Sam Adams Pulls Out of St. Patrick’s Day Parade Amid Controversy

Until the event is all-inclusive, Sam Adams won't associate their brand with the annual celebration.

Boston Beer Company, makers of Samuel Adams brew, will cease sponsorship and their role in the St. Patrick’s Day parade this weekend amid controversy. In an email to Boston, a spokesperson said they’re backing city officials that have vowed to skip the celebration due to the ban on gay veterans and people from the LGBTQ community from openly marching in the event.

“We will not be participating in the parade this year,” the statement from Boston Beer Company said.

In the past, Sam Adams has participated in both the South Boston St. Patrick’s Day Parade and the St. Patrick’s Day breakfast because of “the rich history of the events, and to support veterans who have done so much for our country.”

But this year, after backlash from places like Club Café, who announced they would stop serving Sam Adams products unless gay people could openly march in the parade with signs and banners, or the company pulled out of its sponsorship role, Sam Adams is instead backing down.

After initially blasting Sam Adams for sponsoring the parade, Club Café applauded the beer makers for reversing their involvement:

Club Café wants to extend a heartfelt thank you to Boston Beer Company and Sam Adams for its decision to pull back its support of this year’s South Boston’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade and standing against any organization that practices discrimination. As a result of this we are again proud to serve Sam Adams and Boston Beer Company Products.

Boston Beer Company said they were still hopeful an agreement could be reached to allow everyone, regardless of orientation, to participate in this year’s parade. “However, given the current status of the negotiations, this may not be possible,” they said.

The company said they “stand” with Mayor Marty Walsh and other elected officials who are skipping out on the parade due to the lack of inclusivity. And while they won’t have their brand in any way associated with the march, they will still support the other part of tradition in the city—the St. Patrick’s Day breakfast.

“[We] will continue our strong support of the Boston community as well as Senator Linda Dorcena Forry and her St. Patrick’s Day breakfast. We wish her all the best in her historic stewardship of this tradition,” the company said.