From, today’s Ottawa Metro article on brew fit for the Cup, here is the full length version:
Playoff Beer(d)s: Craft Brews fit for the Cup
Without any Canadian representation in the NHL playoffs this year, we can be forgiven if we’ve forgotten the playoffs are still on. The last time there was no Great White North representation in the NHL playoffs was over 45 years back, when the Canadiens and Leafs both failed to qualify in 1970.
Though it may be a while before a Canadian club wins the Stanley Cup, I like to be prepared. So, I contacted beer clubs and local experts in each of the Canadian cities with an NHL team to ask them what local craft beer should be sipped from the metal brim of Lord Stanley’s Cup. If you’re not a fan of hockey, you can still add these beer recommendations to your Canadian bucket list.
“Beau’s was suggested right out of the gate. Kichesippi 1855 was suggested as a great beer we love … Then we kicked around the idea of Covered Bridge, since it’s the brewery closest to the stadium… [But] It’s gotta be Big Rig.” Of the many Big Rig brewery (co-owned by and named after longtime Senator Chris Phillips) options, the OBC enjoyed the Black IPA best and so submitted that as their choice.
So for the Ottawa Senators’ eventual Cup win, we have a bold black IPA best served in a 35lbs silver chalice. Having Phillips involved is a nice sentimental touch; maybe this will help with my recurring nightmare of he and Ray Emery scoring that own-goal in the 2007 Stanley Cup Finals…
Noah Forrest of Beerism.ca agreed to represent the Montreal beer scene:
“I think I’ll recommend a beer from the Montreal-based brewery Dieu du Ciel!, called Péché Mortel. Just like the Montreal Canadiens’ performance this past year, this Imperial Stout has a strong start but finishes with an intensely dry bitterness. Unlike the Habs though, this bitterness is desired and pleasing!”
Great choice, plus it’s available in Gatineau! The Canadiens, of course, were the last Canadian team to hoist the Cup in 1993. No doubt, the bustling Montreal brewing scene has helped ease fans’ pain ever since.
Jason Foster, Edmonton beer journalist and blogger at OnBeer.org waxed poetic about the rise and fall of the Oilers:
“Alley Kat Brewing Company’s Full Moon pale ale has been an Edmonton favourite for 20 years. It is a classic northwest pale ale. But like our Edmonton Oilers, it has been through a rough patch recently. A little over a year ago the owners of Alley Kat, in an attempt to court a newer, younger customer base, changed the recipe to an IPA. It didn’t work, much like the Oilers’ never ending rebuild. So this spring they returned to their (and our) roots and brought back the original recipe, even bringing back the original label. Drinking it evokes memories of past glory days and elicits hope for the future. Not unlike our Oilers, where we bask in the Gretzkys and Messiers of the past and place our hopes on the young Connor McDavid.”
Pints of Full Moon are always half-full for the eternally optimistic Oilers fans.
Adam Seguin of westernsuds.com was kind enough to go above and beyond, recommending two beers for Calgary to consider.
“In my opinion, Last Best Brewing’s IPA is the best beer in the city… However, Toolshed Brewing has a beer called Red Rage and last year when the Flames had their playoff run, they used a clever hashtag #TheCofRedRage which caught on with the city quite well.”
*Please note that hashtag is to be read as “sea of red” and not “cough red” as was my initial, confused interpretation.
“At the beginning of the hockey season, Four Winds Brewing won People’s Choice at the BC Beer Awards for their Nectarous Sour. Vancouverites spoke, and they shouted “Sour!” Did they know the Canucks were going to make their faces pucker this season? Were their mouths watering at the dream of popping the cork and drinking that victorious Nectarous out of the Cup? Either way, Nectarous scores a natural hat-trick with its fruit-forward tartness, dry finish and breakaway drinkability. But don’t blame Nectarous for The Clapper’s dance moves – it’s not yet available at the stadium.”
A beer rhapsody from the Left Coast!
Takin’ care of business in the ‘Peg we have Trent Whidden, aka Winnipeg Beer Dude, of manitobabeer.com.
“Proven by the loss, then subsequent return of the Jets, Winnipeggers need and love a home team to cheer for. Paving the way for Manitoba’s upcoming craft beer revolution, Half Pints Brewing Co. is currently the only locally owned and operated Manitoba brewery. My selection for the beer that should fill the Stanley Cup for the Jets to take their ceremonious swig would be Half Pints St. James Pale Ale!”
While the Jets have no previous NHL Stanley Cup wins in their history, hardy local fans will no doubt recall the fantastic Cup runs of the Winnipeg Victorias had between 1896 and 1902…
Lastly, when I approached the Toronto Beer Club (@torontobeerclub), I expected a little good-natured Battle of Ontario banter; however, the TBC took a different direction than expected and it was all the more appreciated:
“[We recommend] Mill Street Organic – a pale, weak beer from a brewery that sold out to a big corporation (Mill St was purchased by Labatt Breweries in the fall of 2015). An actual Leaf fan might think the team might deserve to sip something delicious from breweries like Bellwoods, Great Lakes, Indie Ale House, Folly, Burdock, Left Field, or any of the other great craft brewers in Toronto, but I do not!”
TBC doesn’t pull any punches in their provocative assessment of their local team! It’s also not lost on me that they plugged 5 extra Toronto breweries…
As for the current playoffs, I’m predicting the St. Louis Blues take it all and celebrate with their local beer: Budweiser (At the time of writing, they are barely hanging on against the San Jose Sharks…).
A huge thank you to the participating panel for their exceptional local knowledge! All of the above are active social media promoters of Canadian craft beer, give them a follow!
Beau’s brewery broke the internet this week with the announcement that they were being sold … to their own employes. They remain determinedly independent as they approach their 10th anniversary July 1.
Speaking of July 1, Dominion Day is fast approaching! Dominion City has tickets for sale at the brewery and online. Also, check DCBC’s new brewery hours!
Dog and Pony Brewlab quietly began pouring exclusively at Local Union 613. Their brews are going fast!
June 4 from 12pm – 6pm it’s Brewery Market at the Hintonburg Park! It’s like a farmers’ market, except with beer. So it’s better.
Stalwart Brewing has released a new beer: Down By The River American Wheat Ale. I am 99% sure that’s a Neil Young reference.