VANCOUVER, B.C. – Alex Burrows is running up quite a tab at the Village Taphouse.
The pub in a well-heeled Vancouver suburb decided it would be a good promotion if it offered patrons a free beer every time the Vancouver Canucks forward scored.
It just so happened that Burrows, whose overtime goal shunted the St. Louis Blues from the Stanley Cup playoffs Tuesday, is the favourite player of pub manager Trevor St. James.
The goal was Burrows’ second of the game.
“He’s a small-town guy (from Pincourt, Que., a community of 10,000 on Ile Perrot near Montreal), he’s a pest and he’s just fun to watch,” St. James said Wednesday in an interview.
“He’s a great team player. He gives high-fives to guys coming off the ice and he’s just so humble.”
The free drink was conceived back in November when Burrows was coming off a 12-goal season.
“Last night was incredible,” St. James said. “It was insane, just like GM Place. We give out white towels too and crank the sound.”
The pub seats about 150 and patrons watch from six big screens. On Tuesday night there was an overflow crowd on the patio.
And the Burrows beer has been changed to the Burrows Shot because of the Canuck forward’s recent scoring binge.
This is because shots can be prepared in bulk and are easier to pour and serve than pulling 150 pints of draft, a chore that used to take about an hour. When Burrows scores, the staff doesn’t have to be told.
The roar and pounding on tables is enough.
And they go about doling out the free drinks, about 4,700 so far this season, with great precision.
The shots are a secret recipe but resemble a mini-cocktail with a fruit juice base and a Canuck-blue colour – all served in a shot glass.
Liquor is limited to less than an ounce to avoid running afoul of government regulations. St. James said he didn’t expect Burrows’ goal production to reach 28 this season, plus three in four playoff games.
“Not even close,” St. James said. “I thought it would be nice to give away a round once in awhile. Maybe five or 10 … max 12.”