Partnerships are big in MLS as teams latch-on to local businesses to the benefit of both sides. The Seattle Sounders have embraced the community and boast many sponsorships and partnerships on a local level -- from Microsoft to Virginia Mason and plenty in between. But on Monday, the Sounders entered the beer arena, naming Redhook their official brewing partner in a move that should raise a few eyebrows.
The news came from Two Beer Queers, a Hawaiian-based beer podcast.
Redhook Ale Brewery Becomes Seattle Sounders Exclusive Craft Brewing Partner. Cool!
The announcement is odd in many ways. Beer is a large part of the soccer-viewing experience for many, just as it is with sports. While I applaud the Sounders for supporting a brewery with ties to the Northwest, the team could've done better. When it comes to craft brewing, Redhook is more commercial than most of the local breweries Washington has to celebrate.
Look around Seattle, for example. Georgetown Brewery puts out some of the finest brews around and is based a stone's throw away from Qwest Field. Big Al Brewing is a smaller operation, but also brews Brougham Bitter, the beer of ECS. Even Elysian is located within a short stumble of Qwest Field and churns out many a fine brew.
As SB Nation Soccer's Graham MacAree mentioned, this will all be moot when the Portland Timbers name Deschutes their official brewing partner, putting us all to shame.
Edit: Dave Clark explains why Redhook may have been chosen.
Sure there are smaller, craftier brews locally. But could they have afforded a sponsorship and navigated the legal issues with InBev's relationship with MLS through Anheuser-Busch?