Beer delivered to your door by drone -- it is the stuff of beer
drinkers' dreams. The idea was the brainchild of Lakemaid Beer of
Minnesota. The basic idea is (or was) to use drones to deliver beer to
ice fishers out on frozen lakes. With the release of a promotional video
it seemed to be an idea created in marketing heaven -- right up until
the FAA stepped in.
Drone Beer Delivery Ready for Take Off (You Tube Image)
Lakemaid's president, Jack Supple, was fully aware that it is illegal to use drones for commercial sales purposes. He had hoped to skirt around the law set forth by the FAA, and get some great free publicity, by delivering the beer by air but not charging for the product. He was wrong.
The video started getting a lot of attention from You Tube viewers and
then from local journalists. It didn't take long for the FAA to become
aware of what was going on.
Drone Beer Delivery in Flight (You Tube Image)
Even the people at the FAA thought it was a funny idea, it was still in violation of all sorts of codes and they had a job to do. Supple and Lakemaid are on their blacklist now. The FAA is reviewing whether or not to allow companies to deliver goods via drones. A decision in this matter is not expected until next year.
This started when Amazon announced their desire to start using drones to deliver packages. Supple thought it would be great to get a jump on them. The FAA is all about safety and the use of drones is loaded with potential problems, especially in high population density areas where there are often tall buildings. No doubt there are also issues surrounding the number of drones in the air at any given time as well as concerns about shared or restricted air space. Fed Ex is also interested in delivering packages by drone.
Drone Beer Delivery Complete (You Tube Image)
The video was filmed on a frozen lake in Wisconsin and shows a local bait shop receiving a call from a fishing hut out on the lake where thirst had unexpectedly set in. The store employee quickly attaches a 12-pack to a drone and sends it off to the right latitude and longitude. A 12-pack is apparently as much weight as the drone can carry at one time. The package is delivered to the grateful women and men on the lake. The actors are all Lakemaid employees.
While the fun idea garnered trouble with the FAA, Lakemaid Beer has also received an incredible amount of publicity -- more than the video alone was likely to produce. People who never thought of Lakemaid are heading to the nearest store to buy a brew just to see what all the "brew-haha" is about. Only Supple can say if the publicity was worth all of the trouble he's in.
Sources: ABC News, Daily News