nICE Mug Kickstarter Promises a Perfectly Frosty Beer

That is one frosty mug of beer.
That is one frosty mug of beer.
Courtesy of the nICE Mug website.

Finding ways to combine beer drinking and freezing temperatures is practically a state pastime here in Minnesota. It's no surprise then that the guy behind nICE Mug's reusable frozen mugs is based in Minneapolis.

"This is a Minneapolis product -- born, bred, and developed," says Glenn Auerbach, the founder of nICE Mugs.

Auerbach has launched a Kickstarter to help finance production of his ice mug kits. So far, the Kickstarter has surpassed its original goal of $15,000 by $4,000.

See also: The state of Minnesota Beer

The nICE Mug kits are modeled after the way water freezes in nature, something Auerbach noticed one winter night. He poured out a bucket of partially frozen water, and saw that the ice coating the inside of the bucket was thicker at the base and thinner along the sides. His next thought, naturally, was how to drink beer out of it.

nICE Mug Kickstarter Promises a Perfectly Frosty Beer
Courtesy of the nICE Mug website.

Using food grade reusable plastic, Auerbach created a mold that mimicked the shape he found in the bucket that night. Add a little water to the nICE Mug mold, pop it in the freezer, and -- voila! -- an icy drinking vessel is at your fingertips.

As for your fingertips, they're insulated from the ice by a small holder that fits onto the base of the mug. A small sponge in the bottom of this holder also collects any water from the melting ice. According to the nICE Mug website, a mug will last anywhere from 5 minutes to 30 minutes, depending on how well frozen it is. A cloudy ice mug with a lot of air bubbles is doomed to drip, while a clear mug might make it through multiple refills. The advice when and if your mug springs a leak is about what you might expect: Drink!

A kit includes two molds and four holders.
A kit includes two molds and four holders.
Courtesy of the nICE Mug website.

To create a perfectly clear mug that will last 30 minutes, Auerbach instructs nICE Mug molders to use a top-down freezing method. After ten years researching the perfect freezing methods in his own backyard, he found the ideal, air-bubble-free ice mug comes about the same way a crystal clear lake freezes in winter.

"When water freezes from the top down, it forces air bubbles to the bottom," he says. "I trick the freeze process and simulate what Minnesota winter does to water."

There's been a lot of buzz lately about the use of Kickstarters by for-profit endeavors, particularly after the Travail Kickstarter annihilated its fundraising goal in a matter of hours. Auerbach isn't shaken.

"Whether for profit or non profit, [Kickstarter users] want to bring their vision to the people," he says. "It takes a lot of money to make the tooling that makes the nICE Mug molds. I need to spread that cost around in order to move forward."

Each nICE Mug kit comes with two mug molds and four mug holders. Once they hit the market, the kits will run you $30, but if you contribute at least $25 to the Kickstarter, you get one as a gift.

For more information, check out the nICE Mug website.

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