Archived Story

FAA grounds drone beer delivery

Published 12:23pm Friday, January 31, 2014

MINNEAPOLIS — A craft brewer had a plan to deliver beer to thirsty ice fishing anglers on a Minnesota lake until the Federal Aviation Administration stepped in and grounded the idea.

Lakemaid Beer would deliver a 12-pack of its lager to anglers on central Minnesota’s Lake Mille Lacs using a drone. It would take orders using GPS coordinates.

Lakemaid President Jack Supple rented a drone and tested the idea on Lake Waconia and then posted a video on the brewer’s Facebook page.

Set to cheery music, it featured a six-bladed unmanned craft gliding over fish houses and gently setting a box of Frosty Winter Lager on a snowy lake.

That’s when the FAA caught wind of the business plan and told Supple his commercial use of an unmanned aircraft isn’t permitted.

So for now, the Stevens Point, Wis., brewer will deliver its beer to retailers by land. Lakemaid’s promotional tagline is: “Great fishermen need great beer.” It just won’t be delivered by air.