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The future of getting drunk at sporting events, and also possibly the future of inciting sports riots, is here. This year’s Major League Baseball All-Star game at Target Field in Minnesota will feature DraftServ (spelled without the “e” because…?), a self-serve beer dispenser pioneered by Anheuser-Busch and concessionaire Delaware North.
The machine is similar to a soda fountain, but comes with a few extra security precautions, chiefly a preloaded card the customer has to purchase at a concession stand before moving on to the beer fountain.
Fans attending Twins games can go to a cash register, show their ID and preload a $10 or $20 card. For the All-Star Game, a $50 card will be available.
Fans then scan the card at the machine and can choose between four beers and regulate how much they want to have poured.
Bud and Bud Light will cost 38 cents per ounce, while Shock Top Lemon Shandy and Goose Island 312 Urban Pale Ale will cost 40 cents per ounce.
There will also be a stadium employee standing watch at the machine to make sure no children or drunks in a child-like state of inebriation are allowed to pour a cold one. On top of that, the cards are only allowed to be used once every fifteen minutes, which means in the 6th inning you’re better off buying two $10 cards in case you have to chug before the alcohol cutoff hits. These are things you have to consider now, guys. Don’t get caught with $8 left on a $20 card. I may never use one of these machines, but just imagining that scenario is infuriating, like when you get asked to leave a strip club because they don’t appreciate you putting leftover Dave & Busters tickets down a g-string. They’re not worth nothing, dammit!
Minnesota is serving as a test run for the machine, and of all the places they could have wheeled this potential latest good intention brick on the road to hell, Minnesota might be the safest. I have no doubt that Twins fans can put them back with the best of us, but in terms of temperament, it feels safer to test a beer dispenser in a friendly, Midwestern town, instead of, say, Philadelphia. They’d be choppering Bryce Harper from his hotel like it was the Saigon embassy if Phillies fans were allowed to serve themselves.
The self-serve beer dispenser is going to be fun for everyone one way or the other. Either it ends in hilarious disaster, or we get to serve ourselves beer. Sounds great.