It's time for craft beer at Blue Jays games

It's time for craft beer at Blue Jays games

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Ben Johnson started this petition to Mark A. Shapiro

Toronto Blue Jays fans who like interesting, full-flavoured beers and who like supporting independent, local businesses deserve a better fan experience than the one that currently offers an unremarkable lineup of industrial lagers mass-produced by the same multi-national conglomerate. Even if some of that beer will now be $5.

We the undersigned are Toronto Blue Jays fans who feel strongly that the availability of locally-made, independently-owned beer at the Rogers Centre would greatly improve the fan experience at baseball games.

The Toronto Blue Jays are the only team in major league baseball who have yet to offer fans a significant, readily available craft beer option.

When it comes to this part of the Blue Jays' overall product, they are literally losing to all 29 of their competitors—but not to worry. This part is an easy fix. Forget for a second the unceasing competition to find the right mix of players on the field, coaches in the clubhouse, salary caps,  pitching woes, scouting, etc. Here is a thing the Blue Jays organization can do better, right now, that will improve the “product.” Give us better beer.

We are aware that the Blue Jays enjoy a partnership with Anheuser-Busch InBev, and we are also aware that that company has in recent years acquired formerly craft brands like Chicago’s Goose Island and Toronto’s Mill Street Brewery, however, these “craft” options merely provide us with the illusion of choice and don’t actually allow fans the ability to support local, independent brewers making interesting and full flavoured beers in our own province.

This is what we want.

There are craft options at Toronto FC games. There’s craft beer at Toronto Rock and Toronto Wolfpack games. Hell, your affiliate club down the road in Buffalo hosts craft beer festivals that take place on the Bisons' field. You want to stay competitive among local sporting events and improve the fan experience? Just give us better friggin’ beer!

Hell, you have lots of options: Canada’s best-selling independently-owner pilsner is made at Steam Whistle, literally across the street from where your team plays ball. You could build a bridge and pipe the stuff over. There is a baseball-themed brewery, called Left Field Brewery, eight kilometres from home plate where many Jays fans already prefer to take in games thanks to the draw of pairing something like a locally made Laser Show Douple IPA with a game.  We’d welcome the chance to drink a Canuck Pale Ale from Etobicoke’s Great Lakes Brewery with our ballpark hot dog, or maybe have an Amsterdam Brewery Boneshaker with our pretzels (their brewery is 700 metres from your facility, by the way).

Hell why not a Jelly King, a Nutcracker Porter, an Armed N’ Citra, a Mango Fett, or even a Cock Puncher??

In April of last year, speaking about improvements to the fan experience, you noted: “I think it’ll be hopefully by the end of the season we’ll have an announcement of what we’re doing, but I trust and believe that it’s going to happen soon.”

We get that launching extensive changes to the Jays’ fan experience might require flexible timelines, but we’d like to suggest you might show us you’re serious about theses change, put your money where your mouth is, and put some decent beer where our mouths are, please.  

Baseball fans who like good beer implore you. The time is now!

Thank you.


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