What goes better while taking in a spring baseball game than an ice cold beer? That was the thought of local brewery, Props Craft Brewery when the four owners approached the Minor League Baseball team Pensacola Blue Wahoos last year.
“We reached out to our distributor, The Lewis Bear Company, and told them we had an idea,” said one of Props owner Michael Kee. “We got connected with Jonathan Griffith at the Blue Wahoos and now we are the third partnership for breweries working with Minor League Baseball in the nation.”
Props will soon be canning their Blonde Bomber ale into new cans that feature a baseball and the Blue Wahoos’ logo for distribution both at the Pensacola stadium and in local stores. Now labeled as Blue Wahoos Blonde, the beer should be ready just in time for Blue Wahoos’ opening day, April 6.
“It’s the same beer as the Blonde Bomber, it’s just going into a Blue Wahoos package,” said Kee. “We took the same template as our other cans because it is a Props beer and I want everyone to know it is our beer, but we also wanted to highlight the Blue Wahoos.”
Jonathan Griffith, president of Studer Entertainment and Retail, which is the umbrella company for the Blue Wahoos baseball team, said the partnership with the local brewery is unique.
“It’s not very common, but this was something worth getting locally, especially with Props being all former military members,” said Griffith. “Our whole mission at the Blue Wahoos is to improve the quality of life in Northwest Florida. The Blue Wahoos and Props really compliment each other so we are really excited about it.”
When asked why the Pensacola Blue Wahoos chose a brewery out of Fort Walton Beach as opposed to a Pensacola based brewery, Griffith explained that the team takes a wider view of their fan base and team influence.
“We are Northwest Florida,” he said. “Our official name is Northwest Professional Baseball, so our whole vision of the team is the entire of Northwest Florida and not just Pensacola. Having a beer from Fort Walton Beach, we consider that being as if they are in Pensacola; We don’t see the bridges.”
As for Props, Kee said he is excited to see where this new business partnership will take his local craft beer brand.
“The biggest thing for us is that as the craft beer market grows, we want to make sure we are tapping into marketing that others already have,” Kee said. “We wanted to leverage their want for craft beer with our need to sell that craft beer.”
Blue Wahoos Blonde will be available in 12-ounce cans at the stadium as well as at local stores in Pensacola such as Tom Thumb, Cirlce K and Winn Dixie.