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The History of the Beer Sleeve

The Beer Sleeve has been a staple in the lives of many cold beer enjoyers for decades.  These magical insulators come in countless styles and go by numerous names, but do you know the history of this much adored drink partner?

Surfing Lessons

The saga of the Beer Sleeve creation is a little bit hazy but most experts agree that one of the first uses happened in Australia.  Legend has it that on a sweltering hot and sunny day in the summer of 1974, a thirsty group of surfers stopped for some ice cold beers.  Realizing that their ice was diminishing fast and their favorite stubby bottles of beer were heating up, panic ensued!

One of these sun tanned heroes came to the rescue.  Using an old, wore out neoprene wet suit, this genius cut out an oblong length of the 1/4 inch material and wrapped it around his beer.  Boom!  The first Beer Sleeve known now as a Stubby Holder was born.  The creativity and ingenuity of these surfers paved the way for a whole new industrial revolution that exploded in the 1980s. The Australian man, Shane Walsh, has been attributed with the invention of the Stubby Holder.


In 1981, another hero emerges.  Bonnie McGough of Cadwell, Idaho filed a patent for a "Cozy." The design had "means for providing an insulated cylindrical jacket for cold beverage cans." Her design was the forefront and inspiration for many of the Beer Sleeves that would follow.

As the word spread, companies started to see merit in these "Cozies" as an advertising tool.  A promo supplier in Texas, Radio Cap Corporation (RCC), saw the value and bought the trademark for "Koozie"  The Koozie boom took off and sales went from $200,000 to over 40 Million! Koozies were used to advertise everything from banks to funeral homes.


Let's tip our hats to another forward thinker and innovator,  Scott Henderson. In 1987 he filed the patent for the legendary style of collapsible Koozie. Scott and the team at Canhandlers led the way for easy back pocket kooz transportation and for this reason we salute you!

With all these patents and trademarks going around, Beer Sleeves have been called various names and in 2001 RCC's patent on the name "Koozie" expired and is now owned by "BIC Graphic"  They are still going strong with their line of KOOZIES 


But do they work?  In 2013, a team of scientists from The National Center for Atmospheric Research and The National Science foundation proved that they do!  The study, which you can find in Physics Today, shows that Beer Sleeves work by keeping condensation off of the can. Just tossing a sleeve on your beer can keep it 50% colder and 87% more refreshing.

In the ever expanding world of Beer Sleeves, the innovation and creativity of some of the new insulators on the market are astounding.  From built in Bluetooth speakers to LED lights, the quest for your next insulator can be an exciting adventure.


The Beer Sleeve deserves to be celebrated and we are excited to take part in "International Beer Sleeve Day!" This special occasion happens on the third Saturday of July.  Raise a Brewski Blazer with us!



George Shantz

CEO Brewski Blazers


Country Shore, “5 Things We Bet You Didn’t Know About Koozie

Eaton, Scott, ImagePak, “A Brief History of Stubby Holders”

Davarni, “A History of Stubby Holders or Stubby Coolers.”

Tales Of Cocktail Foundation, Clair McLafferty"How the koozie came to be"

Quality Logo Products, Alyssa Mertes: "History of Koozies"

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