Brewing the American Dream, the philanthropic arm of Samuel Adams aimed at providing mentorship and capital to food and beverage entrepreneurs, announced that Checkerspot Brewing Co. of Baltimore, Maryland, is the winner of its 11th Brewer Experienceship.
A staple amongst Brewing the American Dream’s diverse programming, each year the Brewer Experienceship provides one craft brewer access to brewing and business resources from experts at Samuel Adams, including founder and brewer Jim Koch himself. In addition to a trip to the Samuel Adams Boston Brewery where the winner will participate in a collaboration brew day, the Brewer Experienceship winner has the opportunity to attend beneficial industry events on behalf of Brewing the American Dream. In Koch’s case in 1984, the Great American Beer Festival was one of those industry events that changed the course of craft beer for everyone by putting Samuel Adams Boston Lager on the map.
The 2022 Brewer Experienceship was deliberated live for the first time ever. An in-person celebration of five finalists, the 1st annual Crafting Dreams Beer Bash was hosted on September 7th at Arlo SoHo in New York City. Finalists from across the country, including Maryland’s Checkerspot Brewing, Ohio’s Fibonacci Brewing, New York’s Wolf & Warrior, California’s Brewing with Brothas, and Connecticut’s Rhythm Brewing, were able to showcase their signature brew and share their brewing and business story with judges and beer lovers. At the end of the night, attendees cast votes for their favorite brewery of the bunch, which factored into the Brewing the American Dream team’s ultimate decision to crown Checkerspot Brewing Co. as this year’s Brewing Experienceship winner.
Founded by Judy and Rob Neff in 2018, Checkerspot Brewing offers small-batch, thoughtfully crafted and gluten-reduced beers at its taproom based in Baltimore. Deeply dedicated to community, with ongoing charitable programs ingrained into the brewery’s DNA, the brewery was a standout amongst the over 50 applicants nationwide. Like Samuel Adams, the Neffs believe in great beer that does good — often giving back to organizations like The Baltimore Animal Rescue and Care Shelter, Baltimore Military Muster and many more through fundraisers and collaboration beers.
“We were impressed by Judy and Rob’s beer — but even more inspired by their story,” said Koch, founder and brewer of Samuel Adams. “Turning passion into purpose is what led me to create Brewing the American Dream. Checkerspot is a deserving brewery that truly appreciates the heart and science of beer, and I’m thrilled to share this experience with them at the Great American Beer Festival where I got my start as a brewer some 38 years ago. I can only hope this experience will put them on the same trajectory.”
“We’re coming up on five years in business, and I cannot think of a better way to celebrate,” said Judy Neff, cofounder and brewer. “We just found a new forever home for the taproom and brewery, and with the Experienceship prize, we’re eager to expand our impact on the Baltimore community and beyond.”
Also, Checkerspot Brewing joined Brewing the American Dream at this year’s Great American Beer Festival as it returned to its live format. Details on the collaboration brew that will be served out of the Boston Beer and Checkerspot taprooms will follow in the months ahead. For more information on Brewing the American Dream, visit www.brewingtheamericandream.com.