2020 Beer Swap Project- Beer Koozie

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Project by BenM posted 09-29-2020 04:43 AM 647 views 1 time favorited 10 comments Add to Favorites Watch

For my beer swap project, I was inspired by my biggest issue when drinking beer in the shop: I take two sips, get focused on the task at hand, then return to a warm beer. I could have just sent my recipient controlfreak a normal beer koozie, but that wasn’t nearly elaborate or unnecessarily complicated enough. Instead I decided to make him a Styrofoam-lined, wooden, one-beer cooler that works with bottles or cans. The box itself is made from 3/4 walnut sides with a maple inlay and ambrosia maple for the top & bottom. The opening for the can was made with a 3” hole saw and then rounded over.

I lined all sides of the interior with .75” Styrofoam. I used a greased, sacrificial can as a mold and filled the rest of the interior with Loctite insulation foam (denser and whiter than the typical Great Stuff brand).

Once hardened, this was trimmed flush. The top opening was then lined with door-jam insulation foam strips with the hopes of creating a tighter seal, especially for bottles. The box was then finished with a French cleat for wall-mounting, as from my research I knew my recipient had plenty in his shop.

Lastly I made a bottle opener that uses a coin for the pry surface. I based it on WWGOA plans that use a quarter, but the size of the quarter requires some crazy forstner bit size no one has. I got a good fit with a penny, but ultimately went with a 20 cent Euro coin I had laying around because it was thicker and I liked the look more. Two small rare earth magnets in the box and one in the handle allow the bottle opener to hang from the side. The bottel opener and box are both finished with Walrus oil and paste wax.

I had a blast designing and making this project, almost matched by the fun of researching and trying out the local beers to send with it. The final list was a good variety of great SoCal breweries, several of which are very close to me: “Double Actuator” DIPA (Bottle Logic Brewing Co), “Goses are Red” syrah-infused sour (The Bruery), “Mocha Machine” imperial coffee chocolate porter (Beachwood Brewing, “Kook” DIPA (Pizza Port), (Blooming Rollers IPA and Fortunate Islands Tropical IPA (Modern Times).

-- -Ben, Fullerton, CA " It is not from ourselves that we learn to be better than we are." -Wendell Berry

10 comments so far

View EarlS's profile


4009 posts in 3231 days

#1 posted 09-29-2020 11:27 AM

Brilliant idea, well executed and I’m sure, the envy of many of us that were in the beer swap. This is another one of those “huh, why didn’t I think of that?” projects.

I know I’ll be making one for the shop.

-- Earl "I'm a pessamist - generally that increases the chance that things will turn out better than expected"

View JD77's profile


88 posts in 572 days

#2 posted 09-29-2020 11:43 AM

I’m guessing we will be seeing a few of these made over the next year. Great job, Ben.


View pottz's profile


11711 posts in 1867 days

#3 posted 09-29-2020 02:23 PM

thats probably the most unique beer cozy ive ever seen.nice work ben.

-- working with my hands is a joy,it gives me a sense of fulfillment,somthing so many seek and so few find.-SAM MALOOF.

View ralbuck's profile


6598 posts in 3149 days

#4 posted 09-29-2020 03:54 PM

Very well designed and finished project!

You also added to the stability—so less spillage when accidently moved looking for the thing he just had in his hand 30 seconds ago too!

-- Wood rescue is good for the environment and me! just rjR

View jeffswildwood's profile


4643 posts in 2860 days

#5 posted 09-29-2020 07:55 PM

Very nice buddy! I like the foam lining. That’s thinking creative!

-- We all make mistakes, the trick is to fix it in a way that says "I meant to do that".

View hunter71's profile


3536 posts in 4070 days

#6 posted 09-29-2020 11:18 PM

2 handed drink holder?

-- A childs smile is payment enough.

View grovemadman's profile


724 posts in 4655 days

#7 posted 09-30-2020 04:06 AM

Very Cool!

-- "It is the job of the woodworker to hide his mistakes and keep a tight set of lips about them!"--Chuck

View controlfreak's profile (online now)


1295 posts in 484 days

#8 posted 09-30-2020 11:39 AM

And here it is in it’s new habitat. It works very well and looks awesome. Thanks again Ben!

View duckmilk's profile


4362 posts in 2208 days

#9 posted 09-30-2020 11:53 PM

Great idea Ben! Very creative.

-- "Duck and Bob would be out doin some farming with funny hats on." chrisstef

View BenM's profile


65 posts in 683 days

#10 posted 10-07-2020 03:50 AM

Thanks everyone for the kind comments and positive feedback. It was a lot of fun to design and execute, although those swap deadlines loom pretty bug at the end. And again controlfreak I’m glad you like it and can put it to good use! For anyone planning to make their own I had the idea (came to me at the very end during finishing, as these things do) that you could make a version with a hinged lid and a space to put an ice pack in and get some active cooling. Not sure when Ill get around to making myself one, so just throwing it out there for others.

-- -Ben, Fullerton, CA " It is not from ourselves that we learn to be better than we are." -Wendell Berry

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