Alcohol has been around since… as long as humans have been able to keep track of ideas. So since the advent of writing then, though we suspect that beer came first. The need to write things down arose out of forgetting what we were supposed to be doing after the beer was ready. Again, we’re just speculating. Don’t cite this in a thesis or anything.
The point is that beer is one of those things that has been around forever and you don’t expect there to be much innovation in something that has been around since as least Mesopotamia (and possibly since the Neolithic period). In recent years, Castle Lite has been trying to bring some innovation to a drink that is at least 5,500 years old. Keeping it cold on the go is just one of those innovations.
We’re going to get to the ‘Smart’ part of the Smart Ice Core a little later this week when/if Castle Lite lets us rip one of these limited edition coolers apart. In the meantime, here’s how the ‘Ice Core’ portion functions. Now, there are two ways you can do this. First, you can watch the promotional video for a substance called Neopor (below), the same stuff that the Castle Lite Smart Ice Core is predominately made out of. Or, second, you can let us explain it for you. Our way is much more fun.
That’s what we thought. No offense Mr. Narrator-man, but you’re a little mono for Stuff readers.
Neopor is the strange grey foam that you see making up Castle Lite’s Ice Cores. If you’re brave, or willing to watch with the sound off, you can see Neopor being made in the video above. The creation process isn’t any different from standard styrofoam, it just has the Neopor substrate added prior to turning the little beads into sheets of foam. Castle Lite’s Neopor is not, however, the lightweight cellular concrete system. We would have noticed if we were lugging beer around in a cinder-block.
Neopor is a graphite polystyrene, otherwise known as GPS, which basically means that it’s your usual packing foam infused with wonder-material graphite. The end result is that the foam turns grey instead of white, you probably shouldn’t use ice that has come into contact with it (hence the disclaimer), and it suddenly gains the ability to reflect heat, a bit like covering your beer with a mirror.
The substance was first created for use in the construction industry, because you’re going to want to be warm (and cool) in any building that was constructed by the lowest bidder. The graphite addition means that foam blocks can be made thinner and still reflect heat as though it was as thick as two short planks. Translation: Warm stay outside, cool stay inside – which makes it an ideal candidate for a portable beer cooler.
Castle Lite’s graphite-infused Ice Cores get their distinctive grey colour from the material that gives them their superpowers. Heat from the outside of the Ice Core has a hard time getting in, while cold inside the cooler stays where you put it – provided you remember to keep the lid on. A little tech leads to a lot of innovation, and a package that will keep beer cold for up to 48 hours. Not that they last that long… ahem. Anyway…
Oh, to make up for the boring video above, here’s one showing what the basic construction of Castle Lite’s Ice Core looks like – beer and ice included. Just like a full-time job, this is not for anyone under the age of 18.