What if your Keurig serves alcoholic beverages instead of coffee? Well, Keurig actually created such a gadget — a $300 cocktail-making pod machine called the Drinkworks Home Bar that turned disposable capsules into cold drinks. Only Keurig and Anheuser-Busch mysteriously shut down that venture just three weeks ago, going so far as to appoint a settlement administrator to offer refunds. Which leaves a perfect space in the market for a competitor to step in: the upholsterer’s Black & Decker, power tools and small kitchen appliances.
The $300 Black + Decker Bev comes this spring with what may be the most practical (and ugly) take on the robot bartender yet. Unlike any competitor I could find on the web, it’s literally looks like a low-end Keurig, only with five stainless steel straws to suck the alcohol from five standard 750ml liquor bottles of your choice. No need for custom bottles, no need to turn the bottles upside down and potentially make a mess.
You load it up with tequila, rum, vodka, gin and whiskey bottles, fill the water tank, pop in a pod of the juices and bitters, and press a button that corresponds to the desired strength of your drink. Then an internal pump draws out digitally measured amounts of each liquid, uses pressure to push them into the capsule and mix, valves divert excess liquid back to each pristine bottle, the drink is poured into your glass and the entire system flushes the pipes with air and water to clean itself. The company says the entire process takes less than 30 seconds. (The capsules also have something akin to Keurig-esque DRM: the machine scans a base barcode to identify the capsule.)
As with Keurig’s venture, Stanley Black & Decker (which also owns DeWalt, Craftsman, and Porter-Cable) isn’t doing it alone: It partners with Bartesian and uses that company’s existing pods (which cost $15 for a pack of six, each good for a drink). Interestingly, the Bev is $50 cheaper than Bartesian’s current machine. Stanley Ventures also invested in Bartesian last year, and Black+Decker spokesperson Brooke Withers confirms that the company is “working with Bartesian to explore options to bring the craft cocktail experience at home to other markets around the world.”
Newgadgets.de got a very quick look at the Bev on the CES 2022 show floor, and you can check it out embedded below.
In case you’re wondering, no, the Bev doesn’t have a Bluetooth or Wi-Fi remote, but the company says it has a “party mode” with LEDs to light up the bottles.