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The Malik Report

All about beer at the Big House

As noted earlier this morning, even NHL.com's taken note of the fact that Michigan Stadium's received a one-day liquor license to allow the NHL to sell beer and liquor within the "Big House's" confines for the first time, and MLive's Ryan Stanton spoke with the Michigan Stadium's biggest contributors in terms of liquor distribution about the choices that fans can expect to enjoy in their endeavors to "stay warm":

Jim Wanty, president of O&W Inc., a beer and wine distributor in Ypsilanti, said his company will be providing the lion's share of suds.

"It's going to be 16-ounce cans of Molson Canadian and Coors Light," he said, noting both brands were chosen because they're official sponsors of the NHL.

Wanty said his company will be trucking in 6,500 to 7,000 cases (24 cans per case) starting at 6 a.m. the morning of the game.

"This is the Super Bowl of events for hockey," Wanty said, acknowledging it's going to attract a lot of Canadian visitors. "They're good beer drinkers up in Canada."

Rave Associates Inc., a beer and wine distributor in Ann Arbor, will be handling the delivery of Michigan beers, including some from Kalamazoo-based Bell's Brewery and some from Grand Rapids-based Founders Brewing Co.

Rick Lack, executive vice president of Rave Associates, said quantities haven't been determined yet, but there will be three Michigan beer stands — each with two taps — pouring Bell's Winter White and Two-Hearted Ale.

Stanton continues, and he reveals that 9 AM on New Year's Day = "It's 5 O'Clock Somewhere" for the NHL:

Wanty said the 16-ounce cans of Coors and Molson will be sold throughout the stadium at concession stands, and hawkers will be walking up and down the aisles selling them during the game. He said they also will be sold outside the stadium during the NHL pre-game festivities near Crisler Center starting at 9 a.m.

Both beer distributors have been working on the logistics with Sodexo, the company handling concessions. They indicated it's going to be a challenge serving up beer inside a stadium that's not normally set up for it. Lack said there was some talk of not having draft beer, which requires volunteers to pour it, but Sodexo is making it happen.

Also: MLive's Jeremy Allen spoke with the broadcasters who are attempting to make a football stadium a good place to broadcast a hockey game:

Ivan Gottesfeld, the senior vice president of NHL broadcasting, said that there will be close to 60 cameras shooting the game and in-stadium action from just about every imaginable angle. Typically eight to 10 cameras are in an arena for the average regular season game in the NHL.

NBC, Canada’s CBC and NHL International will all be broadcasting live feeds of the game, while HBO's 24/7 will also have camera crews on site for the production of its acclaimed documentary of the annual event.

“We got in (Michigan Stadium) six to eight months before the game to walk the building to identify the best camera positions and to do a full broadcast walk through. We’ll go back again and do another visit closer to the event, which is our ‘tie-down event’ to make sure everybody’s on the same page, diving down a little deeper than just production,” Gottesfeld said.

“For a typical game there are about three production crews: regional sports networks, NBC, Canadian rights holder, and sometimes maybe a French Canadian network.

“Here we’re dealing with three major broadcasters and we layer on top of that HBO and their 24/7 coverage, and general media as well. We have a sub-rights holders that are general media, local regional sports networks, and local affiliates of game rights holders like CBC News, WDIV and The Weather Channel. So it’s a lot of production that goes into this game.”

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MoreShoot's avatar

urine in, urine out.

Posted by MoreShoot on 12/28/13 at 12:39 PM ET

cowboycoffee's avatar

oh man. would love to be in the stands drinking a Founders Breakfast Stout

Posted by cowboycoffee from San Francisco, CA on 12/28/13 at 01:35 PM ET

George Malik's avatar

I think the emphasis for most of those who plan on drinking will indeed be “Beer for Breakfast.”

I’m allergic and didn’t drink before I found out how terribly allergic to alcohol I really am, but I do know that Bell’s + Founder’s >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Molson and Coors.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 12/28/13 at 01:39 PM ET

SYF's avatar

I’m allergic and didn’t drink before I found out how terribly allergic to alcohol I really am, but I do know that Bell’s + Founder’s >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Molson and Coors.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 12/28/13 at 01:39 PM ET

I writing that down.  Only Molson product I ever liked was Molson Brador.

Posted by SYF from Twerkin' with Anastasia Ashley on 12/28/13 at 01:41 PM ET

awould's avatar

For better or worse, my breakfast before the Wrigley winter classic was two 22oz miller lites.

Posted by awould on 12/28/13 at 05:27 PM ET

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The Malik Report is a destination for all things Red Wings-related. I offer biased, perhaps unprofessional-at-times and verbose coverage of my favorite team, their prospects and developmental affiliates. I've joined the Kukla's Korner family with five years of blogging under my belt, and I hope you'll find almost everything you need to follow your Red Wings at a place where all opinions are created equal and we're all friends, talking about hockey and the team we love to follow.


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