Remember the days, not that long ago, when players would leave an organization for one reason or another and the knockoff t-shirt makers would sell hilarious shirts trolling the athlete in the parking lot? Well, the equivalent to that now is local breweries taking jabs at players and teams with limited release beer.
Just a few weeks ago, New Jersey-based Departed Soles Brewing Company, who might very well be New York Yankees fans, created Trash Can Banger, a hazy IPA making fun of the Houston Astros’ recent scandal. Now, a Rhode Island brewery is taking shots at future NFL Hall of Famers Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski for both leaving the New England Patriots and ultimately reuniting as members of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Last week, Smug Brewing Company released Traitorade, a 7.0 percent ABV imperial fruit sour that’s fittingly made with Florida Key Limes and a dash of sea salt. It’s based on an idea the brewery had a while back, one it decided to revisit. And while Smug admits to still being fans of the two former Patriots, who brought a combined six Super Bowl victories, Traitorade reminds the brewery of “getting old and having to retire to Florida.” The label features a treasure map with the throwback Buccaneers logo front and center, only the swashbuckler has been replaced with the rooster from Smug’s logo. “Traitorade” is written underneath it in the throwback writing of the sports drink it’s imitating.
Founded in Pawtucket, Rhode Island back in 2018 by both Robert DeRosa and Stephen David, who came up with the name simply to avoid and cease and desist letters, Smug specializes in New England-style IPAs and seasonal selections in a state that continues to develop its beer scene. There are 10 beers currently in Smug’s arsenal, including the latest beer.
Perhaps New Englanders are gravitating towards Traitorade not only because it’s a tasty local effort, but because it represents how they feel about the situation of two of their beloved athletes dissing them for another location. That would probably leave a sour taste in any anyone’s mouth – so why not at least enhance that taste with a sour beer?
While there might not be too many cases left, given how quickly they sold and all of the media attention, we’d have to imagine Smug might revisit this one again.