Perhaps having gotten word that Starbucks will no longer serve wine and beer as it axes its fledgeling “Evenings” program, Keurig is entering the brewing game in a partnership with Anheuser-Bush InBev, which produces such illustrious brands as Corona, Budweiser and Stella Artois. The companies announced late last week that they were joining together to create a kind of in-home drink dispenser that will produce “beer, spirits, cocktails and mixers,” according to a press release.
At the moment, there are few details on what this joint venture will yield, since it’s in its very early stages and there aren’t any publicly available mock-ups that can give hints. Still, the companies say they will build on the “technology and system innovations” behind Keurig’s Kold, its now-discontinued at-home soda machine, as well as Anheuser-Bush InBev’s “brewing and packaging technology”— because what else would InBev bring to the table?
And while the novelty of a home brewing machine will probably appeal to gadget hounds, it isn’t entirely clear why anybody would need one. The kind of people who brew beer at home, in my experience, aren’t champing at the bit for an on-demand Budweiser. And if, like me, you drink Budweiser regularly (hey, it's cheap), you probably have a few bottles in your fridge at any given moment. Moreover, I believe that cocktail machines take the romance and individuality out of mixology, which, I’ve recently discovered—having acquired a shaker and the ingredients to produce more dirty martinis than I can stomach—is deeply personal and kind of zen.
Coffee is, too, of course, which is why I’m distrustful of any attempt by Keurig to capitalize on other unsuspecting drinks. But it’s probably best, as Clint Rainey of Grub Street suggests, to reserve judgment of this Keurig-InBev partnership until something concrete emerges from the research and development stage.