With the team's entire season possibly hanging in the balance, the Milwaukee Brewers are getting back to the basics by using the latest technology. The Brewers, who have lost eight straight games to fall out of first place, have installed self-service beer dispensers at Miller Park.
And the front-running St. Louis Cardinals are coming to Milwaukee starting Thursday night. This is called taking a stand. Or running interference. Both?
You might recall that the Minnesota Twins installed DraftServ units at Target Field in Minneapolis in July, just before the All-Star game. The machines look like ATMs with bigger TVs, and spigots from which to pour. It's not as "baseball" as waiting for the beer vendor to come to your section, but self service works well with, like, frozen yogurt — so why not? The dispensers will be in section 127, "near Big B's Diner on the third-base side," the John and Cait Plus Nine blog reports.
Fans 21 and older will be able to purchase a $15 or $25 card that will act similar to a credit card. Fans can use their card on one of two machines and can pour up to 24 ounces of beer in a single cup. Beverages available include Miller Lite, Miller High Life, Leinenkugel’s Summer Shandy, and Redd’s Apple Ale.
There is a maximum of two drinks per person per transaction, and fans using the service will need to show their proof-of-age when they purchase the cards and again when they access the DraftServ unit.
Heavy security there. And not as wide of a selection as a beer connoisseur might want. Baby steps. But will the new toy be enough to keep fans from fretting over the baseball players? The Brewers as a team are falling apart, having been swept in three games at Wrigley Field by the Chicago Cubs. During their nine-game losing streak, the Brewers have been outscored 55-16.
"I don't understand it," manager Ron Roenicke said. "We haven't pitched well. We haven't played good defense. We haven't been swinging the bat well, either."
Fair enough! And they won't have sluggers Ryan Braun or Carlos Gomez available for the series opener against the Cards. Braun's wife is having a baby and Gomez has a wrist injury that is expected to knock him out of action until early next week at the soonest.
Not only are the Cardinals charging into town with a three-game cushion in the NL Central, they're getting right-hander Michael Wacha back from a shoulder injury after a prolonged absence. How can the Brewers fight back? Maybe they can't — on the field. But there's always more ways to serve beer.
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