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Gates Patents a Cooler Cooler

June 20, 2009 By: Lew Bryson

A tiny but interesting bit of news popped out of Seattle recently: a patent application bearing a number of names -- the notable one being William H. Gates III; yup, Bill Gates – was filed for an “integrally sealed container.”

The “container” maintains and monitors the temperature of the contents (through use of “ultra efficient insulation material” or “at least two layers of thermal reflective material separated from each other by magnetic suspension”  and temperature sensors and transmission devices), contents that may include – in the words of the application – frozen food, ice, “fresh caviar,” blood plasma, a warm blanket, hot mix asphalt, “a large capacity (500 to 1,000 gallons) …of prewarmed deicing material,” or – and here’s where it finally gets good (okay, “fresh caviar” was kind of good) – “wine, beer or distilled spirits.”

All right! Bill Gates is coming to the party, and he’s bringing 500 to 1,000 gallons of perfectly chilled Manhattans!

Sorry, got carried away. This may be turn out to be quite practical (not that there’s anything frivolous about 500 gallons of perfectly chilled Manhattans). Depending on the cost of these “containers,” this could mean the end of coldboxes.

Imagine: anywhere there’s room for a keg, you can put a tap with no beer lines. Tap on top of the bar, three foot line to the “container.” Turn them sideways, pack a wall of taps right into the containers. And no coldbox, just beer, at perfect serving temperature, set at the brewery!

News magazines keep telling us that a major advance in battery technology will change the way we live. To hell with that! We’re talking about having cold beer anywhere. That’s a life-changer. For starters, I can put my luggage on the roof-rack: I want a “container” in my trunk. Pull up, pop the hatch, party started.

Thank you, Bill Gates. Who knew you were a party genius, too?


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