Chicago Blackhawks

Self-Service Beer Machines Coming to United Center for Playoff Games

The machines allow fans to pour their own beer and pay by the ounce

A new self-service beer machine will make its United Center debut just in time for Chicago Bulls and Blackhawks playoff games.

Two of the machines, operated by DraftServ, will be installed April 18 near the Goose Island Brew Pub in the arena, according to Crain's Chicago Business. They'll stick around at least through the postseason for both the Bulls and the Blackhawks.

Here's how the beer machines work. Beer drinkers can buy a DraftServ card from a cashier using a credit card. Then, they swipe the DraftServ card and fill up their glasses as much as they want, paying by the ounce. The amount of beer poured will  be charged to the credit card used to purchase the DraftServ card.

At the United Center, spectators can choose from four brews: Bud Light, Budweiser, Stella Artois and Goose Island, according to Crain's. The Bud Light and Budweiser will cost 42.5 cents per ounce and Stella Artois and Goose Island 47.5 cents per ounce.

Attendants will check IDs and give out wristbands for those old enough to buy beer. No matter how big your glass is, the machines will only pour up to 20 ounces of beer at a time and allow two beers per ID.

DraftServ machines are meant to help reduce lines at concession stands as well as control drinking among fans. An inebriated fan's DraftServ card can easily be deactivated if the fan becomes disruptive, according to DrafServ.

Several venues across the U.S. have already started using the machines, including Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Gwinnett Arena in the Atlanta metropolitan area, Target Field in Minneapolis and Miller Park in Milwaukee. The machines also operate on Norwegian Pearl cruise ships.

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