invention aims to halt drinks being 'spiked' with illegal drugs
father and son from the Burnham-On-Sea area have unveiled an innovative
drink safety product that aims to prevent bottled drinks being
spiked by illegal drug substances.
Tim and Franz Malessa from East Huntspill have launched Der Cooler,
a unique stainless steel combined bottle opener and stopper, which
protects drinks from unwanted substances.
The portable device, which can be clipped onto a key chain, bag
or belt, meets the highest food safety requirements and aims to
make drinking on a night out safer.
With incidents of drink spiking in the UK rising by 3,000 per
cent since the 1960s, the father and son say Der Cooler can act
as a safety barrier to protect drinks from being dosed with date
The product is the brainchild of engineer Klaus Krenzke, a friend
of Franz who designed the first product but left it unused in
his workshop in Germany.
Franz said: "Der Cooler has been six years in the making
and is the brainchild of Klaus, a friend of mine who I met whilst
working in Germany. One day he went into his workshop and returned
with one of the early models of Der Cooler and asked what I thought
it was but I had no idea."
"He told me how a friend of his in the village always used
an old metal device to open his beer and was worried that one
day he would do some serious damage to himself."
friend told him to design something better to open bottles and
so Klaus went away and produced a prototype, the very first Der
"Once he showed me what it did I immediately saw it as a
marketable item that smartly opens bottles but also a safety device
to prevent bottled drinks from being spiked by drugs, as well
as keeping fizz in sparkling wine."
"Over time the design was tweaked to perfection so he patented
it but he had no plans to go any further with it. I brought it
home to the UK and showed my son Tim and we agreed that it could
and should be brought to market."
"We came to an agreement with Klaus over the European distribution
rights and he was really excited about the product being mass-produced."
Tim, 36, added: "I have been teaching for 12-years but lost
my job through Government cuts, so when Dad showed me the product
I thought that it was something I could get into."
Aptly named after its German roots, Der Cooler is manufactured
in Germany but Tim and Franz want to find a UK manufacturer to
make the one-piece precision engineered device.
Franz added: "At present we have to go to Germany to collect
Der Cooler and so we would like to use a UK manufacturer instead
who can make this 18/10 food safety stainless steeln product.
We would also like a company to be able to laser engrave them
with company logos, so get in touch if your firm can help."
Pictured: Franz and Tim using Der Cooler, their drinks bottle
opener that doubles up as a product to help combat drink spiking