This is a story about three young lads who go travelling to Amsterdam in search of optimistic adventure. Two are Canadian, one is an Australian who is now the newest resident of Edmonton and Wanye Manor. We meet up with an ex-pat Canadian living in Amsterdam who sobers us up more than anything that has ever happened before in the history of time.

It ain’t a story about looking cool – that’s for sure. Read on at your own risk.

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As we described in painful detail in an earlier article we went to an Ajax soccer game last week in Amsterdam. Owing to having two tickets together and one bought at the last minute we split up to sit in different seats – two down in the fancy pants section and your ol’ pal Wanye up high in the sky with a Swedish lady who had the misfortune of buying the single seat next to mine and was sitting apart from her friends too.

As any good fan of the footy, we put away as many beers as time and good behaviour would allow. For a seasoned animal like myself that meant five beers and two for the lady totalling approximately 500 Euros.

After the game we met up with the boys. "How was it fellas?" we breathlessly asked. "Oh fine that was a wicked game and the arena was so full" came the equally cheery reply. "Did you get any beers in ya? I took down 5 cause you know that I’m a G."

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That got the boys good who admitted they had only 4 each – 2 per half. Either way we were all feeling pretty darn good as an afternoon of beers can get you. That news filled us full of swag as we were clearly the top dog of the crew.

As we walked towards the cab stand we all noted that there didn’t seem to be a lot of people drinking at the game. "I think it’s because we were surrounded by all the fancy types who were old as sand" hypothesized @thesquireyeg. "That’s probably it, they take these games so seriously" agreed @17samb.


Showered, shaved and still feeling the effects of a handful of Grolsch beers we made our way to dinner and more beers with @humantorch both a fine citizen of the Nation and the official Ambassador of OilersNation in Amsterdam.

Should anyone decide to go to the City of Haze, please look up one of the finest fellows you will ever have the good fortune to meet. He is cool with this and is down to take you for a beer and point you in the direction of trouble that he is far too classy to get involved in. Tweet him for reals. 

Anyhoo, we sit down with the Human Torch and proceed to regale him with tales of near and far, Oilers hockey, general nonsense, dreams for the future of Edmonton and finally how we put down a bunch of beers at the game that afternoon.

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What follows is a rough transcript of the conversation:

Wanye: Yep so we went to the game and I tried to wheel a Swede and that didn’t go well but I put down 5 beers so you know thats a win.

Human Torch: Oh really? 5 beers? That’s a pretty good number. How bout you fellas (motions to @thesquireyeg and @17samb) did you have any beers too?

17samb: (translated from Australian) Sure did. Had four myself – all Grolsch. @thesquireyeg did too.

Human Torch: Were you boys feeling it at all? Those things can sneak up on you.

The Squire: Yeah, we were feeling pretty good by the second half. All the fresh air I guess too.

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Wanye: I was raised on Rexall Beers man. I am made of steel but yeah I was feeling it by the end.

Human Torch: (nods smiling whilst full of knowledge) Oh really. Feeling it you say? Did you know they only sell non-alcoholic beers at the games? Keeps the fans from going crazy.

(Three jaws simultaneously hit the floor, Human Torch smiles for effect and has a sip of a normal beer)


One minute you are trying to impress your cool buddy living in Amsterdam who had the balls to move there and kill it in the corporate world. Nek minute you find out you have been drinking non-alcoholic beer the entire time next to a Swedish girl who most certainly knew what was what but was too polite to say anything.

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Why would they sell non-alcoholic beer at a sporting event you may be asking yourselves as we most definitely have been for a few days now. Turns out soccer games can get mega rowdy and the teams are sanctioned if things get too out of control. To avoid fines – and because they make most of their money off of TV deals not booze sales – all the beers are quietly alcohol free.

Try THAT move in North America. If they suddenly replaced the heroin beers at Rexall Place with booze free booze there would be riots so epic you would swear the Canucks were in the Cup Finals.

Or maybe not – maybe it’s all in our minds.


We remember once going to a party as a young man with a bunch of our toughian high school friends. Before we left someone took an empty bottle of vodka, filled it with good ol’ Edmonton tap water and brought it to the party.

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Fast forward through a few hours of filling several ladies’ glasses of our non-boozian moonshine and we watched them descend into madness – fuelled only by H20. It was a great prank at the time that showed "how easily chicks can be tricked."

Well karma is an absolute bitch isn’t it? We are all grown men years later and we fall for the oldest trick in the book.

Classic Amsterdam.

Photo montage above courtesy of the Sam Brown Collection, 2013.