In a move that’s got beer vendor lovers up in arms and suds drinking fans who hate long lines cheering, MLB and Budweiser are debuting a new vending machine at this year’s All Star game in Minnesota.
Called the DraftServ, patrons can now avoid the long lines at fountains and turn to a new vending machine that employs e-Card reading benefits with innovative features like custom pouring (a new phrase) ID check, and auto drunk fan lockout (also a new phrase.)
But, most first reactions side with vendors who are afraid they’ll be losing their already low paying jobs to a machine. Sorry, the future has to come sometime.
And it’s now. The machines will offer four flavors (Bud, Bud Light and a couple of tooty-frooty names nobody’s ever heard of) at a slightly lower price than a similarly poured-by-a-human cup of suds.
At .38 an ounce for the Buds and .40 for the specialties, a 12 ounce beer comes out to slightly less than $5, the low end of already outrageous prices at the ballpark. That will probably change, real soon.
Perhaps even more rankling are the company’s claims to better “engage” customers (how better to engage than with a machine?) and the 48 ounce limit every 15 minutes. That’s 16 brewskies an hour. Sound’s about right for what passes as a fan at today’s MLB games.
There are some funky limitations, however. The pre-loaded cards must be purchased and paid for first (even outside the stadium, which is a plus) presumably on one line. How long lines will be at the vending machine itself remains to be seen, but it does seem to add an extra step to the process.
Also, a live, human vendor must still be on hand to prevent underage drinkers from taking advantage of the new technology. And, there will still be someone around to refuse overly intoxicated patrons from purchasing even more beer.
Good luck with that.
This new technology has all the makings of a “Beerpocalypse.”
But, at least you won’t have to wait so long in line…
Photo source: DraftServ