Editor's note: As of June 20, BrewDrop is officially available in Austin. To download the free app, please visit iTunes.
You know that horrible feeling when you're at a party or a barbecue and someone announces you're out of beer? Wild-eyed and panicked, you turn to your companion and say, "We're leaving. Oh my god, we should leave right?" Fortunately, two brothers are making sure no party in Austin goes booze-less ever again.
With their new app BrewDrop, Matthew and Andrew Bell, along with CTO and co-founder Gerardo Trevino, are partnering with local liquor stores to have wine, beer and liquor delivered to your front door. The app allows you to log on from your smartphone, browse local inventory, make your selections, and have the order sent to you in about the same amount of time as it would take to get a pizza delivered.
Rather than control the inventory, BrewDrop serves as the connection between the consumer (in this case, the app user) and the local liquor store. Though the order is made through BrewDrop, when the delivery is made, the liquor store delivery person must uphold TABC guidelines, properly checking identification. Also in adherence to the rules, orders won't be delivered during off hours (like the brunch-ruining rule of not selling Champagne before noon on Sundays).
BrewDrop allows you to log on, browse local inventory, make your selections and have your order sent to you in about the same amount of time as a pizza delivery.
The idea for BrewDrop came during Matthew's wedding in the backyard of the Bell family home in New Jersey. After running out of beer, a few of the members of the party begrudgingly left with instructions to buy a case of wine and a six-pack of beer. When they returned to the wedding with a keg and single bottle of wine, they were chastised for not following instructions. Andrew lamented that if only there were an app for alcohol delivery, not only would no one be forced to leave the party, they wouldn't have messed up the order.
Though it would take nearly four years for the self-described "serial entrepreneurs" to revisit the idea, they eventually started planning in April 2013. "Andrew approached me in a Gchat and he said, 'Remember that idea? Why not put it in an app and make it like Uber [the car service app] for beer?'" explains Matthew.
BrewDrop joins a surprisingly unsaturated market when it comes to mobile alcohol delivery services. The most prominent competitor, Drizly — which popped up in the fall of 2013 and is based on a similar model — only delivers in Boston and Manhattan. With that in mind, BrewDrop decided to launch in Austin where both Matthew and Trevino live. "It's our home and it's just a cool city doing a lot of cool things," explains Matthew.
Almost four years after a fatefully booze-less family wedding, BrewDrop is just a few weeks away from launching.
Austin's reputation as a creative and technology hub isn't the only draw. "We're big craft beer enthusiasts," says Matthew. "Part of the appeal of living in Austin is there's a tremendous craft beer culture. We hope we can help these brands and ... just generate buzz for these local breweries." Currently among the staff's favorites? 512 Pecan Porter.
Lucky for Austin's thirsty citizens, BrewDrop will be buzzing pretty soon. Almost a year after the Bell brothers' chat, and almost four years after that fatefully booze-less wedding, BrewDrop is just a few weeks away from launching. "We are beginning internal testing this week," says Andrew. "The exact [launch] date is unclear, but it should be within the next two weeks. We've submitted our application to the app store [and we're] awaiting approval from Apple." Until then, you will most likely see the co-founders out and about during SXSW, trying to hype up the masses about their new app.
Though it seems that BrewDrop's ambition is to keep the party going as long as possible in Austin, the founders say it's also about safety. "I think one big [benefit to BrewDrop] is that it's a safer way to drink," says Jay Egger, BrewDrop's marketing coordinator. "We're hoping around 11 pm, when there's a big party going on, [that customers use] BrewDrop instead of getting in the car. Don't drink and drive. BrewDrop."
For more information, and to find out when BrewDrop will be available for download, please go here.