How to Pack a Perfect Beer Cooler

One of the skills every beer lover should learn is: how to pack a perfect beer cooler. This will ensure that you and your folks always have a chilled beer on any outdoor trip. Whether you are on your way to watch your favorite sports team, going to the beach, or you are preparing for a barbecue party at your backyard, this step-by-step guide will show you how to pack a perfect beer cooler. You will get the most out of the space in the cooler, make your ice last longer, and keep your beer cool for as long as you want.

Pre-chill The Beer and The Cooler

Chill your beer in the refrigerator for at least one to two hours before placing them in the cooler. While your beer is in the refrigerator, get your ice ready. Homemade ice is the best, but if you are buying ice from a commercial ice maker, this is the time to dash down and pick up your ice. Research has shown that you will get the best performance from your ice if you use at least 5 pounds of ice for each crate (containing 12 cans) of beer. As soon as you get your ice, put a bag of ice in your cooler to pre-cool it.

Stack The Ice And Beer In Layers

Crush some of the ice and put an even layer of ice (about one inch thick) at the bottom of the cooler. Then place the chilled cans of beer upright on the top of the ice. Place them as closely together as possible to reduce the amount of air space between them. Leave at least half an inch of space between the cans and the wall of the cooler. Then fill this space with ice to reduce the effect of the heat that is transferred from the walls of the cooler. Thereafter, place another layer of ice on the cans before you arrange another layer of beer. Repeat this procedure until the entire cooler is full.

Separate Various Brands of Beer

In a party with different types of guests, you may need to serve different types of beer. This means that your guests would be opening the cooler to search for the type of beer they want. Frequent opening and closing of the cooler would make the ice melt faster. So you should arrange different kinds of beer on each row. For instance, if one row, in your cooler, can take 36 cans, divide this into six groups of beer which may include: light beer, lager beer, dark ale, India pale ale, wheat beer, and stout.

Add Rock Salt

If you are going to be away from home for a very long time, you can add rock salt to the ice to retain a low temperature even after melting. After you create a layer of ice, sprinkle some rock salt on its surface. When you add the salt to melting ice, it reduces the melting point of the water. Thus, the salt that mixes with the water will make it as cold as the frozen ice. Subsequently, the ice will melt slower and keep your beer cold for a longer time.


Those are a few tricks that can simplify the process of packing your cooler of beer for your trip to the beach or your next hiking or camping trip. If you follow the steps and advice provided here, your beer will be extremely cold for several hours.

Justin Taylor

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