By Mike Pomranz
Updated September 07, 2016
Carling, beer button, beer
Credit: © Carling

Imagine the intoxicating convenience of always being one button-push away from having beer delivered right to your home. The idea sounds as potentially troublesome as it does potentially amazing. And one brewery realized it’s not just some frat boy pipe dream: We can build it; we have the technology.

This week, the UK’s most popular lager brand, Carling, introduced what it’s billing as a “world first” beer button: essentially the equivalent of Amazon’s one-touch “Dash” buttons that can be set up to order more Carling (and only Carling) from four of the country’s largest grocery store chains. According to Marketing Week, the button is designed to be placed in the fridge, providing immediate access when you realize your supply is running low, and synchs with a smartphone app to place the order. In the app, users can choose whether they prefer to shop with Tesco, Asda, Morrisons or Sainsbury, and once the button is pushed, the app loads some Carling brews into the corresponding online shopping cart. (That means, yes, it sounds like you probably have to take one additional step of checking out to actually get the beer delivered to your house. It’s very annoying; I know.)

Alphesh Mistry, customer marketing director at Carling-owner Molson Coors, pointed out that the Carling button isn’t supposed to be some parlor trick to impress your friends when you’re all hammered. The company really wants people to use it to buy more Carling. “Although it may seem too good to be true for some Carling fans, the Carling Button is not a gimmick but is already up and running as a fully functional product,” said Mistry. He then even dropped some hardcore business talk: “It is a scalable solution, that we see having a direct impact on how our consumers shop online and purchase Carling.” Molson Coors sees this device as a way to get more visibility – as opposed to consumers seeing whatever beer brands happen to pop up first when they are searching for beer while shopping online.

Instant shopping is also quickly becoming a more competitive space. In what probably isn’t a coincidence, just last week Amazon debuted its Dash buttons in the UK. In talking to Marketing Week, Molson Coors specifically mentioned that the brand has no plans to partner with Amazon Dash, instead using its own beer buttons as a “completely separate venture.”

Of course, the whole thing is kind of moot if you want to order any beer other than Carling. And, let’s be honest, the kind of people who drink Carling are already pretty dedicated to buying more Carling: They’re probably not going to stray to the hippest new craft beer brand. Still, it’s a fun concept. And, added bonus, remembering if you’re low on beer can be especially tough when you’ve had a few beers. This button helps solve that problem.