By: Deborah Johnson Wood
When Saugatuck homebrewer Mark Young and his wife Bridget planned a fiesta at their home last year, they didn’t want to deal with the usual hassle of keeping kegs of Mark’s beer cold—buying and hauling dozens of bags of ice, salt, giant containers and cleaning up the messy runoff from melting ice. There had to be a better way to keep the beer cold. But there wasn’t. So they invented one.
They bought a neoprene wet suit on eBay, cut it up and took it to a neighbor to sew into three prototype “sleeves” to fit over the kegs. Then they put the sleeves on the kegs and kept the beer cold without any mess. KEGlove was born.
“On the market there weren’t any cooling devices the right size for homebrew kegs and everything required bagged ice and some other container,” Mark says.
The Youngs partnered with another company that makes a product called an ice blanket. The blanket folds into a small rectangle, customers freeze the blanket and slide it into the KEGlove sleeve before wrapping their kegs.
“The blanket keeps beverages at 41 degrees (Fahrenheit) for five hours with an ambient temperature of 75. After eight hours its 49 degrees,” Mark notes.
The Youngs have a patent pending on the KEGlove system, which includes the blanket and the sleeve.
KEGlove sells in stores in nine states and directly from the web site. It’s also offered as a private label item for beer distributors, homebrew supply stores, and microbreweries.
The company was a recent recipient of a $55,000 startup loan from the $1 million Lakeshore Advantage Seed Capital Fund.
Source: Mark Young, KEGlove
Deborah Johnson Wood is development news editor for Rapid Growth Media. She can be contacted at [email protected].