Beer Vending Machines

Beer vending machines might sound like a dream idea for beer lovers but, for various reasons, they are not easy to find in the US at present.

The thought of being able to buy a cold beer from a machine 24/7 sounds like something out of a film, but it might be less far fetched than you think.

So, let’s answer the first key question:

Are there beer vending machines?

Yes, but they are still extremely rare in the US, mainly due to the limited number of states that have legalized alcohol sales from a vending machine. They are, however, quite common in Japan, where the laws are very different.

Sapporo beer vending machine in Japan - very different to the US
A wall-mounted Sapporo beer vending machine in the street in Japan – very different to the current situation in the US. Photo Credit: RL

Now, with that said, let’s move on to look at a few more common questions about beer vending machines in the US and also some different technologies and versions of beer vending machines that are currently available.

Let’s crack it open!

Are beer vending machines legal in the US?

Yes they are but not in many states. Where legal, they are also subject to very strict regulation, where the owner needs to ensure age of the customer is verified and that the beer is served open.

Beer vending machines in the US are problematic because laws require beer cans to be sold opened, as well as the need for age verification.

However, there is an innovative beer vending machine that is able to open beer cans when dispensing them to the customer. The machine is called BeerBox and is backed by various firms like Intelligent Product Solutions (IPS) as well as ZX Ventures.

There are not many recent updates on the progress with the BeerBox vending machine, so it is hard to say whether it is progressing as hoped it had been sheened.

Which States have Legalized Alcohol Vending Machines?

At the time of writing, alcohol vending machines are legal in the following US states:

  • Florida
  • Nevada
  • New York
  • Pennsylvania

Note that beer is not expressly mentioned in the list above, with more of the states listed above having self-serve wine or other alcoholic drinks as an option given.

However, updates out of Florida show that beer vending machines have been given the green light after some initial legal challenges.

How do beer vending machines work?

They work in the same way that a soda vending machine does, taking the same size cans, just with beer instead of soda. However, they need technology to verify the age of the customer before dispensing a beer and must open the beer by US law.

Beer vending machines can currently check age of customers either when they are in a secure location or have innovative age-verification technology installed.

A secure location for a beer vending machine can be inside a licensed bar, as in the case of the Existing Conditions bar in New York City’s Greenwich Village, where the owners sell cocktails and wine, and are responsible for the age of anyone entering.

Beer Vending Machine Age Verification: Possible with Crypto Currency

It is currently possible to verify customer’s age at a vending machine by using a combination of cryptocurrency BitCoin and the Civic app, a BitCoin wallet which verifies user’s age in a reliable way when creating an account.

The Civic app’s identity verification process is robust and customers only need to scan a QR code at the beer vending machine to purchase a drink.

You can see more on this process from Civic’s current CEO, Vinny Lingham, in the video below

This is one example of how it is currently possible to verify age when selling beer of alcohol through a vending machine, but no doubt more technological solutions for this will pop up in future.

Beer Vending Machines: Using Biometric Data to Check Age

There is also the possibility of using biometric data-checking technology for selling beer through vending machines in the US, with a report on this explaining that the technology is already  there and that they believe the US market is ready for such checks.

Beer Vending Machines for Sale

As an individual, it is currently only possible to find beer vending machines for sale on Ebay, although there are other options out there for wholesalers and larger businesses.

Two of the main beer vending machines currently for sale are listed below, with some product specifications to help you get a clearer picture of what is currently available.

Royal Vendors Beer Vending Machine

You can find beer vending machines for sale on Ebay, with one modified from well-known vending machine manufacturer Royal Vendors.
The modified RVV 500 vending machine can sell beer, wine and champagne in various measurements and are available in the US.

This machine has a product ‘elevator’, meaning that the drink is placed softly into the tray for the user to collect it without shaking or breaking it.

Draft Beer Vending Machine Served in a Cup

You can also find a modified Pies Bira vending machine on Ebay serving draught beer at 10fl. oz sized cups.

This vending machine manufacturer is out of Italy, but it is not clear from the product description who has actually made the modifications to this machine.

Beer Vending Machine for Your House

You can buy one of the several vintage brands of beer vending machines, but note that these are only for personal use, not for business use.

Some of the main vintage beer vending machines you can find are for the following brands:

  • Budweiser
  • Corona
  • Peroni

Unfortunately, these are hard to find although it is always worth keeping an eye on ‘beer vending machine’ searches in Ebay in case one appears.

Future of Beer Vending Machines

With the technology evolving all the time, and the possibilities of digital age verification becoming more and more available, expect to see many more beer vending machines springing up in the States that have legalized it.

Over time, as beer vending machines become a proven and more common concept, you may also expect to see more states legalizing the sale of beer from said machines.

Steve Beale

Hey there! I am Steve and I run Vending Focus, where I share all the info I've gained from researching the vending machine business as I learn about it myself. I truly believe that vending machines have a huge role to play in the future of commerce and am here to share all the key information I can. Happy to help!

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