Anyone who enjoys the occasional tipple knows a bit about the antiquated legal haystack that is U.S. alcohol law. To put it lightly, it’s a mess. So the very concept of alcohol delivery seems to most Americans like something that just shouldn't work. But there's legal precedent, and one Boston startup is jumping on the wagon.
...or is it off the wagon?
Drizly is an iOS app that coordinates with local liquor stores to deliver alcohol directly to your house, office, or other location—all for a flat $5 delivery fee. Drivers ID customers upon delivery, using a forensic verification system developed with Advanced ID Detection and Mident, which sells a mobile ID catalog.
In essence, the Drizly app merely acts as an order-forwarding service—sort of like Foodler, GrubHub, or even DIY taxi services like Uber and Lyft. The Boston Globe reports that Drizly aims to sell rights to specific delivery territories to local liquor stores.
While it's currently only available for iOS, a recent job posting suggests an Android version is on the way.
"Drizly is the Amazon.com for alcohol," said Drizly co-founder and CEO Nick Rellas, in a statement. "The liquor store experience hasn't evolved since Prohibition ended in 1933. A tiny fraction of $83 billion in liquor store revenue comes from deliveries. That's because liquor delivery has been terribly inconvenient for the consumer and a hassle for the stores.”
Currently, the service is limited to Boston and New York City, but a recent $2.25 million round of seed funding suggests the startup will be expanding soon. In its path will be a web of complex state laws—not to mention a few rival services. Swill and Minibar, for example, both offer an app-based network for alcohol delivery (and curiously similar websites).
"Frankly, the competition is going to the liquor store," Rellas told Reviewed.com in an email. "This experience is not entirely broken, we're just trying to use mobile to make smarter, more convenient purchases."
You can easily imagine how an app like this would discourage some instances of drinking and driving, too. But the real appeal here is convenience. Rellas confirmed to us that, although keg delivery is not currently available, it is in the works. Now that would be interesting.
"There are some logistics and compliance issues that we're taking care of before offering [keg delivery] to our users," Rellas explained.
We're just hoping Drizly will take a cue from Lakemaid Beers in Wisconsin, which recently unveiled a drone used to deliver beer to ice fisherman in Minnesota and Wisconsin. The FAA shut down Lakemaid's fledgling service due to restrictions on commercial use of drones, but we're still dreaming of a day when friendly robots will drop off our booze.
Happy Friday, everybody!