I am a creature of habit. On Fridays I buy a case of beer and a 10lb bag of ice. The beer and ice go into my makeshift cooler and life is good for the weekend. I rather like my cooler, it is just polystyrene and designed for Cheese not beer. It is ever so slightly porous, which means that as the ice melts the water goes away. Obviously this should only be used outdoors. Most wives and significant others would likely get a tad upset with a wet carpet in the Livingroom.

Much has been written on the subject of beer, I myself embarked on an ambitious series ‘Around The World In Sixty Beers’, I may continue it at some point but a near death experience with Axe Head, a particularly mean and evil brew, stopped me in my tracks.

Little however has been published about the ice we use to keep our beer frosty. It was time to investigate….

One thing is clear, not all ice is made the same, and not all ‘store’ freezers work the same. There is also a huge disparity in cost.

It did not take my wife long to figure out that my scientific study of ice always involves a case of beer. I tried to explain to her that in the science world every experiment requires a ‘control’ and for this one it is the case of beer. She put up the argument, well why not use the same case of beer for each experiment, that could be my ‘control’. I tried to explain to her that it was important data to drink the beer in order to gauge how effective the ice is.

My experiment is far from complete, however I have some preliminary findings.

My ice sources were Winn Dixie, Claibourne Hills and a local beer mart Smokin Joes.

Cost for one 10lb bag of ice”

Winn Dixie $2:20

Claibourn Hills $1:69

Smokin Joes   $1:99


Testing Methodology:

Everyone that has ever bought a bag of ice knows that the cubes do not stay separated once in the freezer. The key is to drop the bag on concrete before opening.

Claiborn Hills – perfect results.

Smokin Joes – A few lumps, but was quite useable

Winn Dixie – At the most expensive it was the least useable. After two drops on concrete I had 2 5lb slabs of ice.


Obviously this was a less than scientific study and I really needed more samples, but I think Claibourn Hill was the clear winner. Best bang for the buck, and fewest bangs to achieve perfect ice!

Simon Barrett

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