FAA Puts a Stop to Beer Deliveries Via Drone in Minnesota

In Depth

Who hasn’t thought to themselves: “wow, I’d sure love it if I could get a delivery of tasty fermented yeast juice by airborne military strike device?” I have good news and bad news: the good news is this was a real thing for about 15 minutes, the bad news is it’s no longer a real thing because real life just isn’t that awesome.

Late last week, Lakemaid brewing company succeeded in getting their beer drone delivery service off the ground. As was the case here, Lakemaid’s idea was designed primarily for delivery to ice fishing shacks that aren’t exactly fun to get to by conventional means — and if there’s anyone who needs emergency alcohol airdrops, it’s ice fishermen. Gee, I’m shocked that such a creative delivery idea came from an area so cold that they responded to the opening scene of Empire Strikes Back with a hearty, “Oh, yah, dat Tauntaun sleepin’ bag’s a great idea, you betcha!”

Apparently, however, the FAA was not happy about Minnesotans’ desire to make the world a slightly weirder place, and has now slapped Lakemaid with a Cease and Desist order. While drones are not technically banned for commercial use (who knew? Well, aside from Amazon, apparently, which is where Lakemaid got the idea in the first place), they must stay below 400 feet, not fly over populated areas, and may not carry anything above 25 kilograms. I’m assuming that’s what “kilos” in the above article means, although my knowledge of metric is such that I’m about 40% the unit of weight measurement is actually hectares. Anyway, Lakemaid’s deliveries were apparently violating every one of these rules. Interestingly, however, the FAA plans to review the regulations on this subject, possibly even next year — for the Federal Government, that’s basically moving at light speed. So the future could well be full of flying death machines delivering delicious Pilsner.

I wish my imagination was good enough to make stuff like this up, guys.

Image via AP.

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