Some of life’s greatest highs and lowest lows stem from winning and losing. Winning and celebrating with your team is a great feeling and on the flip-side a loss can be painful. At the Belfast Curling Club in Belfast, Maine beer is the great equalizer.
I’ve been making trips to Belfast to curl for 5 years, the group is constantly changing depending on who’s available to play. Skill levels vary depending how many times a person has played and who just has that curl working for them on that particular day, none of us are joining the Olympic team playing two or three times a year but we have fun.
Even playing at our level we get competitive, everybody wants to win and after a few hour of balance and finesse on the ice, after shots and blocks take outs with the hammer – not a real hammer, that’s a curling term for the final shot in an end – there is always a winning team and a losing team, and beer.
The Belfast Curling Club has a house rule, winning team buys losing team a beer. A simple but effective equalizer, everybody wins.
After the last end is called, the stones are placed back in their house, the players all shake hands with a “good curling”, the ice is swept and the hacks are covered and the beers are poured. The group sits around the large round tables in the viewing area overlooking the now empty curling sheets and recall great shots or blocks or takeouts, have a few laughs and enjoy each others company before parting ways, heading back to our own lives, work and families, until the next Belfast outing and winners buying beers.
This season has come to a close but watch the Belfast Curling Club website for You Can Curl dates if you are interested in giving the sport a try.
No visit to Belfast is complete without a stop at Marshall Wharf for growler fills, It’s all part of the curling experience.
Good Beer and Good Curling,