What the Red Sox deal with Samuel Adams means for Fenway Park

Say goodbye to the Budweiser sign.

BOSTON, MA - JUNE 24:  The retired number of former Boston Red Sox player David Ortiz #34 sits below the Boston Skyline before the game against Los Angeles Angels at Fenway Park on June 24, 2017 in Boston, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Omar Rawlings/Getty Images)
The right-field Budweiser sign at Fenway Park is going away in favor of a more local beer company. –Photo by Omar Rawlings / Getty Images

In a press release Tuesday, the Red Sox and Samuel Adams announced that the Boston-based brewery would be the team’s “official beer.”

“As the official beer of the Red Sox, we get to celebrate our New England roots with millions of other fans as soon as the season kicks off,” Sam Adams founder Jim Koch said in a statement.

But what does the marketing partnership actually mean for Red Sox fans?

Perhaps the most obvious and superficial difference fans will notice next spring is that the giant Budweiser sign currently atop Fenway Park’s right field roof deck will be replaced by Samuel Adams signage. Koch told The Boston Globe that the new design will be something that respects the historic character of the park.

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“I’d like to do something as cool as we’re allowed to,” he said, “but it’s Fenway — we can’t, like, turn it into Las Vegas.”

Beginning next year, the Budweiser Right Field Roof Deck — which was constructed and unveiled before the 2004 season — will be known as the “Sam Deck.”

Sam Adams will also have an “experiential bar area”  beneath the third base stands called “Sammy’s On Third.”

According to the press release, the two new bars will offer new Sam Adams beers that are set to launch next year, in addition to mainstays at the park like their Boston Lager and Summer Ale. One of the expected new beers is Sam ’76, a light-bodied lager-ale union, which the brewery plans to roll out early next year.

“The beer has [the] hop aroma character of an ale, but the refreshment of a lager, and at 4.7 [percent] it’s very sessionable,” Sam Adams spokeswoman Jessica Parr told Boston.com.  “The brewer’s goal was to create a beer for drinking occasions like gameday, après ski, tailgating on a Sunday.”

The deal, however, will have no effect on the variety of beers found at concession stands throughout the rest of the park, which are operated by the food vendor Aramark. So fans who still want to drink a Bud Light at the game will very much have all the opportunity to do so.