Koozies appear to have originated in the late 70’s in that playground of evolution, Australia. There the koozie is known—and it brings me unspeakable joy to tell you this—as the “stubby holder.” Does “Stubby Holder” sound like the name of either a terrible Prohibition-era gin drink or an unstaged David Mamet play? Yes, it does. It is also one heck of a name for a beer insulator.
Using the word “cozy” to describe a form-fitting cover for something you want to keepwarm has a pedigree stretching back more than 100 years, into mid-19th century Great Britain. So when in 1981 Bonnie McGough of Caldwell, Idaho filed a groundbreaking US patent for her “insulated 12 oz. beverage cozy,” naming it a “cozy” was likely a matter of course. Her design—segmented inner and outer foam walls with space left between for an insulating material (the patent suggests goose down) and an elastic band at the top—is quaint, hopelessly archaic, and upsettingly larva-like.