You might need to show ID before using your next Keurig instant beverage machine. That is because the company has partnered with Anheuser-Busch to form Drinkworks in an attempt to do for adult beverages what it did for coffee. The Verge had a chance to try one out.
“The machine costs $299. Each cocktail pod costs $3.99, or $15.99 for four. There will be 15 cocktails at launch, including a Moscow mule, margarita, mojito, and Long Island iced tea. The pods each have a unique barcode on them that the machine will scan to determine the appropriate temperature and carbonation. The time it takes to make a drink varies. A Moscow mule, for example, takes about 50 seconds while a margarita takes 25 seconds. Users will have to physically remove the finished pods from the machine as there’s no garbage bin. Drinks can be made in three sizes: 3.9 ounces, 6.5 ounces, and 8.1 ounces.”
According to the Verge, the Moscow mule was fine. Still, they were left unimpressed with the product. The problem wasn’t the taste, but the presentation. People don’t drink cocktails just for the taste. Also, there are less expensive ways to get those cocktail flavors.
Cocktails are all about the preparation and attention to details. In cocktail culture, shaken, not stirred, is meaningful beyond a famous fictional spy catchphrase.
Besides the initial cost of the machines plus an ample supply of pods, you also have to purchase CO2 tanks much like with a Soda Stream. One tank comes with the initial purchase. Beer lovers are not left out. Pods from Beck’s and Bass will also be available. Stella Artois Cidre also makes the list.
In the beginning, you will only be able to buy these machines in St. Louis, Missouri, starting on November 19. There is no word on wider distribution at this time. There is also no information about age verification once it does go on sale. These are adult beverages after all.
If Keurig keeps to form, expect the machine to be proprietary, only accepting pods from the company. The challenge for this product will be somewhat different from the coffee machines and pods. First, the coffee ecosystem is huge, largely because many companies have figured out how to get around the proprietary restrictions.
Second, there are many third-party hardware providers making similar machines. That is just one reason why the ecosystem is so vast. Pods and machines are relatively inexpensive. Major retailers like Bed Bath and Beyond have devoted entire sections near the front of the store for the products. And finally, there are no restrictions on who can purchase them.