Did you know that Schlafly Beer has a hockey team? No? Well, neither did I until I came across them at Schlafly Bottleworks hoisting their beers and Division Champions trophy in the air in celebration of their most recent win. OK, maybe stating that we have a hockey team isn’t quite accurate… but we do sponsor one and a darn good one at that. Right now the St. Louis Brewers are preparing to head up to Toronto to compete against the winners from 11 other cities in the North American Champions Tournament!
The HNA (Hockey North America) is a 12-city recreational Hockey League with more than 30 teams in St. Louis alone, ranging in skill level from Division A, with many former College level players to Division C, with mostly novice players. Every February the league hosts an Adult Beginner Program that teaches adults with NO prior experience to ice skate and play the game of Hockey and that’s how our team got their start.
They were a rag tag group of beginners, most complete strangers, coming from all walks of life (a fireman, a dentist, a couple school teachers, salesmen, truck drivers) all with the same goal, to learn to play Hockey. They were grouped as a team by luck of the draw, handed a name, a logo and some generic red and white “Redwings like” sweaters. After going 1-7 in the program they knew a change needed to be made.
Dr. Keith Nikodem DS., 1st line Right Winger, set out to find a new color scheme and logo, and perhaps a partner to co-sponsor the team. After being tipped off to contact the local brewery (us!) some new (and awesome) jerseys were created and The St. Louis Brewers were born.
They set out last summer with a goal to better their record. After losing a couple guys from the team, recruiting well, and practicing once or twice a week, they finished the Summer League 5-5 and qualified for the finals game, ultimately losing by just one goal.
As the ’10-’11 season started, again replacing a couple players, with practices continuing, it had become apparent that their hard work was paying off. Playing a 20 game season (with more than 12 games against teams from the higher Division), the Brewers worked to a 15-5 record, setting them up for a best of three game with their division rivals, the Renegades. Two short games later, the Brewers were Division champs with an invitation to play in the North American Champions Tournament in Toronto, against the division winners from Chicago, Washington DC, Boston, New York, Cleveland, Calgary, Vancouver, Detroit, New Jersey and Minneapolis.
On Thursday, May 19th 2011, the St. Louis Brewers mount a team bus for Toronto and they’ll play their first games May 20th with two on the 21st. Then, it’s hopefully on to the championship rounds on Sunday the 22nd. This is a great group of guys from St. Louis with a great story and everyone here at the Schlafly will be rooting for them come this Friday.
We’re incredibly excited to update this Blog Posting with news that the St. Louis Brewers won both of their Saturday games in Toronto at the Hockey North American League Finals and went on to take the whole thing on Sunday! I present to you, your North American Champion St. Louis Schlafly Brewers with their Championship trophy. Awesome work, guys!
From the St. Louis Brewers’ Facebook Page: “In true Cinderella fashion… The Brewers Win the Championship Game 6-5 in regulation. it was an all out effort by the whole team, and couldn’t have been done with out every one there. We’d like to thank every one who followed the Tourney at home, all the well wishes, and congratulations, from team members family members, friends and opponents. and an extra big thanks to Renee and Zack in the stands. Thanks you all.”