An Orioles' Baker and a beer maker

July 22nd, 2023

This story was excerpted from Jake Rill’s Orioles Beat newsletter. To read the full newsletter, click here. And subscribe to get it regularly in your inbox.

ST. PETERSBURG -- In his second season with the Orioles, wanted to become more engaged with the Baltimore community. After all, it’s now home for the 28-year-old right-hander, who was claimed off waivers from the Blue Jays in November 2021.

What better way to do so than to help out a local non-profit organization?

So Baker’s management agency connected with Mobtown Brewing Company, a Baltimore-based brewery, to create a campaign that involves donating to a non-profit he is interested in assisting. Together, Baker and Mobtown Brewing planned to brew a beer, and some of the proceeds would go to Blue Water Baltimore, an organization focused on keeping the city’s streams and waterways clean and free of trash.

The special collaboration beer is set to be released at Mobtown Brewing -- which opened in Brewers Hill in 2019 -- on Thursday at 6 p.m. ET. In addition to Baker donating to Blue Water Baltimore, $1 from every draft pour sold in the taproom will go to the organization.

With the Orioles off on the release day, Baker will be attending the event to take photos and sign autographs.

“Hopefully, the city is as excited as we are about the way we’re playing and hopes for the rest of the season,” Baker said. “To be around some of that excitement should be pretty cool.”

Baker toured some breweries in Asheville, N.C., in 2017, when he was playing for Single-A Asheville (then in the Rockies’ organization), but he doesn’t have a ton of knowledge regarding the brewing process. However, he learned more from the brewers at Mobtown Brewing, who hosted him several times to brainstorm ideas and to keep him in the loop.

For a group of local baseball fans, Baker’s involvement was one of the best parts of the experience.

“It was really cool,” said David Carpenter, owner/head brewer at Mobtown Brewing. “Besides in passing or like at an O’s FanFest or something, I’ve never really met a Major League baseball player before.”

Baker wanted the beer with his name attached to it to be a light, refreshing, summertime beverage for Orioles fans 21 and older to enjoy responsibly. Mobtown Brewing made that happen, and the end result is a 4.3% ABV hazy pale ale.

The labels on the cans have an orange and black font, which is something Baker requested in order to give it an O’s theme. They also feature a cartoon-like sketch of Baker. The art was done by Andy Smith, a local designer/illustrator.

“It’s not something I ever figured I’d be doing, getting to see my own name and picture on a product of any sort,” Baker said. “So it’s pretty surreal to think about. It’s pretty cool.”

The excitement for the O’s is only growing around the city, and Baker should be well received by the many orange-clad fans likely to show up at Mobtown Brewing on Thursday in order to support him and help out Blue Water Baltimore in the process.

“It was kind of perfect timing,” Carpenter said. “I think it’s going to be really cool. Hopefully, they can still hold onto first place for the next week and he’ll be in here as a relief pitcher for the first-place Orioles.”