Jim Koch: My Role Model

Those in the New England area may be familiar with the Boston Beer Company, a brew house responsible for the beer known as Samuel Adams. The owner? Jim Koch (sounds like Jim Cook), this is a man amongst men. Much like the American Revolution Patriot Sam Adams, the beer is named for the brewer and revolutionary and the drink matches the power and influence of the original name.

Where did it all start? “The Samuel Adams brand began with Samuel Adams Boston Lager, whose recipe was developed in 1860 in St. Louis, Missouri by Louis Koch. It was sold under the name Louis Koch Lager until Prohibition, and again until the early 1950s.” (wikipedia) As a matter of fact, this recipe was re-invented in 1985 by Louis Koch’s great grandson Jim Koch–keeping it in the family.

The 1985 brew was co-created with Joseph Owades, credited with the invention of the light beer. Unfortunately, Joseph passed away in December of 2005 but the impression he made on this industry and the smiles he put on peoples faces will be remembered for many years to come. Although I don’t find Sam Adam’s lager the best of their brews it cannot be judged by my opinion alone considering the success it has had over the years.

“Despite the appearance of competitors, the firm remained the largest craft brewer in the United States with nearly 141 million liters (1.2 million barrels) sold in 1996. Sales leveled off after that, and Boston Beer tried to continue its growth by offering alternative beverages, such as Hardcore Cider (1997), and Twisted Tea (2000)” (wikipedia)

Boston Beer Company is traded publicly on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol: SAM. The company currently has 250 employees, wins countless awards and brews more beers than I can drink in a week. They’ve got a holiday gift pack with a mix of their prized beers, I highly suggest this for the holiday season if you have a beer lover in the family or your circle of friends.

It’s amazing to see a man like Jim Koch bring his company to where it is today, especially considering he turned his back on the family beer business and go to college for management consulting. Of course, the beer roots would eventually win out and Jim would return to continue where his elders left off, creating amazing beers with love and enthusiasm.

Jim takes the time to hand pick his beer ingredients which people have grown to trust. Quality is, above all, what makes a business rise above the competitors and the beer brewing industry has plenty of micro-brew competitors to choose from! One man, to 250 employees… all to serve us the tasty beverage based on the recipes of his elders, a fantastic story.


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