Thursty: A new app called Drizly delivers booze right to your doorstep

Drizly co-founders Justin Robinson, left, Nick Rellas, center, and Spencer Frazier don't have an office yet but are operating primarily out of Gordon's Liquors in Watertown
Drizly co-founders Justin Robinson, left, Nick Rellas, center, and Spencer Frazier don’t have an office yet but are operating primarily out of Gordon’s Liquors in Watertown

Don’t drink and drive: drink and tap.

News last week that the federal government is considering recommending the threshold for operating a vehicle under the influence be lowered from .08 percent to .05 percent stirred up controversy on either side of the issue. Luckily for us drinkers, however, we got some good news, as well: you may no longer need to make that possbly-illegal drive to restock on supplies, anyway.

A new alcohol-delivery service application called Drizly (drizly.com), developed by three Boston College alums, was just rolled out after a year of testing, development, and — this is probably crucial here in Mass — legal advice. Seems almost too good to be true, but it’s legit. So why hasn’t anyone thought of this before?

That question is how the founders arrived at this junction, explains Nick Rellas. More specifically, “Why cant we use our phone to deliver?”

“We see mobile devices as tools that consumers carry around everyday,” he says. “There’s no reason why the package store industry can’t leverage these computers in our pockets to increase sales and change the competitive forces at play.”

Drizly won’t make money on the transaction itself, instead cashing in on advertising on the application. “We wanted to bring value across all areas of the spirits industry, from brand to distributor, retailer and consumer,” Rellas says. “In a world full of ‘big data,’ this industry is behind, and [the liquor companies] spend billions on advertising to make up for it.”

Drizly will utilize purchase data (not any that identifies the user personally) to serve ads that fall in line with your interests. Buy a lot of gin? You might get a recommendation on the interface for a company they partner with, like South Boston’s GrandTen Distillers.

“We want to bring you new, interesting products that you will actually enjoy. We are using that data to help the experience of purchasing and consuming spirits,” he says.

Perhaps even saving lives in the process — or at least saving you a trip to the store.

How it works

The thinking behind the market forces here may be complex, but the app itself is straightforward. You sign in (it’s available for iOS devices at the moment), set up your profile, and begin searching for spirits or beers that you want delivered. An hour or so later, they arrive at your home, where drivers, employed by the stores, scan your ID. Be nice if they’d come in and mix up some cocktails for us while they were at it, but let’s not get greedy here. The supply is somewhat limited to start, but they plan to expand the brands available, and the stores they work with (Gordon’s Wine and Spirits as of now) as the roll out proceeds. The Drizly team worked with Advanced ID Detection, a company in Medway, to develop a proprietary, mobile, forensic ID verification system that assures that the person purchasing and receiving the alcohol is of age.


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