by Ian McNulty
The koozie is a practical tool in south Louisiana, where the handy beverage insulator is a staple of parade routes, festivals, marinas and outdoors enjoyment everywhere. But there’s more than utility to them. People take pride in their koozies, and some curate collections of them the way others gather fridge magnets or snow globes.
Soon, someone will have bragging rights to one customized koozie that’s sure to get attention around town. NOLA Brewing is now accepting entries in a design contest for a new koozie it plans to distribute this fall when the company’s first line of canned beers hits the market.
To enter, just send your original design to the company by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, between now and Sept. 2. NOLA Brewing will upload the best to the company’s Facebook page and then ask the public to vote on a winner, which will be announced Sept. 12. Designs should have no more than three colors, and contestants can submit up to three designs. See more rules here.
While this is a design contest, contestants needn’t be designers and they don’t even need much skill with technology. NOLA Brewing president Kirk Coco says the company will accept just about anything people can send them by email.
“You could just doodle something on a sheet of paper, scan it and send it to us, and our artist can work with that,” he says.
Coco says the winning design will be printed on a run of koozies to be unveiled at NOLA Brewery’s launch party for its first canned beers, then given away at promotions and sold from the Irish Channel brewery’s gift shop. NOLA Brewing has heretofore sold only kegs and fridge “draft pack” dispensers, with the exception of a 50-case run of stout bottled for limited retail sales last year.
“By Halloween, we hope to have six-packs of our blonde and brown (ales) out there,” Coco says. “Then we’ll can our 7th Street Wheat and later we’ll do big 16-ounce cans of our Hopitoulas IPA.”
Cans are increasingly popular among beer enthusiasts, chiefly because these containers protect their contents from the potentially flavor-altering effects of sunlight. Cans are also permitted and preferred in settings where glass bottles are prohibited — including the very same settings where koozies are so popular. Cans are also recyclable in New Orleans, while the city’s curbside recycling program does not accept glass.