The Beer Belt
If necessity is the mother of invention, then it’s clear we all have serious need for drink. Evidence? The brilliant array of hands-free, beverage-toting gadgeteering at one’s disposal. Not to say that it’s a sophisticated sport—once you see a too-dorky-to-be-true-but-sadly-it-is image of someone suspending their wineglass from a neck sling, it’s all too difficult to erase it from memory. Higher on the elegance scale, thank god, are specially designed dishes with clever notches that hold stemware on for a piggy-plate-back ride, leaving one hand to secure the goods while the other scavenges for the last deviled egg on the buffet.
Wait, let’s back up a step—we’re all about beer here! And though stemware is definitely a necessity at times, sometimes you just want to carouse with bottles or cans at hand without, well, the hand. The Beer Belt comes in to perform that very task, with no intentions whatsoever of winning the award for most sophisticated accessory. But who cares, when you can strap up to six brews (or soft drinks, for the mega-thirsty teetotaler) around your waist in a contraption than could whoop any fanny pack’s ass? Stock up the arsenal with your weapon of choice, and you’ll soon give “cocked and loaded” a whole new meaning. [Available for $18 at Urban Outfitters]
USB Mini Fridge
Given the opportunity, we could probably round up a series of USB toys that stretch the imagination in more ways that we would ever wish to know. From Perpetual Kid alone, there’s a USB missile launcher (whoa, these things are powered to shoot 20 feet?), USB heating slippers (this is where function steamrolls form in the fashion department) and a USB birthday kit, complete with colorful string lights and a (disappointedly low-res) party hat. Who knew that a simple interface protocol could spawn an embarrassment of plug-n-play riches?
One more reason to keep your butt at the computer for even longer stretches of time: a USB mini fridge that connects easily to your machine to keep one perfect can of tastiness at the refreshing temperature of 45 degrees. Styled somewhere between a middle-school gym locker and a cheeky vintage Frigidaire, the hinged door opens to display your gleaming prize—from Banquet to Dale’s Pale Ale—resting peacefully on a computer-powered cold plate. Sadly, PBR tallboys need not apply, but under every brilliant creative sweep lays a smidgen of constraint. Solution? Just stash ’em in your big fridge… alllll the way over there in the next room. Sigh. [Available for $32.99 at Perpetual Kid]
TranSglass Drinking Glasses
Some artists are, by definition, no-holds-barred nuts, but we’ll cut creative minds some slack when one of their ilk sees a collection of gorgeous haute housewares borne from a dirty, sticky pile of empty booze bottles. Genius! Recycling gets a renewed spirit in the tranSglass line, engineered by designers Emma Woffenden and Tord Boontje. As an Artecnica “Design with a Conscience” project, the spent alcohol vessels are cleaned up and artfully resculptured into architecturally styled vases, jugs, carafes and tumblers. The supply of raw material is gathered from restaurants, bars and recycling plants around Guatemala City, so rest easy—they’re not coming to your back porch anytime soon.
The clean, minimalist aesthetic is enough to make any design nerd weep with delight. Although most of the goods are crafted from old wine containers, the drinking glasses are made exclusively with recycled beer bottles. What you drink from them, indeed, can be anything you choose. Yet, there’s something to be said for the karma-warming, tree-hugging poetry of sorts that comes from pouring and enjoying a hoppy tipple from the clear, polished reincarnation of what once kept a brew within its skin. Take a good long sip and think about it. [Available for $24/pair at re:modern] ■