Chicago friends looking to make shower beer better

  • A prototype Sudsy in action.
A prototype Sudsy in action. (Sudsy )
August 14, 2013|By Mick Swasko, @swasko | RedEye

Craig McRae not only wants you to have a beer in the shower, he wants to make it easier.

The 27-year-old Lakeview resident and his longtime friend and business partner Craig Conant fondly remember their days as college dorm mates, when they would grab a brew and hit the showers before a night out. But the problem of soap, suds and water mixing in with their drinks of choice always remained. Five years after graduating, they're hoping to fund their solution, Sudsy.

“The idea sort of came out of our own experiences,” McRae said of his Kickstarter campaign for Sudsy, an adjustable hook with a cup holder on the end that allows bottles or cans to be suspended above the shower floor. The prototype was built in Conant’s Cleveland, Ohio, garage with the help of his dad. After several revisions, the pair hopes to raise $30,000 to put their design into production. Both have already invested $10,000 of their own money into the invention, mostly funded through loans.

"A shower is just a moment to relax,” McRae said. “Maybe you’re thinking about not much else, maybe it’s your time to think. Either way, it's your time off."

McRae said he was astounded by the amount of social media buzz already going when he launched the Kickstarter for Sudsy last week. A simple search for #showerbeer on Twitter and Instagram revealed thousands of people already documenting their bathroom brews. The practice even has its own dedicated community on Reddit, where users post pictures of themselves showering with their favorite beverages.

“People will say ‘Long day at the office, can’t wait to have a #showerbeer,’ or ‘Just ran 15-miles, looking forward to a #showerbeer,’” he said. “It’s seemingly endless.”

He’s even had success Tweeting at America’s oldest brewer, Yuengling, who chimed in with the #showerlager hashtag.

McRae said there have been similar products put to market as he and Conant were in the process of research and development, but he hopes the Sudsy is superior. For example, he says, the Shakoolie relies on a suction cup, which he sees hard to adjust and unreliable for the shower setting. He said the Sudsy, on the other hand, securely attaches to an existing towel rack or shower bar and can be adjusted to hold bottles and cans with minimal movement.

The campaign raised about $2,500 as of Aug. 14, giving it a little less than a month to reach its $30,000 goal. Much of the money will go toward the dye that will be used to cast the product, as well as manufacturing costs. If successful, he said, he hopes to have the $15 product to those who have donated by the holidays. He said the pair also plans on getting licenses to have the products made with NCAA and professional sports teams in the future.

"If we’re going at today's rate (of donations), no, we won’t make our goal,” he said, adding he’s relying on word-of-mouth and buzz on social media to increase visibility. “But we’re going to keep pushing.”

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