Baseball fans would argue there’s very little that tastes better than a hot dog and a beer at the stadium of your favorite team. The concept is a staple of American culture, so it’s no surprise that something came along to bring the tradition into the next century.
Yesterday, Target Field introduced self-serve beer machines, called DraftServ. The beer-dispensing machines are concessionaires born from a partnership between Delaware North and Anheuser-Busch.
The self-serve beer station serves four different beers: Bud, Bud Light, Shock Top Lemon Shandy and Goose Island 312 Urban Pale Ale.
To use the machines, customers need to purchase a card from an employee after having their ID checked. That card can be scanned at the stations, which will serve up to 48 ounces of beer every 15 minutes.
The self-serve beer machines are not unlike the soda machines found in various fast food restaurants. Customers will be able to taste a drop or two of a new beer before committing to a purchase; they will even be able to control how much they get. For instance, if someone only wanted half a cup of beer, they would only have to pay for half a cup. Finally, experimental fans would be able to mix the beers if they wanted to, in order to experience different flavor profiles.
“That’s part of the fun,” said Jeremy Jacobs Jr., the Principal at Delaware North.
There’s been some debate over whether or not the self-serve beer machine is a good idea. After all, if you serve yourself a little too much Pepsi you’ll get a stomach ache; however, if you serve yourself a little too much beer the health ramifications could be extreme.
“It’s always a concern,” Jacobs Jr. said. “We’re vigilant about watching for people that are becoming inebriated and trying to restrict their consumption.”
The company responded to the concern by reminding customers that there will always be an employee on duty to restrict access to minors and people who’ve had too much. Also, just like the concession stands, the self-serve machines stop dispensing beer by the seventh inning.
Another DraftServ machine will be added for the All-Star Game next week.
“It’s just something we are testing to get a sense of what the customer wants,” Jacobs Jr. said. “Is it something they enjoy and something that is going to create a level of loyalty to the ballpark and the stadium?”
[ Image courtesy of Deadspin ]