A few summers ago, Alexander Nicolazzi and his brother kicked back to enjoy a couple bottles of Four Hands Volume #3, but the stifling St. Louis heat quickly put a damper on their experience. Their beers were heating up faster than a Jordan Hicks fastball.
They needed a couple of koozies to keep those beers chilly, but there was a problem: these were 22-ounce bomber bottles — they couldn’t find sleeves to fit them.
Nicolazzi kicked around the idea of making his own koozie — one that would fit over a bomber bottle, but also one that was sleeker than koozies he saw in supermarket checkout aisles He could even call them “Bomber Jackets.”
He was onto something.
Part craft beer buff, part entrepreneur, Nicolazzi dove headfirst into the work of launching a full-fledged lifestyle brand of premium insulators for bottles and cans of all sizes. He designed his first three concepts using Adobe Illustrator, coordinated with a manufacturer, and set up an Instagram account to get some eyes on his Bomber Jackets.
Just like that, the “War on Warm” had officially begun.
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It didn’t take long for the St. Louis beer scene to show some serious love for Bomber Jackets. Since starting the brand three years ago, Nicolazzi has collaborated with the likes of Urban Chestnut, 4 Hands, Modern Brewing, and a host of other breweries in St. Louis and across the country.
Nicolazzi hasn’t stopped at beer, though. Bulliet Bourbon reached out to collaborate with him on a custom sleeve for their 1.75L bottles. Hey, bourbon fans need cold drinks too, right?
This recent wave of momentum has inspired Nicolazzi to incorporate Bomber Jackets into even more industries such as water and energy drinks. He’s in talks with Red Bull and also wants to work with Patagonia to make — you guessed it — a coat for your beverage.
Truth be told, Nicolazzi didn’t expect the Bomber Jacket brand to take off as quickly as it did. In just three years, the brand has racked up almost 20 thousand followers on Instagram. In a time where many brands struggle to break through the clutter, Nicolazzi credits his success to his willingness to collaborate with other artists and companies, specifically in the St. Louis area.
From projects with tech companies like Weebly to the St. Louis stenSOUL artist Peat “Eyez” Wolleager, each of Nicolazzi’s concepts have played a role in growing his global brand. He even has a page on the Bomber Jacket site dedicated to custom sleeves, where you can “Put your brand in arm’s reach. Literally.”
As you can imagine, Oktoberfest is prime time for the Bomber Jacket brand. You can catch Nicolazzi at Urban Chestnut’s Oktoberfest celebration as well as Brew in the Lou. There are also several craft beer sellers around St. Louis that stock Bomber Jackets including St. Louis Hop Shop.
Regardless of what beverage you enjoy, Alexander Nicolazzi is happy to keep it cool for you — and do so in style.