It sounds too good to be true: cases of beer delivered for parties; a bottle of wine shows up at the door while you’re finishing dinner for a few close friends; that coveted bottle of whiskey tracked down without dozens of calls around town.
Drizly is the lazy drinker’s best friend on a rainy weekend. The app-based delivery service specializes in connecting would-be drinkers with wine, beer, and liquor shops in their area, in order to deliver the goods without making you leave your house.
Plenty of people are finding that Drizly can do just that. We heard positive reviews from friends in Boston, Denver, and Los Angeles about the service, and our own transaction with Drizly was similarly without problems. Our order of a bottle of Four Roses Single Barrel was processed without issue, at an appropriate local price, and we even managed to find a promo code online that reduced a first-time purchase price.
But while it may be a great tool, the reality is that Drizly is not going to find you every holy grail bottle of alcohol, and it’s not going to save you money. Perhaps it’s better to talk about Drizly’s limitations, which are few but significant.
Drizly is, at heart, a network of local beer, wine, and liquor stores, and your service will only be as good, cheap, and reliable as that of your local liquor stores. If your area network of shops doesn’t have something, you’re not going to get it. The network can be of advantage in a few situations. It lets you find products without having to go to (ugh) or call around to (yuck) a dozen stores to find it.
We found some rarer beers in Manhattan, as well as a bottle of Pappy Van Winkle 20, and 15 (23 wasn’t available currently, but has been in the past). Of course, the availability of those products was because of their price: 15 was going for $1,500 from a store in the area. The 20 was going for $2,000. But those prices were set by the local shops, not Drizly (we called around to local shops to confirm just that).
Drizly also ships, though we confess that the pricing on their shipping services is more than we’d hoped to pay. It might be a good alternative for a desperate shopper, but since many states limit what you can have delivered — and some still prohibit liquor shipments altogether — it shouldn’t be your primary service.
On the delivery side, Drizly is in a few dozen U.S. and Canadian cities at the moment, with a list that is continuing to grow; find out if your city has Drizly by clicking on their online delivery map. We weren’t able to test the quality in every city, but we heard anecdotal evidence that people find it useful for the same reasons we did: weather, bulk buys, and hunting.
If you’re a whiskey or wine lover, it won’t replace your typical shopping trips. If you’re a beer connoisseur, it won’t be as entertaining as spending a few minutes walking the aisles. But as part of the arsenal of an aficionado, or as a reliable team member in your party-hosting stable, we can’t sing its praises enough.