My friend Rob Zazueta shares a weekly newsletter that he describes as Fascinating. You never know what topics he’ll tackle. When I read this story about Sam Adams, it was such a perfect fit for Small Town Rules, I just had to share it. –Becky
To know me is to know I love beer. But not just the drinking of it – I’ve also brewed more than a few gallons in my day. Jim Koch, founder of Sam Adams, started out by brewing beer in his garage, then turned it into a national, multi-million dollar company. Though Sam Adams can seemingly be found just about everywhere, they still only control about 1% of the American beer market (or, as Koch says, “We are basically the tallest pygmy.”). They’re not my favorite brewer, but I frequently lift pints of their lagers and ales as thanks for their strong support for the community that made them a success. In addition to their annual Longshot release, which produces two recipes submitted from home brewers outside their company and one from a non-professional brewer working for the company, they have long supported small businesses and – especially – small upstart breweries with advice and funding. They have also been huge backers for a number of brew clubs around the nation, sponsoring contests and awarding fantastic prizes for the best recipes.
When I asked for permission to share this, Rob included in his reply:
The kicker about Koch’s small town values is that, in his case, the small town is other brewers and other small businesses, so it aligns nicely with your entire philosophy – the small town is not defined so much by proximity as it is by community.