Drink Koozies: etsy.com

Koozies have a long and somewhat blurry history that can be traced back to the mid-20th century. For the most part, it is widely believed that the first koozies were created in the 1950s by the Bonnie Doon Engineering Company, based in California.

That’s according to one theory.

Another popular theory attributes the invention of the koozie to a man named Alex Smith, an engineer for the American Can Company in the 1960s. In this version of the Koozie origin story, Smith invented a device that could be placed on the bottom of a beer can to keep it stable. He then added a foam sleeve to the device to help keep beer cold and insulate the can. This device eventually became known as the “Styrofoam Can Cooler.”

Koozie: Imprint.com
Koozie: Imprint.com

Regardless of which theory holds the most weight, koozies have become widely popular and ubiquitous in American culture. If you’re in doubt, look around you the next time you’re at a company picnic or a wedding reception. Notice those colorful, customizable sleeves on almost everyone’s beer can? That’s the koozie: America’s favorite beer companion.

Koozies are made from foam-like materials designed to fit snugly around a can, bottle, mason jar, what have you. The purpose of the koozie is to insulate your beverage and keep your drink colder for long periods of time. This is especially useful during outdoor activities like picnics, barbecues, and sporting events.

Over time, the koozies has evolved into a popular promotional item for companies looking to advertise their brand.

Names for Koozies and Can Coolers

Koozies are known by a ridiculously wide variety of names, depending on the region or the materials they are made from.

Here are some common alternative names for koozies to help you keep up:

  • Can coolers
  • Beer sleeve
  • Drink insulator
  • Bottle jacket
  • Beverage holder
  • Can huggie
  • Drink sleeve
  • Beer cozy
  • Can sleeve

These names all refer to the same basic item: a sleeve or holder designed to insulate and keep your beverage chill for long stretches of time.

Timeline of the Koozie

Here’s a handy timeline of how the koozie came to be as we know it today:







1950s: The Bonnie Doon Engineering Company, based in California, is believed to have invented the first koozie. These early koozies were made of foam and were designed to fit snugly around a standard 12-ounce can.








Can Cooler: Imprint.com
Can Cooler: Imprint.com




1960s: Alex Smith, an engineer for the American Can Company, invents a device that can be placed on the bottom of a can to stabilize it and prevent spills. He later adds a foam sleeve to the device to help insulate the can and keep the drink colder for extended periods of time. This device eventually becomes known as the “Styrofoam Can Cooler.”







70s Theme Birthday Party Huggers: etsy.com



1970s: The koozie’s design is updated and popularized by the marketing efforts of the Bonnie Doon Engineering Company. These efforts include giving away free foam can coolers to customers.







Personalized Can Cooler, Vintage 1983: etsy.com





1980s: Koozies become a popular promotional item, with many companies printing their logos or messages on them and using them as giveaways at events.









Custom 90s Themed Bachelorette Koozie: etsy.com
Bachelorette Koozie: etsy.com




1990s: The popularity of koozies continues to grow, with new materials like neoprene and fabric being used now to make them. Koozies also become available in a wider range of sizes to fit different types of beverage containers.










Baby Shower Koozie: Imprint.com
Baby Shower Koozie: Imprint.com



2000s: The rise of e-commerce and custom printing services makes it easier for individuals and small businesses to create their own custom koozies. Koozies also become more personalized and expressive, with many featuring unique designs or quirky sayings.








Branded Koozie: Imprint.com
Branded Koozie: Imprint.com



Present Day: Koozies remain a popular item for keeping drinks cold and promoting brands and businesses, with many different designs, materials, and customization options available. They are used at a wide variety of events, from backyard barbecues to major sporting events, and have become an ubiquitous item in American culture.


The Koozie® Trademark

The term “koozie” is a trademarked brand name owned by Norwood Promotional Products, LLC. The trademark was first registered in 1980 and is still in force today. The koozie trademark is for the design and manufacture of insulated beverage holders made from foam, neoprene, or other materials.


While many people use the term “koozie” to refer to any type of insulated beverage holder, the term is technically a registered trademark that applies specifically to products made by Norwood Promotional Products. Thankfully, Norwood has been permissive in allowing the term to be used generically and has not aggressively enforced its trademark rights.

It’s worth noting that there are many other companies that produce similar beer koozie products under different brand names, such as “can coolers,” “can holders,” or “beer sleeves.” While these products may function similarly to koozies, they are not technically covered by the koozie trademark.

Norwood and Kustom Koozies

Norwood and Kustom Koozies are two of the biggest brands when it comes to koozies. Both companies specialize in customized koozies, creating koozies for both for promotional or personal use. Here are some key differences between the two:


Custom Koozie: dirtycoast.com

Norwood Koozies

Norwood is a large promotional products company that offers a wide range of customizable items, including koozies. Their koozies are available in a variety of materials: foam, neoprene, and polyester. They can be customized with a logo, message, or design.








Koozie® Collapsible Can Kooler: kooziegroup.com

Kustom Koozies®

Kustom Koozies, on the other hand, is a smaller, family-owned business that specializes in creating custom koozies. While not as huge as Norwood, their can coolers offer the same benefits. They are made from neoprene, which is a high-quality insulating material, and they offer a variety of design templates to choose from.







Ultimately, the choice between Norwood and Kustom Koozies will depend on your specific needs and preferences.


How do Koozies Keep Your Beer Cold?

Koozies work their magic by providing a layer of insulation between your hand and the beverage container, as well as reducing the amount of contact the container has with the surrounding warm air. This insulation helps to keep the beverage colder for longer by preventing heat transfer between your hand and the container, at the same time reducing the amount of heat that can be absorbed from the environment.

What then a Stubby Holder?

Stubby Holder: https://ranchlands.com/products/stubby-holder



A stubby holder is a type of beverage insulator or cooler commonly used in Australia and New Zealand to keep beer bottles or cans cold. The term “stubby” is Australian slang for a 375ml beer bottle which is shorter and wider than a standard 12 oz bottle used in the United States. Beyond this small distinction, however, these beverage insulators have the exact same job as stubby holders: keeping your drinks cool.


Where can I Find Koozies, Stubby Holders and Can Coolers?

So you’ve arrived at the pretty sensible conclusion that you need a koozie. And not just any koozie, but one that has your personal twist to it. Or perhaps you want one for your business, your wedding, any special occasion really. Imprint offers so many options for affordable, high-quality customizable koozies.

Get on it!


Baird, Sarah. (2015, Aug. 6). “A Brief History of America’s Favorite Beer Companion, the Koozie.” Retrieved April 13, 2023, from https://www.eater.com/drinks/2015/8/6/9109317/a-brief-history-of-americas-favorite-beer-companion-the-koozie

Craftjacks. “The Koozie® vs Coozie vs Cozy Argument.” Retrieved April 13, 2023, from

Swann, Cody. (2014, April 24). “5 Things We Bet You Didn’t Know About KOOZIES®.” Retrieved April 13, 2023, from

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