Ahead of their upcoming Worcester, MA move, the Pawtucket Red Sox (Class AAA; International League) are striking a partnership with Worcester’s Wormtown Brewery.
The PawSox are slated to spend two more seasons at Pawtucket’s McCoy Stadium before their 2021 move to Worcester, where a new ballpark is being planned as part of a larger redevelopment initiative in the city’s Kelley Square/Canal District area. In a move that should build anticipation for their arrival while reflecting current trends involving baseball and craft beer, the PawSox have formed a partnership with local brewer Wormtown Brewery.
Through that partnership, Wormtown becomes the team’s official hometown brewery. Additionally, it will include a limited edition baseball-themed classic Vienna lager called “Welcome to Worcester, $1.25,” with a limited amount of that beer to be aged over unvarnished wood baseball bats from Connecticut’s Dream Bat Company. More from MassLive.com:
The name of the small-batch brew is a nod to Adam Sandler’s comedy character “Toll Booth Willie.” But the $1.25 has a meaning beyond Sandler’s sketch. For each pint sold, a $1.25 donation will go to the team’s charitable foundation, according to Wormtown.
“As local Worcester guys growing up, Ben (Roesch) and I take great pride in Wormtown Brewery playing a small part in the city’s amazing revival,” said David Fields, the managing partner of Wormtown Brewery. “This team’s arrival and the construction of a ballpark and entertainment community are the crowning achievements, and we could not wait to join this team.”
The commemorative “Welcome to Worcester” Vienna lager will feature an amber color, light caramel sweetness and clean, crisp finish, Wormtown said.
Wormtown made a 30-barrel batch of the beer then set aside four barrels to add the unvarnished wood baseball bats, which are from Dream Bat Company, a premium bat maker and supplier located in Connecticut.
As part of a growing trend around baseball–including MLB and MiLB–many teams have formed partnerships with local breweries, with those agreements often resulting in team-specific or baseball-themed beers. In an instance that is very similar to Worcester, the Atlanta Braves’ SunTrust Park features the Terrapin Taproom, a space that is open year-round and offers Chopsecutioner, Terrapin’s bat wood aged IPA.
The new Worcester ballpark, dubbed Polar Park, will cost $86-$90 million, and is envisioned as the anchor of an 18-acre, $240-million redevelopment initiative. The funding formula for the ballpark calls for the City of Worcester to borrow $100.8 million ($70.6 million in general obligations bonds, $30.2 in bonds backed by team rent payments) to cover construction costs and PawSox owners paying $6 million toward construction. Rent payments are pegged at a little over a million dollars annually, for a total of $30.2 million over 30 years.
Image courtesy Wormtown Brewery.
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