America is built on the dreams and triumphs of people who took a chance to pursue better. Driven by the pioneering spirit that made our country so very great from its inception, Samuel Adams Brewing the American Dream has been supporting food and beverage entrepreneurs since 2008.
The History of Hops and the Dream
Jim Koch started Sam Adams in his kitchen in 1984, when imports and mass domestics were the only option for beer lovers. While Jim had the privilege of higher education, there was nothing that prepared him for starting his own small business. Not only did he have to nail down his craft, but he had to work on sales, marketing, finances, and whole slew of business management that comes with being an entrepreneur.
With hard work, perseverance, and determination, Jim was able to get Samuel Adams into the Boston market in 1985. In turn, he ignited a revolution, the craft beer movement, inspiring a whole new category that has produced millions of jobs in communities from coast-to-coast. What makes Jim’s story so special is that Sam Adams is not just about brewing a better beer, it’s about waking up every day to do something you love.
In the wake of his success and with a passion for supporting entrepreneurs who are in the place he once was in, Jim knew he could give back. In 2008, Jim launched a philanthropic program that embodies our pursuit of better called “Brewing the American Dream.”
Brewing the American Dream Program
Even with the advancement of technology and wide breath of knowledge available today, entrepreneurs continue to face the challenges that Jim Koch faced back in 1984: lack of access to capital and a need for sound business advice. The Brewing the American Dream (BTAD) program, which partners with Accion Opportunity Fund, has succeeded in providing more than 3,200 loans totaling $64 million to food and beverage businesses across 39 states, creating or retaining more than 9,000 industry jobs, and most importantly providing free business coaching and mentoring to over 12,000 entrepreneurs.
Brewing the American Dream continues to champion for increased coaching across food and beverage. In collaboration with regional partners, Brewing the American Dream hosts regional speed coaching events both in person and virtually, providing free coaching and networking with local community leaders and experts. Additionally, through BTAD, entrepreneurs can meet with a Sam Adams coworker in monthly coaching calls to learn about a particular area of expertise to enhance their businesses; panels, digital webinars, resources, and broadcast interviews also help round out our coaching support.
Craft Beer Goodness
Since 2012, Samuel Adams has annually invited one craft brewer to benefit from one of the most incredible programs in the industry: to work directly with Samuel Adams brewers and even spend valuable time with Jim Koch himself! The Brewer Experienceship program craft brewer winner receives an all-expenses paid trip to the Samuel Adams Boston Brewery where a collaboration brew is brewed with Samuel Adams brewers! The Experienceship program also includes extensive one-on-one mentoring of business expertise and financial supports to attend the largest American craft beer event, the Great American Beer Festival.
To that end, Samuel Adams Brewing the American Dream is proud to announce the winner of the 8th Brewer Experienceship program, Kate Russell. Russell is a working mom of two kids who opened Hopkinsville Brewing Company in 2016. She later expanded her brewery, opening just three weeks before the COVID-19 lockdowns in the United States. Russell’s story of resilience and dedication resonates with many moms across the country who have been hit by the repercussions of the pandemic.
More Dreams to Come True
Whether we are supporting entrepreneurs with increased access to capital or providing sound business advice, Sam Adams, in conjunction with BTAD continues to support entrepreneurs across categories.
Brewing the American Dream has been honored to support so many food and beverage small businesses for over a decade, but we know that this is just the beginning. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we know that many entrepreneurs have faced and continue to face a lot of challenges and we are proud to support them as they achieve their dream. For Jim Koch and all of Sam Adams, this beer not only tastes good, it does good too.
For more information, please visit www.brewingtheamericandream.com and follow us on Instagram @samadamsbtad.