Bartesian co-founder Ryan Close told us by phone that this move will allow his company to focus on the drink making and development side of the business, while appliance giant Hamilton Beach can leverage its massive manufacturing expertise and retail distribution channels to bring the actual cocktail machine to market.
“It was a soul searching time,” said Close “Do we want to be an appliance company or a CPG company? If we wanted to do both, it would stretch things too far.”
The Bartesian countertop device uses combination of flavor capsules to hold liquors and mixers, which the appliance automatically blends into a variety of cocktails. It would be easy to liken Bartesian to a “Keurig for cocktails,” but Close winces at that comparison, noting that “this isn’t some sugary mix or powder.”
The machine will still be branded as Bartesian, and Close said they will keep their target release date of Q4 this year, as well as the $299 price tag. Bartesian still owns all of its IP, and will work with Hamilton Beach to develop future generations of the cocktail appliance.
This is the second big partnership for Bartesian. Last year they raised a “seven figure” round of funds from Beam Suntory, one of the world’s largest spirits conglomerates. That partnership has helped Bartesian expand its work developing new drinks and drink-concocting appliances. The company will launch with seven capsulized concoctions and will roll out fifty cocktail mixes over time.
While Close wouldn’t share the exact details of the Hamilton Beach arrangement, this seems to be a smart play for Bartesian. The company only has seven employees, and the transition from concept to manufacturing has been a big stumbling block for many upstart drink appliance makers. Having Hamilton Beach take over the production part of the business will hopefully give Bartesian the heft and scale it needs to overcome any obstacles and reach a mass market.