Self-chilling beer can

British can expect to see cans that cool with a twist by summer

Apr 29, 2004 - A self-cooling beer can that chills beer to only a few degrees above freezing is headed for British retail shelves this summer.


Tempra Technology has signed a deal with the firm that makes cans for Britain's biggest brewer Bass, Heineken, Coke, Pepsi and Budweiser. Instant Cool (IC) cans should be available by July.

"It's brilliantly simple," said Barney Guarino, head of Florida-based Tempra. "There have been attempts before but we are not aware of a successful mass-produced self-chilling product. This is it. It's finally here."

He said the cans will coast 10 to 20p more, but expects prices to drop as demand grows. "It's similar to what people pay at a vending machine compared to a supermarket. Our research shows they won't mind paying for this. It works and it's safe," he said.

The IC Can works by using water evaporation. The top half is surrounded by a layer of watery gel. The base contains a water-absorbing material in a vacuum, and a special heat-absorbing chamber.

When the bottom is twisted, a seal between the two halves is broken. The vacuum draws the gel, and the heat, into the base. The gel is absorbed by the material, the heat is absorbed by the chamber - and the drink gets cold.

Not all brewers are lining up for the product. A spokesman for Scottish Courage, which brews beers including Foster's, Kronenbourg and John Smith's, said it would be unlikely to use the system at the present time. "The price premium is a problem, but this is an area we are looking at for the future," he said.

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