Warm beer anyone?


A few weeks ago a friend was commenting on a TV show he had seen where someone took what he thought was an old style soldering iron, and used it to warm his cup of coffee.  While I have never actually seen this done, I have heard of a “flip iron” being used to make a hot toddy or hot buttered rum.  I felt pretty smug knowing what he was refering to.

Imagine my surprise when I recieved the following message a few days latter. “I’ve been searching for an iron tool that is used in the upper-midwest during spring bock beer festivals. The solid iron “head” of the tool is heated in a fire and then dipped red hot into a glass of beer. The result is a hot foamy head of beer.”

Here is the picture provided by the customer
Here is the picture provided by the customer

Now I really should learn from the way the old timers did things. It would save me lots of grief.  But not me, I have a 100 pound power hammer.  So why not just make these from a single piece of 1″ round bar?  Even under the hammer drawing 10″ of 1″ bar into 40″ of 1/2″ bar is a lot of work.  I suspect that this took about 3 times longer than the alternate and probably more traditional approach.  I am pretty sure the old timers would have used a shorter section of the 1″ bar with a short stub drawn out and the 1/2″ handle forge welded on.  But, live and learn.  My customer gets a great value and I got a great education.

I suppose I need to make a shorter one and try the hot toddy or hot buttered rum, but I’ll leave the warm beer for more adventurous types.

Here are the 43" long irons ready to make hot beer, Yum ;)
Here are the 43″ long irons ready to make hot beer, Yum 😉
The claw hammer gives some idea of the size.
The claw hammer gives some idea of the size.


  1. This is awesome! I’ve been looking for an actual “loggerhead” ever since reading about them in Neal Stephenson’s book “QuickSilver”. It was used in 1713 Boston to make a flip drink from rum, beer, eggs, and sugar. Do you by any chance sell these?

  2. Yes I would be happy to make one for you. These sold for $100 each. The price of course depends on the exact size you want. Thanks for stopping by.


  3. Dear Mr. Switzer, I would like to buy a loggerhead as well please. A bit shorter, but not by much. I have a picture of the thing I am looking for, all in all it’s exactly what you have made, but the handle is a bit shorter. Your length and circumference of the bit that is to be heated and placed in the flip is exactly right! Please let me know John, if you are still making them…
    Thanks in advance, Christopher Travers, Santa Monica, CA
    May I e-mail the picture to you?

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