January 18, 2006

Beerbelly Stealth Beverage Dispenser Review

The Beerbelly
Refillable bladder/sling system for stealthy beer consumption
Typical Price: $49.95 for the full rig plus a "Pleasure Extender" ice pack and cleaning kit. (Buy Now)
Original Coverage: The Beerbelly: Sexy AND Functional

We've been looking even more bloated than usual lately, with a beer belly that would put Homer Simpson to shame. We don't mind, though, because our expanded waistline is due to The Beerbelly. What is the Beerbelly, you might ask? Think Camelbak with beer in it, designed to be worn up front and simulate those extra pounds you usually pack on after the beer's already inside you. Actually, we've been wearing ours to the gym, and you should hear the compliments we receive about the weight we lose every time we go!

Before the Beerbelly - Empty CupThe harness is surprisingly comfortable, even when you've got the bladder completely full (it holds 80 oz, or 6+ beers) and it looks very realistic when you put it on, at least from a distance. We're not sure if it would survive a pat down from a suspicious security guard, but luckily the Beerbelly Tips & Tricks page offers some ideas for how to sweet-talk your way out of an uncomfortable situation with someone in a position of authority:

  • This is a medical device that I think we’d both prefer not discussing or viewing in public.
  • My wife is pregnant and, as part of our maternity class, I have to develop empathy by wearing this thing around in order to look fat and give myself backaches.
  • Department of Homeland Security. We’re testing a new stealth form of body armor to protect our undercover agents overseas in the Global War on Terror. Don’t make me shut this place down.
  • It’s full of urine, so step back or you’re gonna be sorry.
  • Want a beer?
Or, of course, you could go for the sympathy vote and swing your sling around to make it a "Beer Hunchback."

After the Beerbelly - Fueling UpWe think the Beerbelly is a cool product, especially if you're someone who balks at the idea of paying nine bucks a beer at a game, twelve bucks a cup of soda at the movies, whatever. The only trade off is the chance that you might be caught muling PBR into the Chronicles of Narnia...oh and you have to be OK with looking like Al Roker in the bad old days. But is it worth paying $49.95 for the kit?

Well, let's think about it scientifically. Let's say you're going to a football game, where beers tend to run somewhere in the neighborhood of $4-$7. If you're paying the average beer price ($5.50) for 80 oz of beer (5 of the 16 oz beers), the amount held in the Beerbelly, you'll pay $27.50 altogether. Plan to do that at more than one game, and suddenly things are getting expensive. If you buy the Beerbelly, you'll pay $49 for the rig, and let's say six bucks for the beer (we're feeling high-end today). That puts your total at about $55. So on a purely fiscal basis, if you plan to use it twice or more, it'll pay for itself.

And even better, going beyond the purely monetary aspect, the thing is just cool. It's comfortable, you always have a beer on you, and yeah you look a bit rotund but you feel like you're putting something over on the people around you. If you're smart about when you fill up your cup, you won't get caught, and since you'll be the only one with beer around at all times, you'll be the most popular guy around, even though you're sporting the Celebrity Fit Club physique.

Learn more about The Beerbelly and buy one of your own at TheBeerbelly.com.

Read More in: Beer | Drink Wear | Drinking Gear | Reviews

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Posted by Jake Jamieson at January 18, 2006 9:37 AM

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