Author Topic: Jim Koch has a problem....  (Read 3716 times)

Offline jeffy

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 3421
  • Tampa, Fl
    • View Profile
Re: Jim Koch has a problem....
« Reply #15 on: January 06, 2015, 02:19:47 AM »
I'm not sure what you guys are talking about. They have all these "New World" beers in the fancy bottles that should be competing just fine with other craft beers. They are doing the things that should keep them relevant. I haven't had any of them, but I see the beers out there and I am sure people are buying them because I see them in peoples' carts at Costco and Publics.

Sam Adams Boston Lager is not a beer meant to compete against local craft beer. It is built to compete again Bud and Miller and Stella Artois and that crowd.

I just meant that they waste so much time and effort on all those mediocre beers in the middle - cherry wheat, blackberry whatever, spring kolsch, O fest, white IPA,etc.,  when they could drop all that and sell 4 or 6 packs of those much better Batch One beers instead of just single mini-bombers.

Yeah, kind of hard to argue about that. But what about the "Long Shot" beers? Who else is doing that? That's crazy support for homebrewers! Krazy with a kapital K! ;)

That's an awesome thing for him to do, and they are good beers - nobody else. I root for Koch.
I am a fan of the brewery and its founder.  They made it possible a decade ago to find a decent beer even at the most remote quickiemart.  Before Sam Adams you had to find a specialty store to find a good beer.
They spend a lot of time and dollars on the Long Shot competitions even sending reps to the regional sites to help organize and coordinate.  That's not just marketing.  It's goodwill to the home brewing community.
I buy some of their seasonals including the occasional Rebel IPA, sort of a "light" IPA, and their Pils.
The specials in the big ugly bottles are pretty special too.
Jeff Gladish, Tampa (989.3, 175.1 Apparent Rennarian)
Homebrewing since 1990
AHA member since 1991, now a lifetime member
BJCP judge since 1995

Offline Multifaceted

  • Cellarman
  • **
  • Posts: 43
  • Jerk of All Trades
    • View Profile
Re: Jim Koch has a problem....
« Reply #16 on: January 06, 2015, 02:28:54 AM »
Wow, they are actually going to release a DIPA... I may have to try that. Their Rebel IPA is not too shabby, more balanced and less up front harsh bitterness you get from some other craft IPAs...

Oh, and their Chocolate Bock is a solid beer.

Offline mchrispen

  • Brewmaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 650
    • View Profile
    • Accidentalis Brewing Blog
Re: Jim Koch has a problem....
« Reply #17 on: January 06, 2015, 03:48:16 AM »
I find that in much of my business development career that passion and creativity is often incompatible with solid business sense and practice. I left marketing because of the compromises and fantastic exaggeration (lies) necessary to be successful were draining my soul. Feeling the same about my current career.

SA has responded to the market, but now they are a little fish in the ABV and Coors world, rather than a big fish in a formerly tiny craft market. Far different challenges, and predictable with their growth vectors. Koch needs to recognize that, and decide if he wants to stick around or jump off and start something more inline with his passions and ego. And frankly, be more aware of his behavior when drinking. Seems the stories are a bit more extreme and less charming than ten years ago.

Never met him, but would happily shake his hand and praise his contributions to craft beer and homebrewing.


Matt Chrispen
Bastrop, Texas
Accidentalis.com
Matt Chrispen
Sometime Austin Zealot
Blogging from the garage @ accidentalis.com
>> Bru'n Water Spreadsheet Walkthroughs<<
>> Bru'n Water Subscriber Version 5.3 Spreadsheet Walkthrough <<

Offline case thrower

  • Assistant Brewer
  • ***
  • Posts: 185
  • NE Ohio
    • View Profile
Re: Jim Koch has a problem....
« Reply #18 on: January 06, 2015, 03:57:29 AM »
Jim Koch isn't going to release a beer unless he likes it?  That smacks of a certain amount of arrogance.  For him, the more important criterion should be whether or not you & I like it!  After all, we're the ones plunking down our hard earned money for his beer.  If he's not going to change when the market changes, he shouldn't complain.  When he started, I'm willing to bet the people in the boardrooms that were his competition were saying they weren't going to release a beer unless they liked it, too!
Dave C.

Woke up this mornin' and I got myself a beer.
The future's uncertain and the end is alway near.

S. cerevisiae

  • Guest
Re: Jim Koch has a problem....
« Reply #19 on: January 06, 2015, 04:10:06 AM »
Personally, I'd rather drink Sam Adams Boston Lager than about 80% of the craft brew IPAs that I've tried lately that are out there, but that's just me. I just don't get the whole "dank" hops thing.  But I am old.

+1000

Boston Lager is a better brewed beer than most of the hipster IPAs on the market.  One can cover a multitude of brewing sins with hops.

Offline ranchovillabrew

  • Brewer
  • ****
  • Posts: 320
    • View Profile
Re: Jim Koch has a problem....
« Reply #20 on: January 06, 2015, 05:01:30 AM »
I think most of what they put out is very good for the price. I think rebel is fine.  Nothing compared to real West coast IPAs.  Boston Lager is always a great fallback and their mixed 12 packs are great purchases for parties. Sort of the same for Sierra Nevada and New Belgium or Craft Brew Alliance for me.
- Charles

Offline majorvices

  • Global Moderator
  • I must live here
  • *****
  • Posts: 9661
  • Polka. If its too loud you're too young.
    • View Profile
    • Yellowhammer Brewing Company
Re: Jim Koch has a problem....
« Reply #21 on: January 06, 2015, 11:14:32 AM »
Jim Koch isn't going to release a beer unless he likes it?  That smacks of a certain amount of arrogance.  For him, the more important criterion should be whether or not you & I like it!  After all, we're the ones plunking down our hard earned money for his beer.  If he's not going to change when the market changes, he shouldn't complain.  When he started, I'm willing to bet the people in the boardrooms that were his competition were saying they weren't going to release a beer unless they liked it, too!

Would you feel the same way if Vinnie Cilurzo said that? I think it shows Koch is still very involved in his company and wants to be proud about what they put out there (though hard to believe he likes the Cherry Wheat. Maybe he does.) I feel the same way too. Every one wants me to brew a pumpkin beer but I won't because I think they are crap. I know I'd sell a ton of beer, but I'm not going to do that to poor people who don't know any better. ;)

Offline klickitat jim

  • I must live here
  • **********
  • Posts: 8520
    • View Profile
Re: Jim Koch has a problem....
« Reply #22 on: January 06, 2015, 12:03:28 PM »
Billionaires can be a tad bit arrogant.

Offline theDarkSide

  • I spend way too much time on the AHA forum
  • ********
  • Posts: 2987
  • Derry, NH
    • View Profile
Re: Jim Koch has a problem....
« Reply #23 on: January 06, 2015, 02:25:32 PM »
I'll admit if I'm out at a place that has a huge craft beer selection I will not order a BL, mostly because I want to try some new things but BL, Rebel, and certain seasonals have saved me at some of the restaurants we go to.  Along the same lines, I don't drink a lot of Sierra Nevada Pale Ale either.

I don't buy a lot of the mix packs anymore because there are always a couple I'm not a fan of (thank God they dumped Cranberry Lambic), but I regularly have 12 packs of BL, Winter Lager, Oktoberfest, and Noble Pils...for those times where I think I'm starting to get just a little too hipster-ish. :)
Seacoast Homebrew Club - Portsmouth, NH
AHA Member
Stephen Mayo
------------------------------------------------

Offline Thirsty_Monk

  • Brewmaster General
  • *******
  • Posts: 2344
  • Eau Claire WI
    • View Profile
Re: Jim Koch has a problem....
« Reply #24 on: January 06, 2015, 02:45:02 PM »
Interesting article.

I know that large craft brewers are acting like a big beer in my market these days. May be he should put out bounty on tap handles like New Belgian.

I find that bar business is quirky and I sell more draft farther away then in my home market.
Na Zdravie

On Tap At The TapRoom:
Bohemian Pilsner
Bohemian Dark Lager
Smoked Bock
MaiBock
American Brown Ale
Marzen
Root beer

Offline udubdawg

  • Senior Brewmaster
  • ******
  • Posts: 1080
    • View Profile
Re: Jim Koch has a problem....
« Reply #25 on: January 06, 2015, 02:50:29 PM »

"Staring at the beer menu, Koch began to criticize the selection. More than half of it, he said, wasn’t worthy of being served—inadvertently insulting the establishment’s owner, who unbeknownst to Koch was sitting next to him. Then Koch interrogated the beer manager about the offerings. Unsatisfied with the answers, Koch complained about the beers so intensely that an employee at the bar teared up. Koch rose from his seat and walked into the keg room, where he started checking freshness dates on his competitors’ kegs."
.
.
.
did no one else find this over-the-top dickish?  What are the "unworthy" beers and why, and why should he decide what is worthy anyway? 



Offline case thrower

  • Assistant Brewer
  • ***
  • Posts: 185
  • NE Ohio
    • View Profile
Re: Jim Koch has a problem....
« Reply #26 on: January 06, 2015, 02:54:49 PM »
Jim Koch isn't going to release a beer unless he likes it?  That smacks of a certain amount of arrogance.  For him, the more important criterion should be whether or not you & I like it!  After all, we're the ones plunking down our hard earned money for his beer.  If he's not going to change when the market changes, he shouldn't complain.  When he started, I'm willing to bet the people in the boardrooms that were his competition were saying they weren't going to release a beer unless they liked it, too!

Would you feel the same way if Vinnie Cilurzo said that? I think it shows Koch is still very involved in his company and wants to be proud about what they put out there (though hard to believe he likes the Cherry Wheat. Maybe he does.) I feel the same way too. Every one wants me to brew a pumpkin beer but I won't because I think they are crap. I know I'd sell a ton of beer, but I'm not going to do that to poor people who don't know any better. ;)

Are you going to throw a fit when you are out somewhere and there is a pumpkin beer being served?  Just askin'!  Koch was successful because he challenged the status quo with a well made product that, for its time, was a radical departure from the norm, plus he had the business aptitude to be able to succeed.  In today's world of craft beer, how many of Koch's beers can be described like that?  Hey, I was just a rank & file worker before I retired, but it would seem to me that to become a multibillion dollar company and continue to be a multibillion dollar company, you have to be able to adapt to changing trends.  I can get away with saying I'm not going to brew anything I don't like.  I'm brewing just for me.  But if I'm wanting people to buy my beers (and wanting to become the next Jim Koch), I'm going to be busting my butt to find out what they want so I can provide it for them.
Dave C.

Woke up this mornin' and I got myself a beer.
The future's uncertain and the end is alway near.

Offline reverseapachemaster

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 3157
    • View Profile
    • Brain Sparging on Brewing
Re: Jim Koch has a problem....
« Reply #27 on: January 06, 2015, 03:20:14 PM »
Koch was not craft brewing's pioneer but he sure was craft beer's marketing pioneer.

His products have always been gateways into craft beer as the BMC alternative. There's still a huge market of people who drink industrial lager and are looking for that stepping stone into something different (even if only from time to time) and BBC beers are usually filling that void. That will probably always be the market BBC holds because so many young adults getting into beer are going right into craft beer and often right into IPAs. I don't know if BBC is as large as it is in fifty years but it's definitely going to be a profitable enterprise for the foreseeable future.
Heck yeah I blog about homebrewing: Brain Sparging on Brewing

Offline goschman

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 3455
    • View Profile
Re: Jim Koch has a problem....
« Reply #28 on: January 06, 2015, 03:21:48 PM »
New Belgium was my gateway craft beer mostly because of my age and the region I am in. Depending on where I am at, I will order Fat Tire or Sam Adams because they are better than the alternative. I have to admit, the beginning of the article made me a little weary of Koch.



« Last Edit: January 06, 2015, 03:30:48 PM by goschman »
On Tap/Bottled: Haze for Daze IPA, Euro Pale, Kolsch, Summer Gold       

Fermenting: 
Up Next: IPA, Vienna, Pumpkin, Red Rye

Offline majorvices

  • Global Moderator
  • I must live here
  • *****
  • Posts: 9661
  • Polka. If its too loud you're too young.
    • View Profile
    • Yellowhammer Brewing Company
Re: Jim Koch has a problem....
« Reply #29 on: January 06, 2015, 03:44:28 PM »
Jim Koch isn't going to release a beer unless he likes it?  That smacks of a certain amount of arrogance.  For him, the more important criterion should be whether or not you & I like it!  After all, we're the ones plunking down our hard earned money for his beer.  If he's not going to change when the market changes, he shouldn't complain.  When he started, I'm willing to bet the people in the boardrooms that were his competition were saying they weren't going to release a beer unless they liked it, too!

Would you feel the same way if Vinnie Cilurzo said that? I think it shows Koch is still very involved in his company and wants to be proud about what they put out there (though hard to believe he likes the Cherry Wheat. Maybe he does.) I feel the same way too. Every one wants me to brew a pumpkin beer but I won't because I think they are crap. I know I'd sell a ton of beer, but I'm not going to do that to poor people who don't know any better. ;)

Are you going to throw a fit when you are out somewhere and there is a pumpkin beer being served?  Just askin'!  Koch was successful because he challenged the status quo with a well made product that, for its time, was a radical departure from the norm, plus he had the business aptitude to be able to succeed.  In today's world of craft beer, how many of Koch's beers can be described like that?  Hey, I was just a rank & file worker before I retired, but it would seem to me that to become a multibillion dollar company and continue to be a multibillion dollar company, you have to be able to adapt to changing trends.  I can get away with saying I'm not going to brew anything I don't like.  I'm brewing just for me.  But if I'm wanting people to buy my beers (and wanting to become the next Jim Koch), I'm going to be busting my butt to find out what they want so I can provide it for them.

No, and you guys are right he was acting "disckish" if the story is true. I'm certainly not defending his behavior.