The Steam Whistle Brewery and pub sits just across the street from Rogers Centre, and it is a place frequented by fans before and after games. Having a kiosk inside the Rogers Centre seemed like a no brainer. Last year this became a reality, and Steam Whistle became the first locally brewed craft beer available in the stadium—albeit operating out of only one kiosk.
Their contract has now been terminated, and the beer will no longer be available for purchase within the stadium. The Jays indicated that Steam Whistle violated the terms of the contract through use of its Twitter feed, by committing such violations as indicating its location inside the Rogers Centre. Whether the brewery was warned of its violations, or to what extent these took place is unclear.
This leaves the Rogers Centre currently without any craft breweries on site. With the growing popularity of craft breweries it seems silly to not offer at least one alternative to the inflated priced banquet beers available. If there is an issue with Steam Whistle, there are plenty of other Ontario craft breweries—Beau’s, Flying Monkeys, Nickel Brook, and even the new baseball themed Left Field Brewery.
Most U.S. stadiums offer at least a few local craft brews, with teams in Pennsylvania and Ohio offering several alternatives.
The issue also speaks to a greater problem with craft breweries operating within the province of Ontario, finding difficulty selling their products at locations where big brewing dominates the market.
Would you like to see more craft beer options available at Jays games?