Shipyard Looks to Hit Home Run In Florida Ballparks

Hoping to spark some longing sentiments of home for beach-going New Englanders, Shipyard Brewing has made ties with spring training and Florida minor-league baseball teams this year.

Led by Florida West Coast sales manager Dan Bolduc, Shipyard was able to supply both its beer and sister brewery Sea Dog of Clearwater, Florida into two spring training stadiums, JetBlue Park (spring home for the Boston Red Sox) and Century Link Park, the spring home for the Minnesota Twins and summer home for the Fort Myers Miracle, a Class A Advanced team for the Twins.

“Dan is a Maine guy, he knew that the west coast of Florida is a popular spring destination for New Englanders and other northern residents looking to escape the cold and take in some baseball and sunshine,” said Marty Jones, a spokesman for the brewery. “Bolduc … came up with the idea and put this together over the past four months or so.”

Shipyard & Sea Dog beers are also at Dunedin, Florida’s Florida Auto Exchange Stadium (spring-training home of the Toronto Blue Jays and summer home of the Class A Dunedin Blue Jays) and Clearwater’s Spectrum Field, the springtime home of the Philadelphia Phillies and summer home of the Class A Clearwater Threshers. Spectrum is three miles away from the Shipyard/Sea Dog brewery.

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Collectively these stadiums will feature about 20 taps of Shipyard & Sea Dog beers — which are also available in 35 states — and deliver benefits to craft beer lovers and the beverage programs at the stadiums while helping promote the breweries in a new way.

“We definitely get local sales and awareness and we reach people from many other markets,” Jones said. “It’s a home run for everyone involved.”

With Sea Dog in Clearwater and state-wide distribution across the state, it was super feasible for Shipyard to get beer into the ballpark. Shipyard opened its Sea Dog Clearwater brewery in 2014. The brewery produces Shipyard and Sea Dog draft beer exclusively for the Florida market.

“The beer is locally made and immensely fresh and very easy to deliver and re-stock when the kegs blow,” explained Jones. “It has been a profitable endeavor for us and the stadiums, and it gives baseball fans extra in-the-park thrills on the beer side.”

Bolduc added that the stadiums are realizing that craft beer sells.

“The stadium beverage buyers know that people at the games are willing to spend an extra dollar or two for a quality beer from an independent craft brewer,” he said in a release.

“These stadiums,” Bolduc added, “reinforce our connection with out-of-town fans who come to Florida for the games. It will translate to big spring and summer sales for our local distributor and retailers, and it also helps year-round sales in our markets across the country.”

Better still, says Shipyard founder Fred Forsley, is that the stadium placements help in some big-picture ways.

“We’re putting craft beer in places that reach a more mainstream segment of American beer lovers,” he said. “That’s good for building our sales and craft beer sales in general, and those are two important goals of ours.”

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