Alberta craft beer, pride on the line in Notley and Ceci playoff bet

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Alberta craft beer, pride on the line in Notley and Ceci playoff bet

Premier Rachel Notley and Finance Minister Joe Ceci launched a friendly wager involving Alberta craft beer to mark the first time in 11 years that both Edmonton Oilers and the Calgary Flames are in the Stanley Cup playoffs. 

Notley raised the Oilers flag outside the Federal Building in Edmonton as workers on the roof of a nearby office building whooped and cheered for the home team.

At the same time, Ceci, MLA for Calgary-Fort, raised the Flames flag outside the McDougall Centre in downtown Calgary.

Each flag will fly as long as the respective team is in the playoffs. The Oilers face off against the San Jose Sharks Wednesday while the Flames open against the Anaheim Ducks on Thursday.

Notley, an Oilers fan since childhood, said Flames and Oilers fans can find common ground in "a temporary, yet deep, deep, loathing for all things California.

"The only thing I will say about California is that our oil and gas is better than theirs and so are our hockey teams," she quipped. "Also, that Minister Shaye Anderson's beard is better than (San Jose Sharks player) Brent Burns's beard."

Whoever sees their team eliminated first will provide the other with beer made by Polar Park Brewing, a company co-owned by former Edmonton Oiler and Calgary Flame Andrew Ference. 

Notley said the loser will also have to make a ministerial statement about "all that is awesome" about the other team while wearing the other team's jersey.

Ceci was sure that he will win the bet. 

"It will even be sweeter to watch the premier to have to get me some cold Alberta beers while wearing a Flames jersey in the legislature," Ceci joked.

At the end of the playoffs, both flags will be signed by the players and put up for auction. The proceeds will go to the charitable foundations run by the Flames and the Oilers.

Notley was given some Oilers souvenirs during the Edmonton flag raising event, including a big orange foam finger.

"I'm going to use this in question period," she joked.