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Brewery unveils Staal-inspired beer

A dollar from every can of Grass Roots lager sold will be donated to the Staal Family Foundation.

THUNDER BAY – Collectively they’ve had their names engraved on Stanley Cups, won Olympic gold and been top-five draft picks.

They’ve had a rink named in their honour, have all-star credits to their name and co-sponsor a Mackenzie Tour-PGA Tour Canada golf tournament that bears their family name.

On Thursday the Staals got their own beer.

Grass Roots, a pre-prohibition lager, was designed by the Sleeping Giant Brewery specifically for the hockey-playing brothers in conjunction with the Staal Foundation Open, its name a direct tie-in with the family sod-farming business.

Oldest brother Eric Staal, who said he’s been known to down a post-workout brew in the off-season, loved the name.

“It pretty much hit the nail on the head,” the Minnesota Wild centre said. “From the logo, from it being a local company that started small to my dad being a sod farmer. There are so many parallels that it’s pretty neat that it turned out the way it has.

“It’s a great tasting beer and it’s really cool that we get to be a part of this.”

It’s a beer that gives back to the community.

A dollar from every four-pack sold by the brewery will be donated to the Staal Family Foundation, which helps support children’s cancer organizations in the Thunder Bay area.

Most of the company’s retail customers have also promised to donate a dollar from each pint sold in bars and restaurants around the city.

“Hopefully people enjoy it and when they do they’re raising some money for some great local charities,” Staal said.

Sleeping Giant co-founder and head brewer Kyle Mulligan said they wanted to create a beer that was refreshing in the warm weather expected in July, when the Thunder Bay tournament is staged.

“We came up with the idea to have a nice, light refreshing beer for the summer, a nice easy palette,” Mulligan said.

“We wanted to be involved in the Staal Open because we love our community and want to give money back to the community and support our community.”

It’s a pretty cool concept, said Marc Staal, a defenceman with the New York Rangers.

“When it was presented to us it was a no-brainer. A lot of restaurant owners got on board. We’re pretty psyched. It’s a good beer and it’s a great idea and hopefully we can raise a lot of money,” the second-eldest Staal brother said.

Leith Dunick

About the Author: Leith Dunick

A proud Nova Scotian who has called Thunder Bay home since 2002, Leith has been the editor of Thunder Bay Source for 18 years and has served a similar role with since 2009. Twitter: @LeithDunick
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