There are a lot of ways to open a bottle of beer. There are keychains and iPod cases with bottle openers embedded in them. There are openers on flip-flops and baseball cap bills, wall-mounted openers, countertops, knives and even abeer bottle stick
But a Denver photographer and part-time inventor, Mark Manger, says he's come up with a bottle opener that puts all of them to shame -- and with blinding speed.
The GrOpener is an oddly-shaped piece of metal that fits around one finger and can be used to open a bottle quickly, with no spillage and without bending the cap (if that kind of thing is important to you) -- and all with just one hand, left of right.
"The idea for this project was born in Ghana where I was teaching art with the Peace Corps," writes Manger (a frequent contributor to Westword) on the Indiegogo page where he is already close to raising $4,000 to get his invention into production.
"Every bar had these cool, hand-made openers consisting of a piece of wood with a couple of screws stuck in it. The screws hooked under the cap and the cap was pried off as you press down on the wood...it was brilliant!"
Over time, Manger came up with a different configuration for the one-handed opener "until the form and balance worked with the motion of the hand," he explains.
Manger has already paid for part of the construction of the GrOpener (it will be be built in Utah and finished in Colorado), which will retail for $25 each. He sought out the rest on the Indiegogo crowdfunding web site and got to that level in just a few days; if he exceeds that total, he can keep the money and use it to develop packaging and a web site -- and produce more GrOpeners.
And the GrOpener isn't Manger's first invention. In 2007, he designed and launched another product, the Zoot Snoot, a Neoprene device used by flash photographers. (It is available at adorama.com, lightwaredirect.com, and zootsnoot.com.)
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Westword's Beer Man on Twitter at @ColoBeerMan and on Facebook at Colo BeerMan