March 20, 2019 – Soon making a Margarita will be as easy as dropping a Keurig pod in a machine and pressing a button. The two companies in the joint venture, Keurig Dr. Pepper and Anheuser-Busch InBev, tested the Drinkworks machine in the St. Louis market for four months and it is now being rolled out across Missouri, California and Florida.
The launch was reported in The Wall Street Journal of March 19.
The Drinkworks drinkmaker is a first-of-its-kind appliance designed to prepare cocktails, brews, ciders and more at the touch of a button. The drinkmaker calculates the precise amount of water and carbonation needed for each proprietary Drinkworks Pod, which contains alcohol and flavorings, to deliver the perfect cocktail every time.
Price and Ordering
Machines can be preordered for $299 or purchased at retail for $399. A four-pack of single serve pods runs $15.99 for most cocktails. In St. Louis, Total Wines & More and other wine and spirits retailers carried the device. Check out the selection of cocktails and preorder here.
The Machine Itself
The well-designed machine looks right at home on a kitchen counter or bar. Is it cost effective? Maybe not but it sure makes shaking up cocktails a breeze. It’s very un-messy, if there is such a word, quick, simple and we’re told the cocktails are great. We’d settle for “fairly great” if it makes throwing a cocktail party easy.
Both AB InBev and Keurig Dr. Pepper are looking for ways to grow their businesses. AB InBev’s problem is well, its beer. Consumers are abandoning the big breweries not only for craft beer but for cocktails and wine. Keurig’s sales are also declining in part due to the high quality of their coffeemakers that don’t wear out and need replacing. Both companies welcome the opportunity to expand in e-commerce.
Two nagging problems that always crop up with anything to do with alcohol are under age drinking and the arcane laws regarding sales and distribution. The solution to the first one is the design prevents the pods being opened by hand. Don’t know how that works but we’ll take their word for it, and they are also developing a lock for the machine according to Nathaniel Davis, Drinkworks CEO.
As for distribution, they’ve turned to Thirstie, a leading technology and logistics company already experienced in e-commerce for alcohol with an extensive retailer network.