New Zealand brewery offers guitar players free beer — if you’re good enough

“It’s essentially a souped up Guitar Hero for adults.”

Slay To Pay Machine

Image: Panhead Custom Ales

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Down under in New Zealand, a brewery has unleashed a wild invention: a beer vending machine that doubles as a talent show stage. Instead of reaching for your wallet, all you need to do is rock a smashing tune on the guitar — that the machine deems worthy enough — to unlock your next can of beer.

Located in New Zealand’s capital city, Wellington, Panhead Custom Ales’ “Slay To Pay” system comes fitted with a custom Epiphone Explorer for you to put your guitar chops to the test. The vending machine uses an AI system that will assess a user’s skills and for those who’ve passed the test, a can of beer awaits.

“It’s essentially a souped-up Guitar Hero for adults,” Rebecca Sinclair, head of brand at Panhead Custom Ales, tells Guitar World. “As far as we know, this is a first-of-its kind-machine with some pretty cool new tech and the best kind of reward for those willing to give it a go. No one has done this before.”

She adds that “The machine was the perfect combination of a couple of our favourite things: cold beer and really loud music. We gave it its first run at the Panhead Rolling Stone Music Awards and it turns out it’s pretty ruthless.

“It rejected some of the best guitarists in the country.”

According to Guitar World, the machine’s musical preferences lie on “the noisier end of the guitar music spectrum”. You can choose between three genres: metal, punk and grunge.

For those who’ve earned the system’s approval, the machine will preface its hoppy reward with the phrase: “You came, you played, you slayed!”

Unfortunately, those looking to shred their way to an ice cold beer will have to wait till next year, as the Slay to Pay machine has been temporarily retired for Christmas.


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