So one of the big stories surrounding the All Star game in Minneapolis next week is these bad boys in the above picture. Self serve beer stations! You can read all of the actual details here from Darren Rovell on ESPN. Kind of a lot to think about here and to be honest these things kind of have me in a mental pretzel. On the one hand I love the the specialization factor. If I want 10 ounces of beer I can get 10 ounces of beer. If I want 48 ounces of beer I can get 48 ounces of beer. You're not locked into just getting a 'regular' or 'liter' ( do we have liter o beer ?). And the price cannot be beat. 38 cents per ounce? YES! YES! YES! Just doing a little quick math that's $4.56 for a 12 ounce beer. I mean are you serious with that number? I can't remember the last time I spent less than $7 on a beer at a baseball game. And even if you argue that most beers in ballparks are 16 ounces that still only checks in at $6.08. Either that's a major oversight by the Twins or crossing the border into Minnesota is a time warp. Beer at ballparks is $4.50, gas is $1.75 and people still read newspapers and adjust their top 8 on MySpace (for our younger readers MySpace was Facebook before Facebook was Facebook, Encarta it).
On the downside you have to go out of your way to go to a separate station to get a 'beer credit card' that can only be used on these machines. So you have to stand in a line to get id-ed and pay money to get a card to then go use in a different area. Why not just stand in a concession line, get id-ed at the counter and have that person just pour you a beer right then and there? Saves you a step in the 'Two Fisted Slobber' process. That plus I sort of like the human element of ordering a beer from an actual person. Something about ordering a domestic beer at a 3,000% mark up from an actual person makes it feel more authentic. That plus as I'm getting a little older I'm finding my ability to figure out new technology is regressing at an alarming rate. Like the Qdoba by our station just opened and has those new fangled soda machines with 324343 different options and flavors of soda. And it's all touch screen. Took me a while but I finally figured that one out*. But I did watch as a guy probably in his 50's or 60's stared at it for the first time for about 2 minutes before walking away as if to say 'welp....guess I'm not drinking soda with my burrito today.' Sort of looked like my ghost of Christmas future. So in conclusion, self serve beer: A+ idea, C- execution.
*I held out my cup to someone that may or may not have worked at Qdoba and screamed 'CHERRY COKE PLEASE!'
PS: Annnnnnd we're one step closer to living in the world created by Back to the Future II. Next step is freeze dried pizza made in 10 seconds and if there is a God, hoverboards.