UF pair's beer-chilling invention catches on quickly
Published: Wednesday, November 6, 2013 at 5:32 p.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, November 6, 2013 at 5:32 p.m.
The fledgling Gainesville-based company Spin Chill has sought out a solution to a problem that many face: warm beer.
With its Chill Bit and Beerouette inventions, beer is spun in ice water and cooled in 30 to 60 seconds with no foamy side effects, the owners of Spin Chill say.
On Oct. 17, Spin Chill started a 30-day campaign on the crowdfunding website Kickstarter.com to raise money to produce the Chill Bit, a clip that attaches a beer to a cordless power drill, and the Beerouette, a hands-free portable device that spins a beer once dropped in ice. The company ended up raising more than $40,000 — four times its original goal, said co-founder Trevor Abbott.
Abbott said Spin Chill's original goal of $10,000 was surpassed within 10 days.
"We really weren't expecting it," he said. "We were just expecting people from the U.S., but people from Australia and Canada and all over the world have now purchased (the beer-chilling devices)."
Spin Chill is using two manufacturers, one based in China and one in Indiana, to produce the Chill Bit and Beerouette on a larger scale. Abbott, a University of Florida mechanical engineering student, and co-founder Ty Parker, a recent mechanical engineering grad, do some of the work on Spin Chill out of the garage at Parker’s Gainesville home.
Abbott said he is expecting 2,600 Beerouettes and 500 Chill Bits to be sent his way, and the orders just keep coming in.
Abbott and Parker say they came up with the Chill Bit the night before the AngelHack ATL Hackathon in Atlanta this past summer, where the two were faced with a dilemma: The case of beer in their hotel room was warm.
They knew that spinning a beer in ice cooled it faster.
"That was kind of the light bulb moment … we'll just make something that spins it for us," Abbott said.
Both products also can be used with soda cans and wine bottles.
The duo plan to sell the beer chillers in about a dozen retail locations including area hardware stores and gift shops, and say they hope to expand to stores around the U.S.
Abbott said an international model is also in the making. Spin Chill's goal, Abbott said, is to cool beer around the world.