Unibroue Trois Pistoles

April 23, 2013

Congratulations to the Pensacola Ice Flyers for their President’s Cup win over Huntsville! You guys worked very hard all season for your new coach, Gary Graham, and finally brought a sports championship to our city. Cheers, guys.

I’ve got one request… Fans, can we please come up with something better to yell at home games than “Let’s go, team name!”? Is that the best we can do?

It happens in rinks, courts and stadiums all across this great nation, so don’t feel I’m picking on the home crowd. But here, today, I’m throwing down the gauntlet. I challenge the good citizens of Pensacola to come up with some fight songs.

Imagine how spooked the other teams would be, showing up at “The Hangar” to thousands of fans chanting a fight song down towards the ice. Have you ever seen European football? Tens of thousands of rabid fans roaring in unison; the song changing depending upon what’s going on in the game at any given moment. It’s intimidating!

Please address all submissions to me care of Pensacola News Journal. My editor lives for this sort of thing.

My dad got me into hockey (and beer; thanks, pop!) 30 years ago after I inquired about a puck he had on a display shelf. He caught it at a Michigan Tech Huskies home game after soon-to-be Chicago Blackhawks goalie Tony Esposito made a blocker save and it went over the chain link. Yes, chain link. It was a much more rough sport back then. My dad went to college with an NHL hall of famer. Cool.

Hockey may still be dominated by Canadian players – 53.2%, roughly – but for some reason craft brewing in North America isn’t terribly Canuck. In comparison to the United States’ 2416 breweries in current operation, Canada has a mere 197. Why so few, eh? Population density? Rural predilection? Who knows?

This is not to suggest that there’s not any good beer in Canada. One of my favorite Belgian-style breweries is based out of Chambly, Quebec. I’ve selected Unibroue Trois Pistoles (Three Pistols) to fete our hockey team as it reminds me, numerically, of the “3 Stars of the Night” announced at every game. It’s as heavy as a Jeremy Gates check, has the finesse of a Dan Buccella rebound and the excitement of a Ross MacKinnon shutout.

This 9% abv Belgian dark ale is deep brown with a creamy beige head. Its scents are rich and warming; molasses, raisin, spiced apple and liquor. Flavor-wise, think of a bread pudding doused with a boozy sauce. Trois is loaded with toffee, dried fruits, brown sugar, flaming cherry, custardy dough and chocolate.

Thank you, Ice Flyers, for a great season. I’m raising a glass of Unibroue in your honor today.