In honor of the new Star Wars trailer being released on Thursday, here's a story about robots serving beer.
The United Center will install two self-service beer machines this weekend and put them into operation for the Bulls' and Blackhawks' playoff runs. The machines, which will serve Budweiser, Bud Light, Stella Artois and Goose Island, are operated by the manufacturer DraftServ and will be located near the Goose Island Brew Pub in section 109.
While C-3PO and R2-D2 won't be serving drinks to fans during our teams' postseasons, the technology behind the machines is still pretty cool. Fans can purchase a DraftServ card at the arena and link it up with their credit card. Then they can use their DraftServ card to fill up their cup with as little or as much beer as they want, up to 20 ounces per serving. The DraftServ card then charges your credit card a set rate per ounce for every ounce of beer the machine pours into your cup, which is 42.5 cents per ounce for Budweiser and Bud Light and 47.5 cents per ounce for Stella and Goose Island. So it's like a CTA Ventra Card, except instead of paying for the misery to sit on the train, you get to drink beer, which is awesome.
The drawback to these machines is that drinkers are limited to two servings a night. Once you reach that limit, your DraftServ card becomes void. When the machine cuts you off, you'll have to resort to the archaic method of standing in line at a concession stand for a human to pull a draft. But it's worth it to have a preview into the future of beer serving, where machines and robots bring us delicious beer on command.