Entering the “Shark Tank” on Friday’s episode of the business-pitch television series are two childhood friends, including a Butler County man hoping to get a bite from investors for their invention to keep canned beer beverages cold.
One member in the duo behind the Beer Blizzard is Tom Osborne, of Trenton, who’s also director of food safety, quality assurance and regulatory compliance for AdvancePierre Foods in West Chester Twp., according to a spokesperson for the company. He will be promoting his business idea in exchange for an equity or other type of investment along with business partner Michael Robb of Pittsburgh, Penn.
The Beer Blizzard is a reusable ice cube shaped like the bottom of a beer can made from thermoplastic polyurethane and filled with a non-toxic, quick-freezing fluid, according to the company. It can also be used to drink any beverage, alcoholic or non-alcoholic, from an aluminum can. By inserting the round disc in the bottom of a Koozie followed by a can, it can help keep drinks colder, longer, according to Beer Blizzard.
When the product was launched in 2014 on Kickstarter, it exceeded the $5,000 goal and raised more than $43,000. Then Beer Blizzard won a gold medal for product innovation at INPEX, a national inventors trade show, after which they were invited to audition for the T.V. show, Osborne said in a recent interview.
“The idea for Beer Blizzard was conceived on Memorial Day in 2013 at my cabin in Moorefield, W.V., during our annual Redneck Reunion, a gathering of 10 childhood friends that has been taking place over the holiday weekend for more than 20 years,” Osborne told his hometown newspaper “The Dominion Post” in written responses to their questions. The responses were provided to this news outlet.
“While target practicing with empty aluminum cans, we noticed that the concave bottoms of aluminum cans are the same, regardless of beverage,” Osborne said. “After years of placing ice cubes in the bottoms of our Koozies to keep beverages cold, wouldn’t it be great to have a reusable plastic ice cube that fit in the bottom of the can? It would eliminate the problem of the ice quickly melting and dripping onto our laps when we’re simply trying to relax in our lawn chairs on a hot day.”
Osborne was not available Friday for an interview with this news outlet.
The “Shark Tank” episode featuring Beer Blizzard is scheduled to air 9 p.m. Friday, March 18, on ABC.
Blue Ash-based AdvancePierre, which has a large meat processing facility in West Chester Twp., makes fully cooked beef, chicken and pork products and sandwiches that consumers buy at grocery stores, cafeterias and vending machines.