Invention never understood her mother, Necessity. The single mom, a widow of the late Responsibility, provided everything the family needed but with noticeably lacking creativity. Everything was always exactly as it was supposed to be, measured and metered, with no extravagance or artistic flair, all very Puritan and unforgiving in its overwhelming perfunctitude.
Invention didn’t like that. She had dreams of increased efficiency, fresh designs, enhanced functionality. She thrashed against her mother’s plainness, using it as a catalyst for the creation of her own clever contraptions. As she changed the world with her work, Invention realized that without her mother, without her frank displays of never-changingness, she would have never been inspired to engineer the future.
It could be argued that we don’t need any new ways to open a bottle. Without really trying, I can wrench cap from bottle, send it flipping end over end towards trash-can oblivion as the C02 comes rushing out of the narrow neck. I can use almost anything: a lighter, a densely folded piece of paper, a flat-head screwdriver, my teeth, the hard edge of a flat surface, my belly button (twist off only). If the cap is my only obstacle to drinking, it won’t bar my way for long.
And all of those options are impromptu beer-hacks, designed by enthusiasts in the field who are left without the formal ways to open a bottle: churhkeys, wall-mounters, blade-openers, and those long-handled speed-uncappers that dangle like ceremonial blades from the hips of barkeeps all across the world. It seems that we as humans have mastered the simple machines, found plenty of levers to pry and pop our beer to freedom.
It seems we’ve mastered it. And yet, there are people out there, scientists and engineers, engitists and scienteers, actively trying to make the bottle opener even better.
With the GrOpener (grab+opener), I dare say they have achieved the impossible.
This is more than just a bottle opener, it’s a straight-up beer tool. It belongs right there next to my hydrometer, my pH meter, my laser thermometer. It is a marvel of well thought out practicality and style.
The GrOpener has two major advantages over traditional openers: 1) It’s designed to be used one-handed, and 2) it has a powerful magnet to help align with/catch the cap.
The one handed thing might not seem like such a big deal, but as the GrOpener website mentions, this caters to disabled people who may only have on arm available to open a drink. With no second arm to brace the bottle, I can imagine using a traditional bottle opener is quite challenging. It’s also just pretty damn cool to grab and open a bottle in one fluid motion, with one hand, while your friends ooh and aah at your mastery of all things bottle related.
The magnet is probably the best part of the design in terms of pure invention, as it keeps the bottle cap firmly stuck to it after opening, preventing an infomercial style disaster where the bottle cap flies across the room, hits some poor party goer in the head, and sends them toppling into a towering spread of chips and assorted dips.
The only drawback I can really find is the price. While these are made from what appears to be a single piece of pretty sturdy metal, $16 for a bottle opener might be a little out of some people’s range. I got mine during the original IndieGoGo campaign, assuming the price included some extra financial support for the creator. It’s a pretty cool novelty though, and after ~100 opens, mine is only showing very minimal signs of wear.
- Opens beers
- Fun to use
- Looks cool
- Bonus can opener duck-tail thing
- Name sounds a little like “groper”
- No way to easily hook it onto my utility belt
If you’ve got some extra cash to spend and are into opening things in a big way, I highly recommend this piece of beer-technology.