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First Recipients of Samuel Adams Brewing the American Dream Experienceship Announced

October 5, 2011


BOSTON -- Samuel Adams announced the first ever recipients of its Samuel Adams Brewing the American Dream Experienceship, a new mentoring opportunity offered as part of the Samuel Adams Brewing the American Dream philanthropy program. The recipients of the Experienceship, San Francisco-based brewer Jim Woods of MateVeza and Rochester, N.Y.-based brewing partners Chris Spinelli and Jon Mervine of Roc Brewing Co., will have the opportunity to visit the Samuel Adams Boston Brewery and meet one-on-one with employees from the Samuel Adams team on a range of brewing and business topics.

The Samuel Adams Brewing the American Dream program provides small business owners with the essential ingredients (e.g., microloans, valuable exposure to business counseling and networking opportunities) to become financially independent and see their American dreams come true. The program is available to craft brewers nationwide as well as food, beverage and hospitality small business owners in New England, Lehigh Valley, P.A., Ohio, Chicago and New York City. The goal of the craft brewery component is to support small brewers who are facing the same hurdles around starting or expanding their microbrewery that Samuel Adams Founder and Brewer Jim Koch faced when he first started.

"At its core, the culture of brewing and drinking craft beer celebrates camaraderie, collaboration and an independent minded spirit," said Samuel Adams Founder and Brewer Jim Koch. "We expanded the Brewing the American Dream program in this same vein, in the spirit of helping fellow craft brewers. I've never forgotten how hard it is to get started, and how many barriers to entry there are in the business of brewing. MateVeza and Roc Brewing Co. make delicious beers – and the brewers themselves are extremely talented. I'm thrilled to be able to support and mentor them through the Experienceship and watch their breweries grow."

Twenty-seven years ago, Jim dreamt of starting a brewery but lacked the means to make that happen. He applied for several bank loans, but was turned down for each. With a determination to handcraft beer with a constant eye on quality and taste, Jim brewed his first batch of Samuel Adams Boston Lager in his kitchen. He hand bottled and hand delivered the beer bar-to-bar and retail-to-retail shop. About 10 years later, Samuel Adams began its American Homebrew Contest, which Jim envisioned as a springboard for other aspiring homebrewers to turn their passion for beer into successful businesses. Now, Jim is helping passionate brewers who have taken the next step from homebrewing to microbrewing by launching the craft brewer extension of the Samuel Adams Brewing the American Dream program and the Experienceship.

Offered exclusively to craft brewer beneficiaries of Samuel Adams Brewing the American Dream, the Experienceship was created to provide support across communications, branding, marketing, packaging, creative, legal, and sales and distribution-related issues.

"There's real life experience and book experience, but nothing trumps learning from the experiences of people who have actually lived our dream," said Roc Brewing Co. co-founder Chris Spinelli. "We recognize that we're both young and we're excited at the chance to ask questions and learn first-hand from those who live and breathe the craft brew culture."

"I have never doubted the power of passion and a good idea, but I have come to realize the importance of execution," said Jim Woods of MateVeza. "The greatest thing about the craft beer movement is the people behind it. This is a complicated industry, and gaining the tools and expertise necessary to bring MateVeza to the masses is truly a dream come true."

Recipients of the Samuel Adams Brewing the American Dream Experienceship will have the opportunity to:

  • Receive coaching from various employees of The Boston Beer Company and the craft beer industry (functional areas can include finding and buying ingredients, quality assurance, graphic design, accounting/finance, legal, marketing, sales & distribution among others)
  • Visit the Samuel Adams Boston Brewery and meet with Samuel Adams brewers
  • Participate in "Negotiation and Selling Skills" classes taught by The Boston Beer Company's trainers
  • Receive financial support to exhibit at industry events and expos

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