Now that the 2018 season is approaching, there are signs that the bond between baseball and craft beer will continue to strengthen. Two of the latest signs come from the Down East Wood Ducks (High A; Carolina League) and the Macon Bacon (summer collegiate; Coastal Plain League), both of whom have announced unique partnerships with local craft breweries.
The Wood Ducks have working to complete a new hospitality area down the right field line at Grainger Stadium. More information about that project surfaced this week, when the Wood Ducks announced a partnership with the Kinston-based Mother Earth Brewing. Along with naming rights to the new space, which will be known as Mother Earth Pavilion, the 14-year agreement calls for Mother Earth Brewing to become the official beer of the Wood Ducks.
“We are so happy to have Mother Earth on board as our naming rights partner of our new in-park hospitality area”, Neil Leibman, Wood Ducks President and Chairman of the Ownership Committee of the Texas Rangers, said in a press statement.
“The Mother Earth Pavilion will dramatically enhance the game day experience for our Wood Ducks fan base and we believe will help attract other non-baseball events to the city. So it only made sense to partner with a company that has its roots in Kinston and has already done so much to attract tourists to our great city.”
Construction on the Mother Earth Pavilion is expected to be completed by Opening Day of the upcoming season.
“Mother Earth Brewing could not be more excited about this new partnership with the Wood Ducks. We love our hometown of Kinston, NC, and are glad to be a part of a place that brings so many people together,” Trent Mooring, President and Co-Founder of Mother Earth Brewing, said in a press statement.
“We are also excited to have baseball back in our community, and we look forward to cheering on the Wood Ducks for years to come.”
Meanwhile, the upstart Bacon have entered into a partnership with Macon Beer Co. One of the key components of the agreement is similar to the deal between the Wood Ducks and Mother Earth, as Macon Beer Co. will have naming rights to the beer garden that is being added to the Bacon’s Luther Williams Field.
In addition to naming rights for the new beer garden, the arrangement between Macon Beer Co. and the Bacon is expected to include an exclusive beer made for the team and commemorative shirts that will be sold to benefit the Boys and Girls Club of Central Georgia. More from The Telegram:
“If you’re going there, you’re going to get excellent beer and (an) exclusive beer that we’re going to make for the Macon Bacon,” [Macon Beer Co. owner Yash] Patel said. “It’s not only going to be drinking excellent beer, but it’s also going to be watching some excellent baseball.”
Macon Bacon are also planning to educate youth about “being responsible and making the right choices” when it comes to alcohol through a partnership with the Boys and Girls Club of Central Georgia, Todd Pund, the team’s president, said.
The team and the brewery bought 200 commemorative shirts that it will sell for $25 each to raise a total of $5,000 for the Boys and Girls Club. The nonprofit’s president, Phillip Bryant, said the money will be used to pay for staff that will be hired to help the children write and produce videos about alcohol awareness.
The Macon Beer. Co beer garden is one of several amenities that will be added as the result of a renovation to Luther Williams Field. The upgrades to the ballpark, including the beer garden, improved seating, and other amenities, are expected to be ready for the Bacon’s home opener on June 1.