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FBM in Action – Stegman’s Old Boys FC 3rd Annual Free Beer Night (August 17th)

It's an event as old as the Free Beer Movement itself. On Saturday, August 17th the Minneapolis amateur soccer club, Stegman's Old Boys FC will host their third annual “Free Beer Night”.

The SOBs, as they're cleverly called, are not your run-of-the-mill suburban soccer club. The idea behind the formation of Stegman's was that the founders wanted not just play soccer, but to be a part of building American soccer. The founders Dan Hoedeman, Jon Bisswurm, and Nick Sindt were looking for something that was “more than a group of guys who just show up on game day.”

Hoedeman explains, “We wanted to build soccer club that was an actual club. So we set about finding the right group of guys, the right mix of events and soccer, and building a group that people would want to be a part of for more than ninty minutes a week”

So the Stegman's Old Boys were born with a mission not unlike Barcelona's “Més que un club” (More than a club).

The name “Stegman's Old Boys” was a tribute to an coach from Dan and Jon's youth and a play on the Euro-style naming without going overboard. They would save the “going overboard” for other parts of the team.

“We have some bold ideas on how a club, even an amateur or recreational one, should be structured and operate, Hoedeman said. “Plus, we wanted to make this as much fun as possible and that meant taking a lot of what we do to a whole new level for a team like ours; writing self-aggrandizing match recaps, working on some awesome local sponsorships, and hosting events like our own pre-season tournament and Free Beer Night – a charity fund-raising event.

Since the club's founding in 2010 they've hosted a “Free Beer Night” to not only spread the word about their fledging team, but for a good cause.

The event is the SOBs' biggest of the year.

“We do it for two primary reasons. One, we like to play in front of a lot of people who are clearly enjoying themselves and this isn’t something you typically find at your run-of-the-mill amateur/rec soccer match. Hoedeman said. “Secondly, part of being a “proper” club means becoming part of your community and in our few years of existence the best way to do this was to raise money for charitable causes.

Last year the SOBs raised over $800 Socket and this will target their efforts toward “The Sanneh Foundation”, a charity started by former United States men's national team member and Twin Cities resident Tony Sanneh. For “Free Beer Night” Stegman's will face the Minnesota Thunder Legends featuring none other than Sannah himself and other Minnesota-based former professionals.

Using the Free Beer Movement is the easist part of the “building soccer” equation for Sindt and his club.

“We see the Free Beer Movement as a comrade in arms – after all, we are offering free beer to get people out to watch the (amateur) soccer – plus it’s the best way to get friends, family, neighbors, and random work acquaintances out to support us, a team that most wouldn’t really care about until after they meet us and see what we like to do. Getting these people all to come out for a match with the promise of free beer then drives the amount of charitable good that can do as a club.”

Summitt Brewing Company, the state's oldest and largest craft brewery, took notice of the SOBs and decided to donate the beer for the fans and participants of “Free Beer Night”.

“We have a great sponsor in Summit Brewing who have been hugely supportive as we build this event, and it is because they get the soccer community and want to do something good in their backyard,” Hoedeman said.

Summit Brewing even created a video to help spread the word about “Free Beer Night” with SOB co-founder Sindt:

Additionally, Stegman's has invited the local professional team's (Minnesota United FC) supporters group, the Dark Clouds, to join them. It's a little of “you support us and we'll support you”.

Creating your own amateur soccer club is also about supporting local professional soccer, too. The “Free Beer Night” continues after the SOBs match when Minnesota United FC faces the Tampa Bay Rowdies in a North American Soccer League match.

Stegman's Old Boys, their three teams and 70-plus members, are the architects of American soccer and they, too, are doing it one beer at a time.


Tags: Beer, FBM In Action

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