Pittsburghers will buy Sam — and his dog — a drink during Boston series, just not a Sam Adams
By Eric Heyl
Published: Thursday, May 30, 2013, 5:12 p.m.
Consider it a beer cooler version of the penalty box.
Patrons of Howlers Coyote Café in Bloomfield will have slightly fewer beer choices during the NHL Eastern Conference finals between the Penguins and Boston Bruins that begin on Saturday. For the series' duration, the tavern is banning sales of various versions of Samuel Adams Boston Lager.
“I have a roll of caution tape,” Shaun McGhen, a Howlers manager and bartender, said on Thursday. “We're going to put it up around the three types of Sam Adams that we have in stock — the regular, the summer and the coastal wheat.”
McGhen, 28, of Bloomfield conceived the Pens-prompted prohibition shortly after starting his Wednesday shift at the Liberty Avenue tavern known for its rock shows. Howlers isn't a sports bar with ubiquitous flat-screen, high-definition TV sets displaying Godzilla-sized evidence that Pens superstar Sidney Crosby needs considerable dental work.
“I got in there and a guy was sipping a Sam Adams,” McGhen said. “I told him if he wanted another one, he'd better get it now because in a couple days we're done with it.”
McGhen indicated the same thing on the bar's message board, which he photographed and posted on Howlers' Facebook page.
“It had about 3,000 Facebook hits after an hour. I checked after my shift, it had over 6,000 hits and a hundred likes,” he said. “That was not what I was expecting. It's a dangerous thing, that Internet.”
The ban likely will further fray a relationship between the 'Burgh and the beer once as solid as the head of a Guinness draft. When Sam Adams debuted in 1985, it was produced under contract by Pittsburgh Brewing Co., the folks who once turned out barrel after barrel of Iron City beer.
Times were simpler then. Today, Iron City is brewed not in Pittsburgh but under contract at City Brewery in Latrobe. Some Samuel Adams kegs are brewed in Boston, but the company has breweries in places that don't automatically trigger thoughts of one of the architects of the American Revolution: Cincinnati and Breiningsville, Lehigh County.
After Howlers' shot across the beer, will Boston bars retaliate? A cursory survey of several sports bars indicated they won't, and not just because Iron City isn't really poured — or even heard of — in Beantown.
“They can do what they want in Pittsburgh but this should be settled on the ice, not in the bar,” said Peter Colton, manager of The Four's, a tavern whose website boasts 42 flat-screen, high-definition TVs that, it is to be hoped, are about to air a series of Bill Buckneresque moments of heartbreak for Bostonians.
If you think Howlers having Sam Adams sit out the playoffs is a punishment more silly than severe, think again.
Most hockey penalties last two minutes. Serious rule infractions will get you five. If the Pens-Bruins' battle for the right to play in the Stanley Cup finals goes a full seven games, the penalty against Samuel Adams will last two weeks.
That's 4,032 times longer than a hockey goon would spend in the box for head-butting.
Eric Heyl is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7857 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Denver wife killed 12 minutes into 911 call, sparking inquiry
- Obama, House Republicans trade accusations in thwarting immigration reform
- Q&A with NHL commissioner Gary Bettman
- Reward offered in six-year-old homicide in Clairton
- Peduto says Penguins playoff series will be economic boon
- Legal experts question prosecuting South Fayette boy for recording bullies
- Former heavyweight champ Tyson enjoying second act
- Veteran North Huntingdon police officer fired
- Penguins notebook: Goc skates, tests ailing ankle
- Legislative sting’s scope broad, diverse
- Collier Township’s use of solar energy recognized by state