2015 Program Will Help Hundreds of Small Businesses and Provide More Support To Up-and-Coming Craft Brewers
BOSTON, March 31, 2015 /PRNewswire/ — To expand support to more small food and beverage businesses, Samuel Adams Brewing the American Dream today announced that it is now the National Food and Beverage Partner of the Accion U.S. Network—the largest nonprofit micro- and small business lender in the United States. With a focus on providing an important combination of microloans and personalized business coaching and mentoring, Brewing the American Dream is the core philanthropic program for Samuel Adams.
In 2015, the expanded Brewing the American Dream partnership expects to:
-Support Accion in lending an estimated $2.5 million in microloans to at least 300 small food and beverage businesses
-Coach and mentor another 800–1,000 entrepreneurs
-Increase support to up-and-coming craft brewers
-Help food and beverage entrepreneurs perfect the art of the sales pitch
Inspired by Samuel Adams founder and brewer Jim Koch’s own challenges with starting a small business, the program has enabled thousands of small craft food and beverage entrepreneurs to successfully start, strengthen, and grow their business.
“We’re looking forward to growing our Samuel Adams Brewing the American Dream this year in partnership with Accion,” said Jim Koch. “We’ve made great progress since the program began in 2008 but we know there are so many more entrepreneurs that could use our support. An important part of this year’s program will be to help more small food and beverage businesses really gain a foothold, and to support even more fellow craft brewers through microloans and coaching.”
MICROLOANS SUPPORTED BY A STRONG RELATIONSHIP
Through Brewing the American Dream, Accion provides small dollar loans averaging roughly $10,000 each to benefit local small business owners in the food and beverage industries who struggle to access capital from the formal financial sector because they either work in a business sector considered risky, are requesting small dollar loan amounts, or have thin credit profiles.
“These entrepreneurs make it possible for us to enjoy the food and drink we share daily with our friends and families, yet they often have the hardest time finding financing and support to do what they love,” said Accion U.S. Network CEO Gina Harman. “When these business owners search for a partner they can trust, our 20-year track record of success, along with the Brewing the American Dream experience, provides an unbeatable combination. We help them access capital and develop the personal relationships and expertise needed to succeed now and grow in the future.”
MORE SPEED COACHING INCLUDING BREWER-SPECIFIC EVENTS
Brewing the American Dream will continue to host Speed Coaching events for food and beverage entrepreneurs in cities throughout the country. These unique events pair local food and beverage entrepreneurs with industry experts – including from Samuel Adams– via a series of 20-minute, one-on-one, high-impact sessions. In 2015 the program will have events in 13 locations including Boston,Chicago, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Miami, New York, Philadelphia, San Diego, Seattle, Western Massachusetts, and Washington, DC – and for the first time in Austin and Phoenix. The complete speed coaching schedule can be found here.
For the first time this year, Brewing the American Dream will also host a series of Speed Coaching events designed specifically for brewers. Topics covered will include sales and distribution, packaging and labeling, and ingredient sourcing, to name a few. The first craft brewer Speed Coaching event will be held on May 5th in Chicago. In addition to continuing to provide microloans to brewers as well as intense mentoring through its Brewing and Business Experienceship, this year’s program will also expand its online resources to include a series of educational videos designed for the brewing community.
NATIONAL PITCH ROOM COMPETITION
In 2015, Samuel Adams Brewing the American Dream will also hold its third annual Pitch Room competition to help food and beverage small business owners perfect the art of the sales pitch. The competition involves participants pitching their products to a panel of expert judges and receiving feedback and advice to help prepare them for meetings with wholesalers, retailers and buyers. This year, regional Pitch Room competitions will be held in Boston, Chicago, New York, and San Diego with the final competition also in New York. The ultimate winning business will receive a $10,000 business grant and extended coaching from Samuel Adams.
Also this year, the program will again include the Pitch Room Wild Card Competition in partnership with Entrepreneur.com. Entrepreneurs with a food or beverage product will be invited to upload a video of their best sales pitch, and the general public will be asked to vote for their favorite. The small business owner who receives the most votes will be named the Wild Card winner and get a chance to participate in the Pitch Room finals.
One business that has benefited from all aspects of the program is NYC-based Brewla Bars. Since receiving a loan and winning the program’s Pitch Room competition in 2013, Brewla Bars – which specializes in brewed ice pops– expects to be entering more than 1,500 stores this year. The company’s founders, who have received ongoing and extensive coaching and mentoring from Sam Adams, attribute the Brewing the American Dream program as a major catalyst for their recent growth.
For more information about the Samuel Adams Brewing the American Dream program, please visit http://btad.samueladams.com/.
About Samuel Adams and The Boston Beer Company
The Boston Beer Company began in 1984 with a generations-old family recipe that Founder and Brewer Jim Koch uncovered in his father’s attic. Inspired and unafraid to challenge conventional thinking about beer, Jim brought the recipe to life in his kitchen. Pleased with the results of his work, Jim decided to sample his beer with bars in Boston in the hopes that drinkers would appreciate the complex, full-flavored beer he brewed fresh in America. That beer was aptly named Samuel Adams Boston Lager, in recognition of one of our nation’s great founding fathers, a man of independent mind and spirit. Little did Jim know at the time, Samuel Adams Boston Lager soon became a catalyst of the American craft beer revolution.
Today, The Boston Beer Company brews more than 50 styles of beer. It relentlessly pursues the development of new styles and the perfection of classic beers by searching the world for the finest ingredients. Using the traditional four vessel brewing process, the Company often takes extra steps like dry-hopping, barrel-aging and a secondary fermentation known as krausening. The Company has also pioneered another revolution, the ‘extreme beer’ movement, where it seeks to challenge drinker’s perceptions of what beer can be. The Boston Beer Company has been committed to elevating the image of American craft beer by entering festivals and competitions around the globe, and is one of the world’s most awarded breweries at international beer competitions. As an independent company, brewing quality beer remains its single focus. Although Samuel Adams beer is America’s largest-selling craft beer, it accounts for only one percent of the U.S. beer market. The Boston Beer Company will continue its independently-minded quest to brew great beer and to advocate for the growth of craft beer across America. For more information, please visitwww.samueladams.com.
About Accion in the U.S.
In seeking a partner for Samuel Adams’ Brewing the American Dream the company turned to Accion to facilitate lending to hardworking business owners seeking to grow. As the largest nationwide nonprofit micro-and small business lending network in the United States, Accion connects small business owners with the accessible financing and advice it takes to create or grow healthy businesses. Since 1991, members of the Accion U.S. Network have collectively made over 54,000 loans, totaling over $454 million. Additionally, over 500,000 business owners across the nation have turned to Accion for financial and business advice via workshops, online tools, and one-on-one consultations. Globally, Accion is a pioneer in microfinance, reaching millions of individuals through its international network of partners. For more information, visit usnetwork.accion.org. For more information on Accion small business loans in the United States, please visit us.accion.org.
Samuel Adams, Sam Adams, Samuel Adams Boston Lager, and Samuel Adams Brewing the American Dream are registered trademarks of The Boston Beer Company.