Why a Pittsburgh bar is banning Boston beer

It's all about sports rivalries as the Penguins face off against the Bruins in the semifinal round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

By Bruce Kennedy May 31, 2013 3:27PM

Howlers Coyote Café sign (© Howlers Coyote Café via Facebook, http://aka.ms/PittsburghBeer)You gotta love sports rivalries, especially when they bring into play important and emotional elements -- like food and beer. According to the Puck Daddy sports blog, one dining establishment in Pittsburgh is banning the sale of the Boston Beer Co.'s (SAM) Sam Adams or "any Boston beers" while the city's Penguins face off against the Boston Bruins, starting this weekend in the National Hockey League's Eastern Conference Final. The winner advances to the Stanley Cup Playoffs Final.

The blog points out this isn't the first time Sam Adams has been subjected to a fan-based boycott. It also happened at a New York sports bar last year, when the New England Patriots and the New York Giants faced off in the Super Bowl.

And Puck Daddy's Greg Wyshynski notes there's a long tradition of NHL cities snubbing Boston during important games against the Bruins.

"Please recall how Canadian restaurant chain Boston Pizza became both Vancouver Pizza and Montreal Pizza during series against the Canucks and Canadiens," he reminds.

"In fact, during the 2010 Stanley Cup Final, a town called Boston Bar in British Columbia changed its name to Vancouver Bar during the series; and (Canadian-born coffee-shop chain) Tim Hortons (THI) would sell only 'Vancouver Crème' doughnuts in the province."

Of course, food-related bets are a popular part of the sports rivalries between cities -- and among lawmakers in Washington, D.C.

Earlier this year, senators from California offered "Dungeness crab, Napa Valley wine, San Francisco's finest sourdough bread and a selection of Northern California cheeses" to their colleagues from Maryland if the Baltimore Ravens beat the San Francisco 49ers in the Super Bowl. Maryland lawmakers countered with crab cakes, "Berger cookies and a cold bottle of Heavy Seas beer to wash down the delicious taste of defeat" if their Ravens fell short (they didn't: Baltimore won, 34-31).

In the meantime, Sam Adams appears to be trying to stay above the Penguins-Bruins fray. It has so far made no mention of the Pittsburgh beer ban on its website.

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