The Minnesota Twins have become the first major league team to sell beer from a vending machine. The self-serve beer station debuted Sunday during the game against the New York Yankees. A second station is expected to be ready in time for the All-Star Game next week.
To buy a beer from the vending machine, buyers prove their age at a concession stand (presumably to a human being) and purchase a vending card. That card is used at the vending machine where buyers can tap up to 48 ounces every 15 minutes. The machine offers four beers: Bud, Bud Light, Shock Top Lemon Shandy and Goose Island 312 Urban Pale Ale.
These unique machines, called DraftServ, are a partnership between Anheuser-Busch and concessionaire Delaware North, the latter of which is owned by Bruins owner Jeremy Jacobs, who is a business partner of Red Sox owner John Henry (both teams co-own NESN.) The obvious question is this: when will DraftServ, or maybe even HardLiquorServ, make its’ debut at Fenway Park? The Twins are almost as bad as the Red Sox, so shouldn’t Sox fans at least have the right to go and pour their own Absolut or Crown Royal? At this point, maybe the team should think of installing Anti-DepressantServ?
“It’s a way to engage with the customer and allows the fan to have greater control of what they’re drinking,” Jerry Jacobs Jr., principal of concessions giant Delaware North, told ESPN.com. Translated, this means “It allows our partners to reduce payroll by cutting staff members and replacing them with machines that won’t have the slightest idea if anyone is totally plastered or not.”
This has all the makings of a disaster. Allegedly, each machine will have one human being monitoring customers to make sure they look of age and that they’re not hammered. Just like with other self-serve machines that inevitably have problems with confused customers, can you imagine the problems with confused and DRUNK customers?
Can you picture Tony from Boston, after downing 98 ounces within 35 minutes, trying to withdraw money from DraftServ thinking it’s an ATM? Or how about Kelly from Southie, getting agitated because she can’t rent “Lone Survivor” from DraftServ?
If this makes its’ way to Fenway, maybe watching the antics of the customers vs. machine will be more entertaining than the antics of the Red Sox vs. opponents.