The Power of Vending Technology

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In real estate, ‘PropTech’ is a buzz word you hear frequently as the industry as a whole turns towards technological innovation in various sectors from construction to resident amenities. Though I use real estate as an example, in 2019, the movement towards digitization and automation to better the customer experience can be felt across almost all industries. For us, disrupting the vending industry by introducing a smart solution to vending craft beverages on tap was an important and exciting venture.

To jog your memory, Commonwealth Joe recently started rolling out 4G LTE enabled Kegerator Vending Machines (KVM) to customers across the Mid-Atlantic. The KVM is a self-serve kiosk that charges the consumer by the ounce for craft beverages on tap. In partnership with the inventors of the KVM, Smart Beverage Technologies, we have brought a solution to three main groups of people across the vending supply chain - the beverage producer, the facility, and the end consumer.

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For the kegged beverage producer like ourselves, the KVM solves a major issue. Prior to the invention of the KVM, there had been no way for craft beverage producers to overcome the upfront cost customers bore by purchasing kegged beverages. Companies interested in providing Nitro Cold Brew or Kombucha on tap to their employees or visitors needed to be willing to sponsor such an amenity. This limited the types of locations that could entertain the idea of craft beverages on tap. However, with a KVM, the facility can cost share or even fully transfer the cost of the craft beverages to the consumer through the machine’s pay-by-the-ounce feature, thus eliminating cost as a barrier for kegged beverage producers.

For spaces like convention centers, fitness centers, or universities, having on-tap craft beverages is an ideal amenity that can be used to create a more social environment for the high volume of visitors that pass through their doors. However, often times, it does not make sense for these types of spaces to foot the bill for the consumers. Now, similar to a standard vending machine, the KVM can charge consumers directly for the amount of beverage they pour, allowing these facilities to offer a healthy alternative to the processed beverages traditionally purchased at vending machines in their halls.

Lastly, KVMs cater to the one thing millennials long for - convenience. No longer does an apartment dweller need to start their commute twenty minutes early to stop at their local Starbucks. They can now simply fill up their tumbler with cold brew right in their lobby on the way out the door in the morning. For the business traveler who craves a cup of specialty coffee but doesn’t have the time to step out to the coffee shop between meetings, a KVM provides a quick and easy caffeinated relief. Along with the convenience provided by the hardware itself, the KVM’s telemetry technology allows our team to remotely monitor inventory levels in real-time to ensure our machines are always flowing.

Nitro Cold Brew on TapAt Commonwealth Joe, our goal is to make a positive and lasting impact for the beverage producers, facilities, and consumers we serve. To achieve this, scaling is key. Doing so, however, would not be possible without the technology behind the KVM. For us, creating a better customer experience is a major priority and one of the values we live by. The KVM’s telemetry technology allows our team to remotely monitor and proactively service our machines in the field, ensuring that our machines are full of craft beverages and in working order at all times.

Whether you are a kegged beverage producer looking to provide a hassle-free and cost-effective service model, a commercial facility interested in providing an additional amenity, or a consumer on the hunt for that perfect cup of cold brew, Commonwealth Joe's seamless customer service coupled with the KVM's technology and ease of use is the perfect solution. Visit to learn more about whether a KVM could be a good fit for your space.


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