Introduction: Hidden Beer Cooler

Picture of Hidden Beer Cooler

As a lover of outdoor activities AND beer, this simple idea has advanced my simultaneous enjoyment of these two things immeasurably. The Hidden Beer Coolers cost less than $4 each and could save you many more dollars in potential (unenlightened) fines for drinking in public.

To be clear, I'm a responsible, law abiding citizen (for things that I think actually matter) and don't encourage using this idea to achieve disruptive, slobbering drunkenness. That is just never a good look no matter what the booze vehicle, so drink and act responsibly everyone and know your rights:

(The following is from

The Fourth Amendment protects private citizens from unreasonable searches and seizures. The amendment reads:

“The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”

Under the Fourth Amendment, police officers must obtain written permission from a court of law to legally search a person and his or her property and seize evidence while they are investigating possible criminal activity...However, many individuals under the pressure of the police may not be aware of this rule or their other rights under the Fourth Amendment. In addition, there are cases in which police can legally search without a warrant if probable cause is established or if consent is given by an individual.


Boom. This means that you are under no obligation to take the lid off your cooler cup if requested to do so by a savvy officer, but again, please don't use this info to get away with public lame-ness. Thumbs up for responsible, legal age imbibing only!

Step 1: Supplies

Picture of Supplies

32 oz plastic cups w/ lids
opaque bendy straws (I bought mine at IKEA)
12 oz beer cans
small ice cubes*
a willingness to bend laws, along with straws
a public leisure location

*A flat flexible ice pack like this one (cut down) would also work well and provide even more of a visual barrier for the rebel beer within.

Step 2: Prepping Your Cooler

Picture of Prepping Your Cooler

1. Put a few (4-5) ice cubes into the bottom of the cup.
2. Put unopened beer can into cup.
3. Stuff ice cubes evenly in between the can and the cup, making sure to get it all the way around.*
4. Open the can.

*The cups become a little translucent in the sun, so try not to have the can pressing up against the cup by making sure there's ice all around it.

Step 3: Lock and Load

Picture of Lock and Load

Put the bendy straw into the straw hole on the lid and then put the end of the straw into the beer.

Press the lid firmly onto the cup lip.

Step 4: Get Leisurely!

Picture of Get Leisurely!

Relax, sip, and enjoy.
And remember to play responsibly party people!


JudyP63 (author)2017-05-16

This would also be handy for drinking soda on the beach; it would keep sand and bugs out, plus offer a sturdier base than a can.

munchdog (author)2016-10-03

Poured beer is so much better than straight out of the can, so put some ice and a zip lock baggie in there and pour a frosty, just sip slowly, straws cause fizz...

Lee Wilkerson (author)2016-03-09

Great idea/instructable.

MsSmaaartyPants (author)2016-02-06

You are a genious! : )

Mark 42 (author)2016-01-04

I was amazed to find out that drinking a beer on my front lawn (private property) in California was illegal. The cop who informed me wasn't being a jerk - he just told me I should put it in a different container so that it's not obvious.

It was actually home brew back in the day when very few people brewed their own beer - he saw the beer bottle with an unusual label and asked if it was beer. I said yes, and then he told me nicely that it's actually illegal to drink in public. I said "even on private property?" He answered "yes", and could tell I wasn't challenging his authority - that I was just amazed by the intrusion on people's rights when they are on their own private property. I said "Oh... sorry, I had no idea... I'll put it away", and that was the end of it.

There are laws that are ridiculous enough to be ignored. People with brains can judge for themselves. If, after that, I was out there drinking a beverage with alcohol in it, but no one could tell that it had alcohol, I would be violating the letter of the law but complying with the spirit of the law, which is written to protect people who are offended by seeing someone drinking alcohol (and "to protect the chiiiiiiillldrennn).

Oldbear (author)Mark 422016-01-13

The law is most likely there to give so "enforcing" power to cops and peace officers. This would allow them to break up loud parties or to disperse jerks... When we drink on our front lawn (it has the evening sun and a cover deck) or often on our driveway - we put our drinks in cozies... put I will have to try this when the snow goes away.

SpankyO (author)2016-01-09

Ok, this works for more than a hiding Beer. If you put some salt on the ice it will allow the temps to drop and stay cooler longer .

Fordt (author)2015-12-27

"to be clear, I'm a responsible,law abiding citizen (for things I think actually matter)..."

Nice way to preface your instructable, most folks who run afoul of the law think this way, too......let's fervently hope many other "meaningless" laws don't suddenly appeal to you as not mattering...."I can still text and drive, I've just got a buzz-give me my keys, these folks in this theater/school/clinic are wrong"....

CrashnDash (author)2015-12-27

I really like this idea. However I am amused by the number of comments against drinking beer through a straw. Beer and straws have a long standing relationship. The following excerp is from the site,, but this information can be found from countless other sources.
"If we look back in history...over 5000 years ago...In Sumerian cities...archeologist managed to find straws...According to scientist, Sumerian used straws to drink their beer..."
It had more to do with how beer was made then. Straws allowed the drinker to enjoy the liquid of the beer and avoid the solid particles, (hops, barley, wheat, etc.), similar to modern use of straws to avoid drinking a bee with your soda pop.
Now go, employ this wonderful suggestion and enjoy your nice cold beer wherever you like. You can do it with a clear conscience, knowing that you are strengthening a long standing union.

kirk thill (author)2015-12-27

We're going to need a bigger straw.

baileysuchacek (author)2015-12-27

$4? Costs less fora 32oz soft drink at a convenience store, and a beer fits right in. In Phx, you can get a 64oz drink too (that cup will hold a 24 ouncer...)

Dakotamouse (author)2015-12-27

State Parks in Minnesota do not allow drinking in campgrounds. This came as a shock to a North Dakota citizen, such as my husband and self. An adult beverage around a campfire is one of life's simple pleasures!

The locals quickly clued us in to the fact that the rangers will not investigate to closely what is in your cup if you keep your drinking on the "down low" and do NOT make an ass off yourself.

I like this idea!

trepisky (author)2015-12-27

I am from the Czech Republic so I think I will just skip out on this one! LOL

I drink beer from a big glass mug, be it indoors or outdoors...

However if I where to live in the USA or Canada - this would be my choice.

Yukoncorny (author)2015-12-27

I am sorry, but I have to reject this idea.

A friend and I tried this once, and the beer was extremely foamy while drinking through a straw.

Can't say I recommend this. Beer through a straw is never good.


dugndeep (author)2015-12-27

I thought this glass would have holders made for the beer can inside the glass,that way your can would stay locked into the glass so when it became more lighter as the beer was drank from it,it would stay in it's holder tabs and not want to float on the water from the melted ice.

epotter307 (author)2015-07-15

What are the ramifications of drinking beer from a straw? I imagine it would be totally weird and foamy. It would also make the beer hard to chug. However, I could see the usefulness as I have been caught redhanded in act of public drinking, and was forced by the university's rental-wannabe-cops to dump out what few drops were left. Sad day that was.

If you are only buying beer to chug it your priorities are off. Beer is meant to be enjoyed for the flavor, that's why it has such a low alcohol content by volume. If your drinking just to get drunk this article wasn't intended for you anyhow.

I do enjoy the flavor, which is why I don't drink it through a straw out of a can. However, by no means am I above it. Sorry if my beer chugging offends you.

bamslower (author)epotter3072015-07-15

Drinking beer through a straw isn't great, if you're gonna drink alcohol through a straw you'd be better woth spirits and a mixer. That said, I live in the uk where our outdoor drinking laws aren't particularly strict so have never really had this issue other than at music events.

JesaKillah (author)2015-10-21

I know this is totally off subject, but where are you? Because it totally looks exactly like Bradford County, PA where we have a cabin.... Just wondering!! :)

sheripres (author)2015-08-05

I read all the straw comments. Without going into a long story, I drink my beer and coffee through a straw. Again - long story that made me OCD against germs. Anyway, you do not get drunker faster. You might drink faster, but the straw has nothing to do with getting drunk. One thing for sure, you do not burp as much when you drink through a straw because you are not inhaling air. The only drink I do not use a straw with is wine (unless I am drinking it out of a bottle!) ha

Darknessblade. (author)2015-08-04

the only downside is that you can get drunk faster from drinking beer with a straw

doo da do (author)2015-08-01

I like McDonald's large tea cup (with wine) stays cold for a good while,use extra for more insulation.

NYCitySlicker (author)2015-07-15

Good idea but not sure I could drink beer through a straw.

BrendanR4 (author)NYCitySlicker2015-07-25

You sound so fragile! lol :]

bigpig (author)NYCitySlicker2015-07-19


inichols (author)2015-07-23

And since I've now read other comments, drinking beer through a straw is like drinking anything else through a straw. Virtually no difference other then looking like a wimp and drinkin something faster hahahaha

inichols (author)2015-07-23

Do this all the time for free festivals and what not. Only i skip the ice and just get a xlg timmies cup (any fast food xl cup) and boom goes the dynamite

tpatten-scheinost (author)2015-07-19

I gotta tell you, I really like your little idea and I love the fact that you just enlightened many people on their legal rights. I appreciate that you took the time to cover responsibility in "imbibing" as I too like to enjoy a beer or two, three and unfortunately many parks for camping etc. disallow it. Which is probably because of the IRRESPONSIBLE imbibers; A group which of course we some of us, are not a part of. thanks.

Carleyy (author)2015-07-16

So sneaky and awesome!

pfred2 (author)2015-07-15

Anyone that tries to argue their rights with a cop will surely get their chance in court. That is not nearly as good as it may sound either. There are better ways of defusing the situation if that is your desire. Sucking up to a cop on the spot is preferable to groveling in front of a judge. I've done both.

tomatoskins (author)2015-07-15

Hahaha this made me laugh. I love it!

About This Instructable




Bio: Made in Canada, I grew up crafting, making, and baking. Out of this love for designing and creating, I pursued a BFA in product design ... More »
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