Financial hardship during the 1932 holiday season meant that many parents, such as Toronto’s Donald Munro, weren’t able to indulge their children with the usual thrilling gifts. Not wanting to deprive his kids of some Christmas joy, Munro used his ingenuity – as well as clothes pins, wire hangers, clock springs and scrap wood – to build a game that the whole family could enjoy.
Table hockey was an immediate hit with family, friends and neighbours, which got him thinking about commercial possibilities, so he approached Eaton’s to take games on consignment. Within months, Munro had established a manufacturing plant to service demand from major retailers. By the early 1940s, $5 table hockey games were selling like hotcakes from department store catalogues.
The game was so popular with Canadian troops during World War II that Munro’s son, Donald Jr., was required to pay service calls at military bases in the UK in order to do repairs. By the mid-1950s, as many as 75,000 Canadian homes had table hockey, and competitors had sprouted up across North America, spurring all many of bells, whistles, refinements and deluxe editions to get kids excited at Christmas for decades to come.
Video games may have taken over as the favoured indoor pastime, but table hockey still has its loyalists and a place in hearts around the world. This crisp, clean, crushable light lager, brewed with a combination of malt and rice, is meant as an easy-drinking accompaniment to whatever you choose to get up to in your Rec Room.