Right up front, let me disclose that this is about my brother’s invention. Glenn has been bending my ear for years about how the cold weather in Minneapolis freezes everything in sight for most of the winter. He has been trying to harness this icy environment for the betterment of beverage consumers everywhere. And now he has launched nICE mug.
The concept is simple: freeze water to create a vessel for consuming a beverage. He has evolved the process over the last half decade to such a polished state that Glenn is now raising Kickstarter funds successfully.
The trick is getting the water to freeze like all those lakes in Minnesota, from the top down. Further, you want a vessel that is thinner at the top and thicker at the bottom. You want ice like a hockey puck at the bottom.
After many frozen Minnesotan nights and with the help of a mold designer, Glenn was ready to go public. He crafted a Kickstarter campaign with insights from friends who have been through the process, and the effort is looking good.
The nICE mugs can last up to half an hour, so they are ideal for picnics, barbecues and saunas. The kit comes with a holder so your hand doesn’t get frostbitten, and a sponge that absorbs the melting ice water.
One of the cool things (no pun intended) about the product is that all the material is reusable. Although energy is expended when the mold spends a night in the freezer getting made, everything else is a celebration of nature and the chilly Minnesota nights.
I would bet that some of the thinking for nICE mugs probably started when our swimming pool froze in the winter when we were kids growing up in Buffalo. Endless family debates revolved around how much water to empty from the pool. It might also have been the endless trials and errors in spraying the rest of the backyard to make a hockey rink, but now Glenn is ready to ship.