When Dave Brecht was in Tijuana in 2004 with his buddy Jimmy, he came across an interesting novelty product. It was something like a gun holster, but was meant to hold beer bottles instead. Thinking this “beer holster” might make for a fun evening, he and Jimmy each grabbed one and headed to a party…where Dave’s holster promptly broke, shattering his Budweiser on the ground.
Staring at the shards of glass in a puddle of wasted beer caused something in Dave to snap that night. From that moment forward, he vowed to never again let cheap Mexican products ruin a good American lager. After all, he was an engineer – he could do better than this.
It didn’t take long for him to perfect a model, and Dave sold his first Beer Outlaw holster in January 2005. He now has thousands of satisfied customers in over ten countries.
Being the cool guy that he is, Dave hooked us up with one of his beer holsters so we could check it out (he even put our logo on it!).
We put it through a series of tests; here’s what we thought.
Right out of the box, I was impressed with the quality of the holster. It feels sturdy and the leather is real (and nice and thick). I was pretty impressed with the detail as well – the stars on the rivets are a nice touch. The belt clip that secures the holster to your waist is very sturdy and long enough to fit completely around most belts and waistbands.
My biggest concern was going to be how the logo turned out, since the image had to be expanded a bit to make it fit. I was impressed with how it looked, though, especially when I noticed that it was in color. Another concern I had was that the holster was going to be too shallow to effectively hold a beer bottle/can in place, but as you’ll see through the following field tests, it holds its own.
One of the best perks of the holster, I realized, is that it’s completely hands-free. It allows you to carry an open beer (or any canned/bottled beverage) around with you without having to worry about finding a place to put it (where you might forget it or mix it up with someone else’s drink) or spillage. It’s ideal for light activities like making a sandwich, playing beer pong, giving hugs, or trying to convince your mother that plenty of websites make money (It just takes time, Mom).
Even with moderate activities like tossing a football or frisbee, the holster keeps your beer firmly in place. That handy little leg tie adds some more stability when you’re moving around. The only spillage problem I had was when I had to hoof it a bit because my brother sucks at throwing a football, and even that was minor (notice the small spill on the pocket and some wetness on the bottle itself).
In my mind, the beer holster would be great for something like tailgating, where you’d need your hands for things like grilling, playing cornhole, and fondling coeds.
The one downside to the beer holster is that it makes sitting rather precarious. If you’ve got anything close to a full beer (as I have here), you’re going to run into some spillage issues unless you’re really careful.
One of the easiest ways to combat this problem, I found, was to untie or remove the leg tie and simply adjust the holster slightly to make sure your beer is upright.
If you’re aware enough to identify the “sitting down makes my beer horizontal” problem, it really is easily avoidable. So just keep that in mind before you grab a seat anywhere. We wouldn’t want you spilling anything on that cute girl you’re sitting next to (…or would we?).
It was when we put the beer holster through more rigorous testing that we were really able to exploit its weaknesses. Sure it works great for a tailgaiting or party scenario, but what about when that tailgate or party gets broken up? That’s why our final test for the Beer Outlaw holster was the “Running From the Cops” scenario.
It didn’t do so hot.
While the holster was perfectly capable of withstanding even moderate activity like playing catch or getting slapped by previously fondled coeds, it couldn’t seem to handle breaking out into a full sprint. Almost immediately, the bottle went flying, soaking my shirt and shorts with all of its contents. Amazingly, though it had ejected its passenger, the holster remained firmly in place through the entire sprint, ride to the police station, and fingerprinting; until it was finally removed and collected as evidence.
Unfortunately, I also discovered that when the logo gets a little wet, it starts to run and smudge – something you’ll want to keep in mind if you opt for a custom holster like ours. Basically, you’ll have to try to minimize the spillage (almost inevitable when doing lots of drinking or playing drinking games) and also be sure to avoid using it in the rain if you want to preserve your image.
Overall, I was extremely impressed with both the quality and the durability of the Beer Outlaw holster. Going in, I was expecting it to work well while I was just standing around, but the fact that it did such a good job of holding my beer in place and preventing spillage while I was playing catch really surprised me. Obviously, it didn’t hold up too well while I was running, but it wasn’t designed to be used in that sort of situation. The only real flaws that I found were that you have to be careful or adjust when sitting (easy enough to do) and, if you’re a custom holster owner, do your best to keep your image dry.
Personally, I completely love the holster and plan on using it for the remaining summer BBQs and tailgaiting in the fall. As far as beer accessories go, a holster is one of the coolest ideas there is, and the Beer Outlaw line of holsters looks to be the highest quality on the market.
Dave offers six different styles of genuine-leather beer holster (Classic and Tombstone being his most popular) in black, brown, and pink. Prices range from $32 to $50. Check out the Beer Outlaw website for more info.
*Thanks to Pat Kearnan for playing the guinea pig and writing about his thoughts.