It’s easy to vilify The Beer Store. It’s big, rich and ugly, and then there’s the whole government-sanctioned-foreign-cartel component, which understandably gets people a little worked up. The latest expression of patriotic rancor comes via Change.org, where a petition is imploring the Toronto Blue Jays to quit subjecting Rogers Centre crowds to non-Canadian beers brewed exclusively by Beer Store mega-brewers Anheuser-Busch InBev and Sapporo.
Started by Phil Cacace, the co-owner of Tallboys Craft Beer House on Bloor West, the petition admonishes the Jays for dumping Toronto brewer Steam Whistle, whose short-lived partnership with the team was terminated earlier this month. “We should be celebrating the great brewing industry this city has to offer,” Cacace says. “Providing a slew of foreign owned, interchangeable, bland lagers just isn’t enough. We deserve better beer. Its right here under your noses.” According to Cacace, the Jays are the only major-league team that doesn’t sell craft beer in its ballpark. He also says that beer prices at the Rogers Centre are currently the third highest in the league.
We’re not sure the Jays have an actual civic obligation to organize their corporate beverage contracts with the plight of the small businessman in mind. We also suspect that plain-old Labatt Blue might be fairly indistinguishable from a finely crafted ale when served tepid in a plastic cup. That said, a little variety is always nice.
The petition currently has 833 signatures. For those itching to jump on the bandwagon, you can access it here.