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A-B, Keurig partnering on in-home alcohol drinks system

A-B, Keurig partnering on in-home alcohol drinks system

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Anheuser-Busch and Keurig Green Mountain are partnering to develop an in-home alcohol drinks system for beer, spirits, cocktails and mixers.

The joint venture will operate from facilities in Massachusetts and Vermont, and between 50 and 55 employees from both companies will work on the project.

Keurig’s Kold technology will form the basis of the new system, the companies said Friday, and the joint venture will use A-B InBev’s brewing and packaging technology. Keurig’s $370 home soda Kold machine product launched in 2015 but was discontinued after less than a year.

No timeline has yet been set for when the new beer appliance will be available for sale.

“We’re thrilled to be moving forward with this joint venture and look forward to working closely with the Keurig Green Mountain team to explore the possibilities of what we can achieve together,” Nathaniel Davis, CEO of the new venture, said in a statement.

Davis currently is the brewer’s global vice president of innovation and development. Beginning in 2002, Davis spent a decade working at A-B InBev’s North America headquarters in St. Louis, in packaging, new product development and as brewmaster at the research pilot brewery.

A-B launched a home draft beer system, Draftmark, in 2011, but discontinued the $50 product last year.

The brewer’s new joint venture with Keurig will face competition from other in-home drink systems, including Synek, a countertop beer dispenser that launched in St. Louis in 2015.

Synek has 5,000 beer dispensers on the market, and 2,000 breweries across the country are filling the product, said Synek’s founder Steve Young. Synek is available for sale on the company’s website for $399 but will soon be available for sale in more places.

“We’ll be rolling it out to mass retail this year,” Young said.

Synek has offices in St. Louis and in Denver and is opening an office in San Francisco to expand its new wine dispenser unit.

Lisa Brown • 314-340-8127

@lisabrownstl on Twitter

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