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Eat & Drink

Steam Whistle arrives at Jays games

Posted by Ben Johnson / March 23, 2013

Steam Whistle Rogers Centre It's long been sore spot among Torontonians who are fans of both our city's baseball team and our city's great beer that it has, up until now, been impossible to enjoy both at the same time. That all changed on Friday, however, when it was revealed that yes, Steam Whistle will now be sold at the Brew House kiosk on the 100 level of the Rogers Centre during next week's home opener.

A small announcement posted to Steam Whistle's facebook page on Friday night, confirms what up until now only a very small number of people have known, namely that craft beer has managed to crack the Labbatt's stronghold that has been live Jays' games for as long as anyone can remember.

Interestingly, Steam Whistle has chosen not to mark the occasion with any sort of fanfare (read: zero press other than a Facebook announcement and a tweet); which to my mind speaks to how precarious the agreement to allow their beer must be — I almost didn't want to write about it for fear Aramark, who provides food and beverage services to the Roger's Centre, might get spooked and revoke the rights.

When I pressed them for a comment, Steam Whistle would only say that they're "very happy to be in there" after serving so many Jays fans across the street for years.

Steam Whistle JaysBy embracing craft beer here in Toronto, albeit extremely cautiously, Aramark isn't actually breaking any new ground. In fact, they provide food services to 13 Major League Baseball teams, including the Atlanta Braves, Boston Red Sox, Colorado Rockies, Houston Astros, Kansas City Royals, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, New York Mets, Oakland Athletics, Philadelphia Phillies, Pittsburgh Pirates, San Diego Padres, Seattle Mariners and the Jays. A host of these teams boast great craft beer in their stadiums, but then of course the craft beer industry in the United States is booming and so the inclusion of craft in their line-ups is largely a reflection of sales.

Here in Toronto, despite what we beer nerds might want to believe, a majority still prefer easy-to-drink lagers along with their peanuts and cracker jack, and Labbatt's still far outsells even the biggest craft brewers; however, that Aramarak has seen fit to allow Steam Whistle in the Roger's Centre this year at all bodes well for craft-drinking Jays fans. At the very least it means that the sale of craft beer has become significant enough in Ontario to warrant their attention, and if that gets fresh beer brewed right across the street into our hands while we watch the Jays, that's good news indeed. Of course don't expect the big brewers to go anywhere any time soon, after all, those big sponsorship dollars are what helped put the team we're all so excited to watch this year on the field in the first place.

Photo by Keith Watson in the blogTO flickr pool.



Ken / March 23, 2013 at 10:20 am
You've got to be joking! You think the majority of Americans drink craft brews? Don't know who fed you that one but the vast majority drink the big bland mass produced beers. Don't believe everything you are told.
Warren replying to a comment from Ken / March 23, 2013 at 10:47 am
Who told you that?
John / March 23, 2013 at 11:58 am
Steamwhistle seems to be pretty big on baseball this year - did you see that show they're hosting in April with that local bat company? Seems pretty good, and they're apparently having a draw for one of their bats autographed by this year's Blue Jays (at least according to the event listing - )

Anyways, good on them. Makes sense, as it's right across the street.
Me / March 23, 2013 at 12:04 pm
Funny, considering that the majority of Torontonians think this is SUCH a HUGE issue in their lives, I've not heard ONE bring it up in day to day life. Weird.......
mandy / March 23, 2013 at 12:43 pm
Clearly you have no idea what your talking about.
mandy replying to a comment from mandy / March 23, 2013 at 12:48 pm
previous comment was directed at "lets be honest" who's post appears to have been pulled.
bobdigi08 / March 23, 2013 at 01:10 pm
Oh great. Another $10 beer that I won't care to buy at a Jays game. I'll be happy when the prices are actually reasonable.
Aydin / March 23, 2013 at 01:42 pm
Meh. Not huge on Steam Whistle - to me, it kinda tastes like a cross between Heineken and perspiration. But I hope this opens the doors to other smaller brewers like Mill St. / March 23, 2013 at 01:49 pm
I'm all for breaking up the Labatt monopoly, but I like the IDEA of Steam Whistle far more than the actual beer. But let's hope that they're not the last craft brewery allowed in.
ldc. / March 23, 2013 at 03:06 pm
Kind of surprised at all the negative comments directed at something that supports the local economy.
CrapWhistle / March 23, 2013 at 03:08 pm
It's Steam Whistle, for Christs sake.


Get a good craft beer in the dome, then people will care.
Rick / March 23, 2013 at 03:14 pm
Fresh Steam Whistle in the summer time is great. That we're getting the ability to drink beer brewed across the street while watching baseball is awesome news. The hater comments here are ridiculous.
Joey / March 23, 2013 at 03:49 pm
I predicted that when I got to the comments, there would be a bunch of Hipster Arial comments dissing Steam Whistle: "Steam Whistle is gross! I drink WAY better beer than that mainstream stuff! I'd tell you what beer I drink, but it's so not-mainstream that you probably haven't heard of it."

Thanks for not disappointing me!
Mar / March 23, 2013 at 04:21 pm
This amazing news. I can't believe some people actually found a way to bitch about a new Canadian option being offered at jays games.
Me / March 23, 2013 at 04:21 pm
I thought the whole point of BlogTO claiming it was an "issue" for everyone in Toronto was that it WAS hipster beer and hence why they wanted it there so badly.
Ben replying to a comment from Me / March 23, 2013 at 04:31 pm
Typically you include things in quotation marks because you're quoting something the author wrote. Nowhere have I used the word "issue." What I said was that it has been a "sore spot among Torontonians who are fans of both our city's baseball team and our city's great beer that it has, up until now, been impossible to enjoy both at the same time."

Steam Whistle is made here in Toronto and is independently owned. Some people, me among them, are excited at the prospect of being able to support local beer at the Jays games.
don't worry, i'm kidding / March 23, 2013 at 04:36 pm
UGHH Steam Whistle? Why can't I drink Beau's with baseball!?!!11
poh / March 23, 2013 at 05:22 pm
Great news, now let's do something about the food.
Mr plaid / March 23, 2013 at 05:41 pm
Where's the pabst blue ribbon?
Cincinatus replying to a comment from poh / March 23, 2013 at 05:58 pm
You don't have to eat there at all; you can eat before or after the game/event.
loper replying to a comment from Joey / March 23, 2013 at 06:26 pm
I'm so tired of blame the hipster. Hipsters drink steamwhistle too dude. I'm sorry that you just don't belong to a group you feel is cooler than you. Why else would you be so negative about it. People are people man, and they all drink beer. Be it Steamwhistle or PBR. Get over it.
Beer is good! / March 23, 2013 at 07:02 pm
Beer is beer...
All beer tastes like shit. But after 1 or 2, they all taste the same.
As long as i get a buzz off of it im fine with it!
Justwondering replying to a comment from loper / March 23, 2013 at 07:22 pm
Do all hipsters whine like you?
lol replying to a comment from Ken / March 23, 2013 at 08:22 pm
Your education level seems about par with the local crackheads who hang out at my local coffee time.... Please explain this link smartguy
evan / March 23, 2013 at 10:52 pm
I'd get it simply because it's not Labatts, but I gotta agree, it's definitely the worst tasting indie beer I've ever had, and there are corporate options that taste better.
patriot / March 23, 2013 at 11:45 pm
I heart Steam whistle. It's brewed with crisp spring water as opposed to gross, deadly, fluoridated city water. For that, I love the taste AND the idea.
Ling Gu / March 24, 2013 at 12:06 am
I'm going to enjoy a Steam Whistle at the home opener!
McRib / March 24, 2013 at 12:12 am
i hate everything and everybody.
McRib replying to a comment from lol / March 24, 2013 at 12:15 am
yep, for all that we Canadians like to feel superior in our beer drinking compared to our American cousins, they are leaving us behind when it comes to interesting craft beers.

Sure they love Bud and Coors Light, but they also have a massive craft scene.

We're catching up, slowly!
blurrrrgghhh / March 24, 2013 at 12:16 am
Steamwhistle taste like wet cardboard then has half dried in the sun.

ELP / March 24, 2013 at 02:01 am
If this opens the door to other craft beers, that's great, and it's a great first step.

I don't think Steamwhistle is great. It used to to taste fresh, and now, to me, it doesn't. To some people it may, that's fine with me.

To everyone who's bitching about hipster/non-hipster: you know who you are. It's frustrating (hipster bullshit, hipster complaining, hipster self-righteousness, hipster "I'm too self-important for you."), but take some deep breaths and you'll be ok. That's what I do. Maybe after some yelling.
Sandman / March 24, 2013 at 12:33 pm
I coulda sworn they sold Steamwhistle in a can for a while now @RC?
Plus they've been selling coolers and Jack+Coke in cans too

Prefer a Guinness ...
Zeke / March 24, 2013 at 04:11 pm
Don't they serve Big Wheel at Rogers center?
Canada's Economic Action Plan / March 24, 2013 at 04:26 pm
Since Rogers Centre is in Canada, the federal government reserves the right to erect a small, indestructible sign at all kiosks within the stadium (and 2.5kms around it) stating that the enjoyment of beer and/or baseball was made possible by the Progressive Conservative Party's Economic Action Plan.

[Please resume your enjoyment of the previous announcement]
BBQSEVERYDAY / March 24, 2013 at 08:59 pm
Why do haters have the most time on their hands? and computers?

If you don't like Steam Whistle don't drink it. Its suppose to taste that way because it's a Pilsner. Ever thought that its not SW but the fact you don't like Pilsners. Its all natural and unpasturized craft beer. Maybe you don't you like the beer, but you can love a company that thinks environment first and puts there employees on top. Not to mention a bad ass fleet of vintage vehicles.

Craft beer is suppose to be fun. SO pull the hate stick out of your ass and calm the hell down.
Steam Whistle is paving the way for craft beer and its growing every year. Drink it or not. They are still going to become Canada's Premium Pilsner.
Stein / March 24, 2013 at 09:03 pm
Long over due, RC needs to pick it up when it comes to food and beverage, hopefully this is a step toward a much bigger and better beer selection and adding better food concessions.
Dave / March 24, 2013 at 10:56 pm
Whatever. It's still going to cost waay too much to make it worth it.
Mike / March 24, 2013 at 11:38 pm
I don't believe Labatt is out, SW is allowed to sell in addition to the other products. You can drop by a few of the kiosks and get a wide assortment of mainstay brews. Additional choices are a good thing. They'll still be hawking ICE COLD BEER in the aisles and I bet those will continue to be Labatt products but ill be up and grabbing something more unique on the Concourse. Who's with me?
Steven / March 25, 2013 at 01:35 am
No matter the beer - it's still a rotten baseball team.
Todd replying to a comment from Steven / March 25, 2013 at 08:54 am
Steven, I strongly encourage you to get out from under the rock you've been living.
d.a.r.y.l. / March 25, 2013 at 09:37 am
one need only go to pittsburgh to see that you can have aramark run your joint and have a positive food and beverage experience.
pnc park has a beer stand called 'beers of the burgh' with a huge selection of area microbrews. as well, aside from the usual ballpark fare, they have local institution Primanti's in there serving up one of the best sandwiches the U.S. has to offer.
There's no reason you shouldn't be able to go to the skydome and grab a frosty local brew and something like a Caplansky's or Porcetta & Co.
Rogers are definitely headed in the right direction but man they need to wake up when it comes to the whole ball park experience.
Audio Blood / March 25, 2013 at 04:04 pm
Fantastic! Steam Whistle is so involved in the community, especially in music. Can't wait to enjoy a brew while watching a game.
Craft Beer Girl replying to a comment from Aydin / March 25, 2013 at 04:39 pm

p.s @ Aydin---- get your facts straight. Mill Street is actually the same size, if not slightly bigger (in HL produced) than Steam Whistle. Nothing more "craft" about them.

Do one thing really, really well baby!
Mr.BigStuff / March 25, 2013 at 11:27 pm
THIS IS BIG NEWS FOR BASEBALL IN TORONTO!!! BIG WIN - good fresh steam whistle.

They just have to add wing nights and hot dog nights to the Jays games this year and the seats will fill!
evan / March 26, 2013 at 01:18 am
Maybe instead of blaming the victims of Steam Whistles brewing, we should look to see if they can just brew their beer better?
Ethel / March 26, 2013 at 06:42 am
Evan, you missed the whole point, unless the point is to be a douche bag.
Craft Beer Girl / March 26, 2013 at 10:07 pm
Evan's clear point is being a total douche bag.

No one is a victim of steam whistle you idiot, if you don't like it--- DON'T DRINK IT. The Roger's Center isn't forcing you to drink anything.

God damn people on this site are so negative and honestly have way too much time on their hands.

Drink what you want and quit whining.
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