A mini-drone lands with a 12-pack of Lakemaid Beer for ice-fishing anglers on Minnesota's Lake Mille Lacs. (Lakemaid Beer / AP)
A Wisconsin beermaker wants drones to help anglers remotely replenish their stocks of beer. But the government is saying no.
The Federal Aviation Administration informed Lakemaid Beer that it currently prohibits small businesses from using drones shortly after the brewer posted video of a test run last week on Lake Waconia, located in Minnesota west of the Twin Cities.
Inspired by Amazon, Lakemaid had been testing a drone delivery system for 12-packs of beer to ice fishermen on lakes in Minnesota and in Wisconsin, Lakemaid president Jack Supple said in a news release. The beer is brewed in Stevens Point, Wis.
Another test was set for Lake Mille Lacs and the Twin Pines resort in Minnesota before the FAA stepped in. The beermaker’s video had gone viral, and now has more than 100,000 views.
Amazon grabbed the country’s attention late last year after announcing it was exploring ways to deliver packages with drones, and wants to deliver some packages within minutes of the orders being placed.
But Amazon faces the same FAA restrictions as Lakemaid — though the beermaker will be navigating wide-open spaces and wilderness rather than dense urban areas.
“We’d be happy to share our research with Amazon,” Supple said.
The FAA is widely expected to release new drone regulations by 2015, but Lakemaid would also have to implement a system to remotely verify age before it could deliver beer to buyers.