A South Boston bar is boycotting Sam Adams beer after the the company who makes the beer, Boston Beer Co, pulled its longtime sponsorship from the St Patrick’s Day parade over organizer’s refusal to let gay veterans march.
Tommy Flaherty Jr., a lifelong Southie resident whose father and uncle own the landmark Cornerstone Pub & Restaurant on West Broadway, told the Boston Herald: “Sam Adams doesn’t support South Boston. They don’t want to support veterans like my father and uncle, so they can go sell their beer elsewhere.”
“(Boston Beer Co. has) no problem taking the money from the people drinking at the bars along the parade route,” he said. “We serve to everybody. I don’t have a problem with gay people, nor do my father and uncle.”
On Friday, Boston Beer Co. announced that they would not participate in the parade this year because organizer Allied Veterans War Council refuses to change its longtime policy of banning anyone from marching under a gay-rights banner.
“We have been participating in the South Boston St. Patrick’s Day Parade for nearly a decade,” Boston Beer Co. said in a statement. “We were hopeful that both sides of this issue would be able to come to an agreement that would allow everyone, regardless of orientation, to participate in the parade. But given the current status of the negotiations, we realize this may not be possible.”
Other supporters, including Westin Hotels and Gillette, also distanced themselves from the parade. On Friday, the parade’s website had erased its sponsorship page and replaced it with a message saying,“We’re updating our sponsors, thank you for your patience.”
Mayor Martin J. Walsh said: “We’ve gotten pretty close to an agreement here, and I think a lot of people thought this was the year we were going to have an agreement. I’m not giving up on that hope, we still have some time left. ... I have a glimmer of hope that we’re going to be able to work something out.”
When asked about the Boston Beer Co. pulling its sponsorship, Walsh said, “They made a policy decision there, and I commend them for it.”