'Wing Night at the Boot' licensed for on-stage beer sales - Aug. 2, 2018
BY DENNY SCOTT
Visitors to the Blyth Festival production of Wing Night at the Boot will get nearly the full experience of visiting the iconic Blyth Inn restaurant with the addition of draught beer to the on-stage production.
The beer, which will be available for cash on stage at every production of the show, is just a natural fit according to Blyth Festival Artistic Director Gil Garratt.
“It was an inspiration that came to me,” he said. “If people are going to experience The Boot, they should be able to do so with a beer in their hand.
“It’s not like we live in a dry county anymore,” Garratt added, a nod to Blyth’s Prohibition-era history which will be explored through the stories in and around the on-stage version of the Blyth Inn.
Garratt expects the beer on tap will be Blyth Cowbell Brewing Company’s Shindig, a Huron County-inspired pilsner.
Earlier this year, the beer was chosen to be served in the Ontario Legislative dining room after being voted best lager by MPPs, cabinet ministers and legislative staff.
The pilsner is made with traditional Bohemian floor-malted pilsner malt from Germany along with German hops.
Garratt said that working with Cowbell to have the beer on stage has been great, crediting company founder and CEO Steven Sparling, Chief Development Officer Grant Sparling and Vice-President, Operations, Natasha Fritzley with displaying significant support for the project and helping with equipment.
Though it might be a Blyth Festival first, this isn’t the first time a theatre organization has offered such an experience, with Garratt pointing to the Broadway show Once.
The play, akin to how Wing Night at the Boot focuses on the well-known Blyth watering hole, focuses on a bar in Dublin, Ireland and allowed theatre-goers to drink in the bar.
While all the logistics have yet to be nailed down, Garratt says that audience members will be able to walk on to the stage, cash in hand, place an order with a member of the cast or crew (including Garratt and Blyth Festival General Manager Rachael King) and receive some Shindig.
Wing Night at the Boot premieres Aug. 8. Tickets for Wing Night at the Boot, as well as all three main stage performances, are still available through the Blyth Festival’s website at blythfestival.com or through calling the box office at 1-877-862-5984