(Raleigh, NC) – Big Boss Brewing’s creative agency of record, McKinney, developed a unique project for the brewery last year, an arcade game machine that doubles as a beer-dispenser called The Last Barfighter.
BeerPulse connected with the team behind the project at McKinney on Wednesday to gather some more information…
The Last Barfighter is the first game developed as part of what the team is internally referring to as Beercade. It debuted at Big Boss’s tasting room on October 25th and the company has been testing and tweaking the machine since its debut. The first prototype, which cost a couple thousand dollars and took about two months to pull together, was a local, hands-on project. They even recruited the help of a retired NASA aerospace engineer to build part of it.
The Last Barfighter is a traditional three-round fighting game. It starts with two drinkers placing their cups on a platform at the front base of the machine. This replaces the need to insert quarters into the machine to start the game as it would traditionally work. The machine is big enough to hold one keg, which dispenses three ounces of beer (samples) into each of the cups. The team was clear that how much beer is poured isn’t determined by the outcome of the game. The game is just a complimentary element to the sampling of the beer.
Adding a creative component to the beer sampling experience was actually the catalyst for the project from the start.
As of now, the machine can only dispense one beer at at a time though Big Boss is considering setting it up in front of a fake wall and creating a conventional multi-tap setup behind it. The game would then be re-engineered to allow for the players to choose which beer they want dispensed.
The unit will be able to travel with Big Boss wherever the brewer wants to take it like beer festivals and there are plans to make that happen.
At the moment, the original prototype unit is the only one that exists.
Where could it go from here? Bars filled with beer-dispensing arcade machines? A machine in every small brewery in America? When asked about future plans for the concept, in general, the McKinney team said that while a bigger vision for Beercade is in the back of their minds, they have yet to develop any plans for it beyond their work with Big Boss.