VANCOUVER — How well Kerry Scarsbrook has prepared for the 2010 Olympics won't be discussed on the sports pages, but it could affect the Games all the same.
He's the man in charge of making the official beer.
"All I can think about all the time now is the Games," said Scarsbrook, Vancouver brewmaster for Molson Coors, the official 2010 supplier of beer.
It's meant that what's usually a slow winter is moving a lot faster as the company prepares to provide the suds for all of the sports venues, pavilions and other Olympic events.
The brewery is doubling the number of brews they're doing per week and have added shifts to make more cans and kegs.
It takes one minute to fill 1,600 cans of Molson Canadian, but about one month to make the beer itself, so what will be on tap during Games has been in production since January.
"The fact that our brewery is right in the backyard of where all the action is going to be, it puts us in the center point," said Wade Bayne, director of sales in Western B.C. for Molson Coors.
While Molson's is the official beer, the unofficial contenders are also anticipating a sharp uptick in business.
Across the province, it's estimated that 36 million cans of all beer will be consumed in February, up seven million cans from normal, according to the Molson's forecasts.
"We know the Games are as much about hospitality as they are sportsmanship so we know people are going to come and want to enjoy the Games but also enjoy the local flavour of the city," said Walter Cosman, general manger of Granville Island Brewery.
Games-time planning at his brewery began nine months ago examining everything from whether they had enough boxes to enough brew.
Cosman said he forsees selling about 15,000 kegs of beer — three times what he'd normally sell in the month of February.
In Squamish, B.C., which is in between Vancouver and the host mountain resort of Whistler, Howe Sound Brewing launched a beer called "Three Beavers" — a red ale with a label featuring the critters with gold, silver and bronze medals around their neck.
Yes, Olympic organizers noticed — the medals are a protected trademark — but no, the brewing company didn't get in trouble as they aren't Olympic medals.
They represent medals the brewery itself won in competitions.
"We really wanted to create something that was fun and Canadian," said Dave Fenn, chief executive officer, who said his business is up around 20 per cent for the month of the Games.
Molson won the right to sponsor the Games in 2008, and while they may be known as being Canada's beer, they didn't have a lock on the Vancouver Olympics.
Anheuser-Busch and its Budweiser line had been the sponsor of the last two winter Games, as well as several summer ones.
That company will still have a presence in Vancouver next month, with a "Club Bud" downtown five nights a week. The company also remains the sponsor of the U.S. Olympic team.
Molson paid somewhere between $3 million and $15 million for the rights to the Games themselves, and in return they get tickets, spots in the torch relay and official marketing rights.
They also get the official pressure: running out of beer during the Games isn't exactly a good idea.
Bar owners in Vancouver are already concerned about their stock during the Games.
Deliveries are being restricted to the wee morning hours, something Danny Filippone of The Penthouse, a downtown bar and strip club, called "an absolute nightmare."
"Not to mention that even when they are delivering the liquor on a day-to-day basis now, it's dodgy if it gets there on time," he said.
"I think most bars are doing what we're doing — we're stockpiling liquor prior to the Olympics which is something that a lot of bars don't do. It's very expensive to do."
Breweries are also adding additional delivery trucks and drivers in order to keep up with demand.
While beer sales haven't been too badly affected by the recent economic slump, the Games do provide a helpful boost, said Cosman.
More importantly, they provide a buzz.
"It's important, there's a lot of chaos going on around. . . There's a time where people can come together and socialize and enjoy each other's company. And enjoy it over a nice cold beer."