Target Field's self-service beer machine cuts out the middleman -- the bartender

Categories: Beer

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Courtesy of Draftserv's Facebook

What would life be like if your local bar allowed you direct access to their beer taps and charged you on a per-ounce basis? Would you be more likely to try a beer you might not otherwise try? Would you miss the interaction with the barkeep, or does fetching your own beer just cut out the middleman? On Sunday, Target Field launched a self-service beer machine that does exactly that, and they'll have two on hand for the upcoming All-Star Game.

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The machines, simply called DraftServ, are the result of a collaborative effort between the folks at Anheuser-Busch and food-service management company Delaware North. The machines deal out beer by the ounce, which in theory allows game-goers the opportunity to better choose the amount of beer they consume.

According to Jerry Jacobs Jr. of Delaware North, "It's a way to engage with the customer and allows the fan to have greater control of what they're drinking."

While we're not so sure if this is actually a way to better "engage" the customer, we'll admit we're intrigued. For the less-than-tech-savvy drinkers, there will be attendants on hand to help. Customers pre-purchase cards from a clerk at a register in $10 or $20 amounts (a $50 card will be made available specifically for the MLB All-Star Game). Once your ID has been checked by an attendant, you can then tap your pre-paid card to the machine and specify what type of beer and how much of it you want. The beer is then dispensed to you by the ounce.

There are, of course, restrictions. The machines will only be allowed to dispense 48 ounces of beer to a customer every 15 minutes. That's the equivalent of three regular bar pints every 15 minutes, which, frankly, is a lot of brewskis.

The DraftServ machines will offer four varieties of beer, including Budweiser, Bud Light, Shocktop Lemon Shandy, and Goose Island 312 Urban Pale Ale. The price per ounce ranges from $.38-$.40, or around $6.08-$6.40 per 16-ounce pint.

Jacobs Jr. acknowledges that there is a large novelty component to the machine, although the company does maintain that it allows users greater control over their drinking experience. "If they want half of a cup, that's all they will pay for," he says.

While this kind of setup makes sense for sampling a variety of beer options, the fact that the choices have been narrowed down to four widely accessible beers seems to take away a bit of the novelty, especially when several pre-existing Target Field vendors offer bigger selections of beer, including several locally brewed options.

So what do you think of these new DraftServ machines? Will they become the next big thing for major sporting events? If you have to buy a card first, does this mean you have to wait in line twice to buy beer? Would you be more interested if you were given a greater number of beers to choose from? Let us know in the comments section below.

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19 comments
Bill Rebel
Bill Rebel

How is it going to block my view while I repeatedly pass drinks and change to over served , peanut bladder guys that all seem to sit in the middle of the row.

Sachin John Koshy
Sachin John Koshy

They will have goose island and a couple others as well. You pay by the ounce. There is also someone to card people at the vending area as well.

Kimlinh Bui
Kimlinh Bui

that annoying monopoly is Delaware North Companies, btw. They're not even based out of the Twin Cities.

Kimlinh Bui
Kimlinh Bui

ridiculous concession prices at Target Field are not due to food operators gouging the public just to be asses. Those $10 beers and long lines are owing to ALL concessions being run by a single company. The local brands you see are there only through "partnership" agreements and pay part of their sales for the privilege of a stadium stand. I looked into a stand there. It's an impossible monopoly. what really gets me is if serving such a high volume is a problem then why can't they let more operators in?

Bob OBrien
Bob OBrien

Old news. And who the hell would drink Budweiser?

Mel UgoFurst
Mel UgoFurst

Cuts out the demand for minimum wage hike. Meet your new 'servers.'

Sizzle Pants Culp
Sizzle Pants Culp

Is it only Bud Light? Yuck. Only benefit is the potential of a shorter line for good beer.

Jenn Kerin
Jenn Kerin

How will they curb a minor getting a hold of their parents/adult's card and fueling up themselves?

MNjoe
MNjoe topcommenter

Well, there goes a couple of minimum wage jobs at Target Field. Greedy fucks!

Steven Martinson
Steven Martinson

It doesn't fully count out the middleman. A staff member will still be present for troubleshooting issues and checking I.D's for anyone who looks under 30. You purchase a card that will allow you to come and get beer as you please. You are also able to choose how many ounces you wish to purchase, but it will only allow a certain amount per hour. Enough though where you can purchase for you and a friend or two.

David Dyer
David Dyer

Shudder. Spit out. Get good beer. Enjoy.

David Lloyd
David Lloyd

Thankfully they still let bartenders pour good beer.

Marc Sherer
Marc Sherer

So, how does it work? You get to stand in line for a special card, and then stand in line for a beer? Sign me up!

spincut13
spincut13

Make purchasing process less hoop jump-y (I'd rather just swipe my card at the machine, not buy prepaid nonsense first, also find a way for it to scan a valid idea without having an attendant check maybe? Although I guess a human being involved somewhere would cut down on fraud).


Otherwise, yeah, they just need to put better beer in the machine..(although I do like Goose Island...312 Pale Ale is my least favorite :P ) 

Angela Salzl
Angela Salzl

I think its going to lead to some problems....... But hey people should be accountable for their own actions. So we shall see how it pans out

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