Self-Serve ‘Beer Robots’ Are Real, Spectacular, And Headed For Chicago’s United Center

Levy Restaurants, the Chicago-based company responsible for selling concessions to Bulls and Blackhawks fans throughout the United Center, is setting up self-service beer stands on the stadium’s concourse for both teams’ respective playoff runs. The goal is to allow fans to pour their own beer, purchasing the exact amount they wish to consume at a set rate per ounce.

Two DraftServ units, each with four taps, will be installed at the United Center, stationed outside the Goose Island Brew Pub near Section 110 of the arena. They will be in use for Game 1 of the Bulls-Bucks series on April 18 and through the postseason for both Chicago teams.

Essentially, fans will buy a prepaid card from a cashier who will be standing nearby. The cards are then used to tap a sensor on the unit. After the customer pours their desired amount of beer, the final price is then deducted from their card.

Similar units were installed in Minnesota last summer for the MLB All-Star game and the results were positive, so Levy is hopeful of similar success at the United Center. “I am a big believer in the potential of it,” said Sean Parisi, director of beverage at Levy. “I could see the future of self-service beer in club environments where you walk in and have a preloaded card, or have areas for season-ticket holders.”

Beer choices will include Bud products at 42.5 cents per ounce and Stella Artois or Goose Island at 47.5 cents per ounce.

[Crain’s Chicago Business]