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2014 MLB All-Star game to feature self-serve beer stations

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From the Sandlot Brewery at the appropriately-named Coors Field, to a team called the Milwaukee Brewers; beer has become a more integral part of the baseball experience than the infield fly rule could ever dream of.

Now, a partnership between Delaware North Sportservice and Anheuser-Busch will put that beauty completely in the eyes of the beer holder.

According to the Twin Cities Pioneer Press on Monday, patrons at Target Field (home of the Minnesota Twins) will now be able to pour themselves a cold one at self-service beer stations (assuming they are of proper age).

"It's a fun, cool new gadget," said Twins spokesman Chris Isles. "We've been all about embracing technology, so we jumped at the opportunity that nobody has done before."

The technology will make its debut next week at the festivities surrounding the MLB All-Star game. Fans who are over 21 will be able to go to a cash register and buy a preloaded card to use at the machines. They then will be able to control how much is poured, only paying for the exact amount of beer they want.

"There's obviously some novelty value to this, but it also allows people to pour what they want," said Delaware North principal Jerry Jacobs Jr. "If they want half of a cup, that's all they will pay for."

The station will allow each card to be used to pour up to 48 ounces of beer every 15 minutes. They will serve four beers; with Budweiser and Bud Light costing 38 cents an ounce, and Shock Top Lemon Shandy and Goose Island 312 Urban Pale Ale each costing 40 cents per ounce.

The stations will not be completely automated however, as an employee will at each to check IDs and cut off those who may have had one too many.

Not everybody is thrilled with this development, which may have an impact on vendor sales.

"You'll never be able to compete with seat vendors because I'd rather sit and watch the game and have a beer brought to me, but I'd say from an employment standpoint, it's just another attack on workers being replaced by machines," said Nancy Goldman, president of the Local 17 Twin Cities Hospitality Union.

The 85th MLB All-Star Game will take place at Target Field on July 15.