This quest began simply enough, on February 25, 2022, Austin FC President Andy Loughnane said in an Interview with the Austin American Statesman that “We do have $6.50 beer and $7.50 beer available at multiple points.”
I, an attendee of dozens of matches at Q2 had never seen beers at these prices, accustomed to seeing the $18 Electric Jellyfish, I began to ask around, and none of the fans I had met had ever seen these mythical $6.50 beers.
Was Andy Loughnane leading us astray? (Doubtful) Or was this merely a challenge that needed to be taken up by a dedicated fan to find the truth? (Absolutely)
I began by seeking more intel about the situation, talking to fans, beer vendors, and other stadium workers during the matches against FC Cincinnati and Inter Miami with the intent of using the following match against the Seattle Sounders as my quest date.
The sunny skies and general positive mood of the match made me feel hopeful as I entered the stadium and went to the Verde Store, bringing along a friend who had helped me gather information, Montana Smith. He was the one who found out from a club employee there is a door under the stairs that can only be accessed on gameday by saying the magic words “Alright, Alright, Alright” at it.
The door first turned black, and then verde (making it one of the rare appearances of Verde in the store) and fortunately I was able to easily discern the doorway and enter. The hallway was pitch back as we descended down, the door closing behind us and forced us to use our phones to provide a modicum of light as we descended.
Sadly we were not the first to have found this path, as we discovered warning signs of Austin FC fans who were not as aware (all wearing the bacon kits from last season) of the dangers they were in. We slowly moved along the hallway, carefully as possible, using our scarves to help us traverse pits and a short zipline. We saw Barton Springs Salamanders three feet long, their oddly shaped bodies laying on the ground as we did our best to avoid waking the protectors of this dungeon. “Why did it have to be salamanders, i hate salamanders” my companion said, but I was fortunate to have him remain with me on the quest when I nearly made a misstep onto one of their oddy shaped forms, and he astutely grabbed my shoulder to save me.
Once we reached the end of the hallway, we entered a room lined with shelves of Yeti tumblers of varying sizes and colors, and a figure to our left perked up, coming out of the shadows.
“I see fans have found this place, like many others before you. Now, in order to get the $6.50 beer you must drink it out of the correct chalice. Choose wisely or you will meet an unbearable fate” The glint in his eye made it seem like he had seen this fate more than once,
My companion and I locked eyes, and pumped our fists to rochambeau for the first selection. I chose rock, he chose paper.
“Always rock” he said with a smile as he confidently strode up to the wall, grabbing a large verde tumblr and held it up. “Worth the risk”
As he drank from the Yeti cup, I could immediately tell something was wrong. His Verde and Black clothes magically transformed, the look on his face going from happiness to a depressed anger when I realized he was being changed into….
An FC Dallas Kit.
The change was shocking to see in person, someone so happy and committed immediately started yelling accusations about “those ungrateful Hunts,” telling me to “wait and see what happens in ten years,” and defending Frisco as the football Capital of Texas.
I looked into his face, steeling myself from the possible fate, then chose to ignore him just I ignore the handful of Dallas fans on Twitter, and chose a different Yeti tumblr. I opted for a smaller white tumblr that I felt an energy emanating from, and when I drank from it, the beer tasted…well, like a stadium $6.50 beer would be expected to.
I turned to the figure, whose smile turned from a smirk to one of joy.
“You have chosen wisely, now how will you be paying?”