Lord Stanley's Mug

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Jon Walker
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Lord Stanley's Mug

Postby Jon Walker » Sat Jun 05, 2010 6:00 pm

Not being much of a hockey fan and having gone to maybe two events at the A.C. Centre I was hitherto unaware of a place called "Lord Stanley's Mug". I only realized it was there after walking past the stadium today and being surprised to see all the copper tanks one would associate with a quality brewpub. I had a brief moment of excitement as I wondered if this building dedicated to mass consumption entertainment was actually brewing quality beer...then I did some research and found this;

Lord Stanley's Mug
Lord Stanley's Mug is located on the south side of the main concourse and has an attached brewery by Molson , under the careful eye of brew master Paul Swindle. The brewery provides the Rickard's Red beer served at Air Canada Centre. In addition, various grilled and prepared foods from The Carvery complement the energized atmosphere under the copper hooded open kitchen. :(

Figures that Molson would hire a brewer called Swindle. Booo!
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Postby JerCraigs » Sat Jun 05, 2010 6:08 pm

I remember my first time to the ACC I thought there was going to be some kind of special ACC only beer... You can imagine my disappointment when I found out they were brewing Rickard's there. :(
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Postby Spab » Sun Jun 06, 2010 11:08 am

Being a sports fan and a beer fan I remember being pretty excited when I heard that the ACC was going to have an on-site brewery. It was always Molson affiliated but the 1st year they brewed Toronto's Own there. I recollect that it wasn't anything out of this world, but it was a huge upgrade over the regular Molson taps that made up the rest of the ACC. I think they also brewed some other stuff outside Molson's regular line. According to the ACC website, there was Molson Amber Ale when it opened. I remember there also being a Molson Bohemian Pilsner.

This article from 2000 has a little interesting information about the brewery, namely,
Hunter said when Molson Brewing Co. entered into the agreement, they actually became the co-developer, building out the space of the microbrewery, which is about 1,000 square feet, for about $1.5 million. The arena built the associated bar and food concession, which are 3,000 square feet and 2,000 square feet, respectively.

The most popular brands of the fresh-brewed draft beer at Air Canada are Molson Canada and Coors Lite. The microbrewery also makes a Bohemian Ale and Toronto's Own, both fairly popular, but Hunter said they have found 90% of patrons want typical brand beer. The beer is served in plastic cups of 14 ounces for $4.75 and 32 ounces for $9.

"By law we have to provide other brands, but they are in limited locations," Hunter said.

In the second season of the ACC (first full one), they ditched the pretense of trying something different (even minimally so) and re-branded the brewery as the Rickard's Brewhouse and produced Rickard's beers there (and sold them in a few spots in the arena as well). I was peeved and wrote to MLSE. I still have the response:

Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment’s ‘Fan Advocate’ forwarded your comments to our attention. Thank you for feedback. Molson is a proud corporate sponsor of not only the sport franchises which play at the ACC (Leafs, Raptors and Rock) but of the building itself. The ACC’s customers are also our own which is why is it vital that we not only thank you for your support of the teams but for your support of our beers as well.

Let me provide you with some background to help explain our current product selection available from the Rickard’s Brewhouse. When Molson and Maple Leaf Sport & Entertainment first entered into an agreement to build a brewery on site the number one objective for both parties was simple … to produce quality, fresh beers for our consumers. The brewery presented Molson with a great opportunity to showcase our brewmasters’ craft, niche brews since our highly popular brands were to be available from the concessions. It was determined by both parties to utilize the brewery to rotate a selection of micro style brands to provide a variety to the consumer. This is why in the inaugural year, we brought you Toronto’s Own and Bohemian. It was never the intention to maintain the life span of these brands for more than one season. With that said, after reviewing the brewery’s first year performance through on-site feedback from our consumers we were overwhelmed with the request to offer Rickard’s Red in our product lineup. We did not want to sacrifice the success of our other brands being offered through the concessions to put Rickard’s on tap so we decided to turn the brewery into the Rickard’s Brewhouse where Rickard’s Red would be brewed on site to meet ACC’s production needs. While Rickard’s Red still fits into the niche beer category, we also wanted to maintain our commitment to producing unique craft beers for ACC consumers. Rickard’s Gold was created by the brewery’s on-site brewer, Paul Swindall to fulfill this requirement. To date, we have received positive feedback on this brand. So while you will no longer see your old favourites, we hope that you will sample some of the new craft beers to be introduced at the beginning of each Leaf season.

I think Rickard's Pale may have been first (or at least early) introduced here as well (and I believe is still available). Presumably to the extent the brewery is still used it just pumps out Rickard's swill.

More recently, with Molson owning Creemore, Creemore Lager is now available in a few spots in the ACC. If you're going to the arena, that's probably the best bet (or drinking at beerbistro before).
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Postby kwjd » Mon Jun 07, 2010 9:05 am

Spab wrote:More recently, with Molson owning Creemore, Creemore Lager is now available in a few spots in the ACC. If you're going to the arena, that's probably the best bet (or drinking at beerbistro before).

I haven't noticed Creemore anywhere in the ACC. The best I've found there is Rickard's. I don't hate Rickard's though... I'll drink the white/red when there are no craft beer options.
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Postby kinguy » Mon Jun 07, 2010 6:57 pm

The Molson Amber Ale at the ACC wasn't all that bad. The Rickard's Gold they brewed there gave me one pounding headache and hangover...and no, it wasn't due to quantity.
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Postby Spab » Mon Jun 07, 2010 7:43 pm

kwjd wrote:I haven't noticed Creemore anywhere in the ACC.

There's a Creemore stand (serving only Creemore) about 50 metres west of Lord Stanley's Mug right by the Tim Horton's stand (sort of the southwest corner of the main concourse I think). In my experience that stand is often closed. The best bet for Creemore is "O'Brien's" which is just a bar cut into the wall on the inside of the mainconcourse a little west of Gate 1 (sort of the northwest corner of the main concourse I think). For some reason I really get a kick out of the fact they've given the place a stupid name like it was some cheesy Irish bar.
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Postby SteelbackGuy » Mon Jun 07, 2010 7:49 pm

Quite ironic that the ACC has a place named after anything that has to do with the Stanley Cup.
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