Beer And Hockey

Well, that title should up the search-term traffic to my site.  KayJai issued a challenge the other day for me to explain the complexities of the Canadian beer and hockey industries, but I think I’ll take a slapshot or two at the Americans while I’m at it.  I explained that, with my extensive knowledge of these subjects, and a dollar, you can get any size drink at a McDonalds this summer.

At the height of my drinking, the amount I imbibed wouldn’t equal the *hair of the dog* some of my compatriots sucked back to kill a hangover.  I had a friend stay the night after a teenage party, and he wouldn’t even throw back the covers till someone put a bottle in his hand.

There are basically three major brewers in Canadia, of which KayJai is our president.  They are Labatt, Molson, and Carling/O’Keefe, which is actually owned by the Canadian/American, Molson/Coors conglomerate.  There used to be four but, if you’ll put your beer down and look carefully, you’ll notice that two of them merged.  There are some great, and not so great, smaller, area brewers.  Then we get down to the even-smaller micro-, and craft-breweries.

Our federal government, certainly not aided and abetted, or influenced by huge campaign contributions from the beer behemoths, had a rule that beer brands could not be sold unless they were brewed in the Province of sale.  There are some very nice beers brewed by companies in Atlantic Canada, or B.C., but we in Ontario have to rely on kind relatives who come for a visit.

To explain the nuances of taste and quality among the various lagers and ales produced by the almost-monopolies, I would like to refer to the great Benny Hill, who said, “Not a hape o’ the difference!”  I know there are die-hard, or in some cases, die-easy, beer drinkers who claim to know the difference.  These are the same, silly, opinionated fools who think that Ford is better than Chevy; or is it vice-versa….I can never keep it straight.

With all their products, it’s difficult enough to tell lagers from ales.  Anyone who claims he can tell one make from another, thinks too highly of his sense of taste.  It’s no wonder that the wine snobs look down on lowly beer drinkers.  I went to a family gathering at a brother-in-law’s house, and he had put out some more-expensive Christmas Bock beer, along with the regular slop.  When I went back for a second, an hour later, they had disappeared.  His excuse was that, after two or three, you can’t taste the difference, so he was saving the good stuff.

Canadian beer is mostly bland crap, but at least it’s 5% alcohol bland crap, suitable for guzzling and getting a buzz on with.  I watched a comedian who claimed he was cutting down on his alcohol consumption.  He went from liquor to Canadian beer, to water, to American beer.  3% alcohol in regular American beer??!  What’s in the Lites?  Baby cough medicine has more of a bite than that!  Do all American beer-drinkers have huge bladders?

Personally, I drink local craft beer, or imported,  Waterloo County Dark, Sleeman Honey Brown, Newcastle Brown Ale, Rickards Red, or Dark, the Rickards White is so empty, it’s worse than American.  I drink them because I value the body, not the buzz.

I could have written the preceding in a snowbank, with my fly unzipped.  Having flamed the beer industry, let’s move on to defame hockey.  WWE on skates!  Soap opera for jocks!  Bread and circuses for the masses.  Remember what happened to Rome, when they started playing that game?

Bah!  You young guys don’t know what real hockey is.  I haven’t seen a good game since there were only six teams in the league.  There’s only so much real talent, and it’s diluted way too thin.  I went to a fight, and a hockey game broke out.  Once upon a time hockey players could play hockey.  They knew how to skate, pass and shoot, then came the enforcers.  These guys can barely move their sticks, because they’ve got a blackjack in one hand, and brass knuckles on the other.

Years ago, when this movement was just starting, Boston hired a young goon and told him to keep an eye on Detroit’s Gordie Howe.  He spotted a chance to take Gordie into the corner, and acted on it.  He came out with a broken arm, and a five-minute penalty.  “Best way to avoid punch, is not be there.”  Gordie danced around him and made him look like a fool.

The fervor and loyalty that many fans have for their *local* team, just astounds me.  My bunch of arrogant, overpaid, bunny-screwing, bar-fighting, drug-using egotists, who don’t actually live here, can beat your bunch of arrogant, overpaid, bunny-screwing, drug-using immigrants!  And hockey in the South??!  What a great idea!  Florida Panthers….Atlanta Thrashers….when they play, there has to be a translator on the TV screen, like for the deaf.  If mint isn’t involved, they don’t know what ice is for.

I’ve heard some of these zealots bitch about Toronto Maple Leafs fans.  They don’t care whether Toronto wins or not, they still go to, or watch, the game.  Actually,* Leafs fans* is a misnomer.  They’re hockey fans, or just entertainment fans.  They pay to see a game, and they see one every time.  Sometimes the Leafs win, sometimes they lose.  When you go to a movie to be entertained, you don’t care whether Batman beats up the Joker, or the Joker thumps Batman.  You probably want both to happen, and are happy when it does but, either way, you know there’s always tomorrow and tomorrow.  There will always be, The Rise of Maple Leafs, and, Son of Maple Leafs, and, Bridge on the Maple Leafs, so, drag out that cold case of Labatt’s Blue, and we’ll watch the game, eh?!

16 thoughts on “Beer And Hockey

  1. Jim Wheeler says:

    When I was a young sprout the outcome of athletic contests interested me greatly, especially football of both the college and professional varieties, neither one of which involves actual amateurs. Looking back now I marvel at the inanity of it, somehow identifying with men I have almost nothing in common with competing with a similar team. It stirred my tribal passions then and despite the churning of my forebrain, it still does occasionally. It has waned, however. Just the other day one small team of angular giant men vanquished a similar one by throwing a bouncy ball through a circular ring more often than their opponents and I barely noticed. The celebrations extended through the night, doubtless lengthened by the excess water in American beer.

    At the Naval Academy, athletic enthusiasm is not optional. We seldom sat down at a football game, and no first-year man (plebe) was permitted to do so. The outcomes of games affect the mood of the entire Brigade and defeats meant increased hardship delivered by the upper classes on the lowest, a practice akin to kicking your dog because your boss demoted you. A win over Army meant a lengthy period of relief for plebes but a loss was worse than assignment as a galley slave.

    Tribal passions must find an outlet, it is our nature. Can athleticism substitute for war? Perhaps the Assad forces in Syria should try some Ping Pong diplomacy with the rebels. Even a hockey game would be less bloody than what is going on now, eh?


  2. whiteladyinthehood says:

    Beer is great and Chevy’s are better….American beer is good, Archon.


    • Beer and hockey don’t sound like a good combo… What would happen, I wonder..?


      • Archon's Den says:

        About the same as beer and Soccer. Can you say Hooligans? A year ago Vancouver lost the final round, and the “fans” rioted in the streets, causing twenty-four million dollars of damage. Idiots posted the happening on Youtube, and police used videos to identify and arrest about 50 young males. One more just the other day. Might as well surrender, sooner or later we gonna getcha.


      • Football is so pointless (do you not call it football? Or would that be terribly posh?!) We had some riots in London last year as well, and that went on for over three days. Ick. Hooligans! Why would anyone put it on YouTube? I get to make whatever I want in Food Tech. on Monday. I’m thinking pineapple upside down cake! Mmmm… What do you think? I’m learning Mandarin at the moment, which is easier than Spanish, in my opinion. But according to my dad, it’s going to be the major buisness language in the future, so whoop-de-doo (if I want to do something horrible and buisnessy)


  3. Archon's Den says:

    That’s what she said, and I believe her. Or else!


  4. kayjai says:

    Yeah! Hubby is a die hard Leaf/hockey fan. He loves it all and he would whole heartedly agree that these young ones today don’t know shit about hockey…but he still loves it. Nice post Archon!


  5. Nicole says:

    I with you on the imports- Newcastle is one of my favorites as is Heinicken. Newscastle recently put out a pale ale – Founder’s Ale – for a limited time that was pretty good.

    I never thought about this until now, but we probably get laughed at on both sides of the American border about our beer because I believe most of the Mexican beers have between 4-5% alcohol content by volume. I’m not a Corona fan – which is ubiquitous here in the Phoenix area but I do enjoy an occasional Pacifico which is brewed by the same company as Corona. Carta Blanca is a pretty decent Mexican lager but is not widely available.


  6. Archon's Den says:

    I drank Heineken Dark in Detroit, on a trip. Had to keep taking some back each year, because it sells so little, it’s not available in Ontario. We see Corona ads up here, though I’m not enthralled with it. I do like Dos Equis, but even my limited beer-drinking days are just about done.


  7. Sightsnbytes says:

    Hey, you are one of those guys who sits up in the balcony on the Muppet Show, mocking the program, aren’t you? That’s why you are dissing two great Canadian icons…Hockey and beer….what’s next? Bacon?


    • Archon's Den says:

      Statler and Waldorf, my heroes. I want to be just like them when (if) I grow up. I like, and drink, good beer. I only trash the trash beer. I wouldn’t trash good hockey, if there were some. Diss bacon? Uh-uh! I can spell BLT. Now, if we could only prove to BrainRants, what Canadian bacon is.


  8. I know very little about beer or hockey other then I occasionally enjoy a good beer, and LOVE to go and watch hockey games. LOVE IT. I especially love it when they start fighting. Had I been a man I’d want to be one of those crazy guy hockey players with half his teeth knocked out. Sure I could do that as a woman but I like feeling pretty too much.


    • Archon's Den says:

      You may look pretty, and have no teeth knocked out but, if we ever meet, I’m still checking for a blackjack and brass knuckles.


      • I’ll take that as a compliment. I think you need not worry about me literally having a blackjack and brass knuckles, but I do like me some verbal sparring and am always on the look out for a worthy opponent. 😀


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