Some guys are locker room guys and that usually means they like to drink some beer after the game with their teammates. Most rinks are pretty good about letting adult hockey players (over age 21, of course) have a few beers after the game. This is when it’s time to shoot the breeze about everything from your kids travel hockey coach’s latest faux pas to that goal you almost scored during the game.
There are two ways to make sure someone drags a beer cooler to the locker room each week; either the captain does it or the players take turns. Then there is the money for the beer. Some guys are sober or don’t like beer so they usually don’t pay. Most of the time a few core beer drinkers typically make sure there is a 12 pack for after the game. On some teams, the captain collects $20 from everyone at the first game and then makes sure there is plenty of beer around after the game all season long.
Once you know who’s got the beer, then it’s about what kind of beer. I find most guys prefer light beer since hockey players over age 35 are trying to watch their waistlines! Or not. Beer belly or not, the game of hockey gives you a thirst for something lighter since it’s kind of difficult to put down a stout beer after skating your ass off for 60 minutes.
For the non-beer drinkers I’ve seen team leaders put some Gatorades or Vitamin Water into the beer cooler to give the non-drinkers a reason to stay behind and shoot the breeze while rehydrating. Most rink staff are good about letting everyone stay and have a few beers afterward, but they ask that the cans get thrown away. Also, if you have the late game, they usually insist that you are out the door when the rink staff want to lockup and leave. For the hardcore guys, that’s when the party goes to the local Applebees or some other watering hole open until 2 a.m.
The locker room beer ritual is not only about good tasting suds, it is a great time for teams to built lasting relationships with teammates. The team that drinks together plays better together on the ice!