Cold

I know it’s counter-intuitive, but you can use koozies to keep canned beverages other than beer cool—strange but true. There is canned coffee now. Forget Segways and Facebook—canned coffee is the most important invention of the 21st century.

Koozie word of warning: Despite the fact that the Aussies refer to koozies as “stubby holders,” do not, under any circumstances, attempt to use a koozie as a condom. You’re welcome.


Longtime journalist and beer writer Anne Fitten Glenn wrote the book “Asheville Beer: An Intoxicating History of Mountain Brewing.” She currently works as the beer communicatrix at Oskar Blues Brewery. Find her @brewgasm. Really.

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