In less than a year’s time, Austin has gone from having zero alcohol delivery apps to three. The newest app to hit the market is Thirstie, which only launched last year but quickly spread to several U.S. cities, including Miami, Los Angeles and Chicago, and is here just in time for South by Southwest.
Thirstie joins BrewDrop, an Austin-based app maker that debuted the concept of an alcohol delivery service to Central Texas last spring, and Drizly, arguably the most well-known of these boozy delivery services in the U.S. that arrived in town last fall.
They all work pretty much the same way, since they have to follow strict state and federal alcohol laws. None of the apps sell or deliver any of the alcoholic beverages. Instead, they act as connections between app users and participating liquor stores, providing an inventory list of available products that the consumers can then purchase from the store and have brought to them by a delivery person working for the store. He or she only delivers during the store’s business hours and checks your ID before handing over your boozy order.
And as the three apps guarantee, the delivery will take place within an hour after you place the order.
So far, only one of the apps seems to have partnered up with enough liquor stores to be a citywide service, however. I tested all three of them — BrewDrop, Drizly and Thirstie all immediately prompt you for your address or zip code so they’ll know which lists of available beer, wine and spirits selections to pull up — and only BrewDrop currently extends into 78750, my West Austin zip code. Alcohol delivery is mainly for Austin’s core, at least for now.
But Thirstie does have something special up its alcohol-soaked sleeve: The app (which unfortunately has a $30 minimum order requirement) also serves up cocktail recipes based on what you are buying, according to a press release.
And throughout this week, if you visit thirstie.com/sxsw, you’ll get “a complete bar experience (on) your smartphone with hyper-local Austin-centric tips for drinks, bars, bartenders — you name it,” according to the press release. “Just take out your smartphone, answer three quick Qs, and the app will determine what flavors and types of drinks you will personally enjoy — plus the recipes to create them at home or in your hotel room. With a few more screen taps, sit back and wait for that delivery.”
The site, which features a nice roster of articles about Austin’s drinking scene in addition to the cocktail generator, looks relevant throughout the year and not just during the festival. To download Thirstie, visit your Android or iPhone app store or go to thirstie.com.