Beer Before Liquor, Never Been Sicker; Beer Before Hockey.. Win Every Time

3-amigos-beer-cheers

Drinking.

It’s as vital a part of hockey as the ice itself. Drinking before the game, during the game, and after the game can help celebrate a big Kings win…or in recent weeks, take the sting away from a 5-2 loss on home ice.

However, drinking is expensive. Knowing where to go get your booze on is an important step of the whole process. Luckily, today we are going to break down the event from start to finish.

And away we go…

  • Timing – Timing is everything in life. Be good at it. Nothing bothers me more than when friends want to go to grab a few drinks before the game and show up at 7:15. Bad timing. Proper timing for a pre-game drinking session is a must. 6:30 (assuming the game is a 7:30 start) is a great time to start the festivities. If you can swing it, 6:00 is even better. However, we all know traffic patterns in LA and sometimes that is easier said than done. I wouldn’t advise anything before 6. You don’t want to be too sloppy and have to watch the highlights of the game on NHL on the Fly in the morning because you have no recollection of being there.
  • Pregaming the Pregame – If you are lucky enough to live in an area with access to the subway (or train if you are coming from down South), then congrats! You are officially able to pregame the pregame! A loaded soda (pour out 1/4 of your bottle of soda, replace missing section with alcohol) is a classy way to ring in the pregame. It’s also super cheap. A veteran move that makes the train ride go that much quicker.
  • The Pregame – You’ve got your jersey on. It’s still daylight out. You can pull your credit card out faster than a ninja can un-sheath his sword and cut out your appendix. You, my friend, are ready to drink. But, where to go?
  • Yard House – A great beer selection might be just what you need to get this night going- and this is the place for it. Anyone from beer expert to the casual Bud Light drinker can find something here. They also have a pretty big menu of delectable snacks. Drinks aren’t too expensive, but the main problem about this place is the size. It is so big that unless you are nestled up against the bar, drinks and food in a timely manner can be an issue.  Still, Yard House is great because of its location (across the street in LA Live) and its clientele (on game night, Kings fans dominate scene).
  • Lucky Strike – Another bar across the street from Staples (also at LA Live) that Kings fans flock to for a much smaller area and vibe. In contrast to Yard House’s restaurant style, Lucky Strike features more of a lounge setting with couches and dim lighting. The service isn’t remarkable, however their Happy Hour menu is pretty decent with deals on both drinks and appetizers. This is the usual pregame hangout for the Crowned Royal crew.
  • Trader Vic’s – I started going there this season and I’m torn. They have an extensive drink menu that is sure to put you under the table.  However, if you aren’t a big rum person (which I’m not) you are a little out of luck. AND all of the drinks are super sugary…meaning a hangover by 2nd period. The drinks are expensive and not a lot of Kings fans in the building. I’d skip it for the pregame and save it for a different event.
  • Rosa Mexicano – I’ve done the pregame there a few times, and am, again, torn. They have awesome 2-for-1 drink deals that end at like 7:00, so high-five for that. However, there are zero Kings fans in attendance, meaning you are getting a lot of looks from people in nice clothes. Not that I mind that, I just like drinking with other fans.
  • ESPN Zone – It’s an ESPN Zone. If you don’t know what that is, you aren’t a sports fan. It works…but always leaves me wanting more.
  • Game Time – Guess what’s delicious and $10? That’s right. Your favorite drink. Staples Center isn’t the most expensive arena to drink at, but buying 3 rounds for you and your girlfriend will cost you what could easily get you 2 handles at BevMo. I know people who refuse to drink at the game for this reason. They drink before and after. I prefer to get a drink or two at the game…keep the buzz up…it’s a lot easier to overlook a 6-foot-wide one-timer by Stoll with a fresh vodka and soda water in your hand.

I prefer to get tickets in the PR section. You get a great view, access to a separate bar from the main concourse, AND drink service to your seat. If only they could find a way to take a piss for me, I’d be in heaven in the PRs. It’s worth the extra money, and if you go to StubHub, you can find some pretty sweet deals, especially last minute. Weekday games are even cheaper.

Supposedly, this amazing futuristic wonder of technology is installed somewhere in the arena. If you or anyone you know has seen it there, please email us or tell us in the comments section where it is, because it has to be the greatest invention since the water drinking bird:

  • Postgame – This is when the champions come out. Anyone can drink at 6:00, but it takes true dedication to slide up to a bar at 10:30 on a rainy Tuesday night after a 2-1 game against Columbus. Yard House is the only spot for post game activities in my book. They have everything you need: drinks, food, TVs to watch the postgame and NHL on the Fly. It’s a great way to end the night. And if the Kings win, there isn’t a better feeling than clinking a round with your buddies talking about Handzus’ shootout goal or Doughty’s insane hip check in the 2nd.

Man, I’m getting thirsty just thinking about it.

I’ll see you at Lucky Strike.

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