Jim Koch, founder and brewer of Samuel Adams, is passionate about brewing craft beer. As a sixth generation brewer, beer runs in his blood but the brewing business was bleak when Jim wanted to start his brewery. He attended Harvard and earned an undergraduate degree and advanced degrees in Business and Law, taught adventure skills for Outward Bound and worked for Boston Consulting Group, counseling corporations while also learning from them.
In 1984, Jim decided to pursue his dream. Following family tradition, he brewed his great-great grandfather’s lager recipe. Brewing the first batch in his kitchen, he named the beer Samuel Adams Boston Lager. Unbeknownst to Jim, Samuel Adams Boston Lager would soon become a catalyst of the American craft beer revolution.
Jim relentlessly focuses on brewing the best beer craft beer possible with an obsessive eye on quality and flavor. Looking to push the brewing envelope, he pioneered the “extreme beer” movement, challenging drinker’s perception of beer with complex, barrel-aged brews like Samuel Adams Triple Bock and Utopias, a beer of great unprecedented flavor and alcohol content.
Drawing upon his struggles in starting Samuel Adams – with little advice and no access to loans -Jim created the Samuel Adams Brewing the American Dream program to help food and beverage small business owners and craft brewers gain access to the capital, mentoring and networks to succeed.
Over the past 32 years, Samuel Adams has become one of America’s largest craft breweries but still only accounts for 1% of the beer market. Brewing over sixty distinctive styles of Samuel Adams beers, Jim exudes the same care and passion from when he brewed his first batch of Samuel Adams Boston Lager. Jim is also the author of the new book, Quench Your Own Thirst: Business Lessons Learned Over a Beer or Two.