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Lost in the glamour of a newly-christened NBA season comes yet another harsh reality of a winter without the NHL: lagging Canadian beer sales. Hockey season is a time when our northern neighbors cozy up with the cheap brews to enjoy the nation’s game. But with empty arenas and bars, and Red Green Show re-runs on TV, Molson Coors Brewing Co. is reporting overall sales have flat lined.

Naturally, it seems a nation of frenzied hockey fans would mean the best of both worlds for breweries: drink with fervor during a normal season, or drink out of despair over another one lost. But perhaps in the latter case, fans are turning to something stronger to drown their sorrows — anyone checked on Canadian whiskey sales lately?

Also, if you planned on shedding a tear for billion-dollar breweries for a few lost sales, it should be noted that while sales are down for Molson, profits are slightly up thanks to a $3.4 billion acquisition of European brewer StarBev. And, as always, remember to pour one out for the NHL non-season.

via Wall Street Journal