We like Jim Koch. He might be kind of a dick, but we are also dicks, so we totally respect that. We also like that the Sam Adams founder and craft beer pioneer is a Cincinnati boy. It’s very cool that Koch continues to keep big brewing operations in the Queen City (in the old Hudepohl-Schoenling brewery). Just the other day, the Akron Beacon Journal (Ohio’s paragon of journalism, without sarcasm) recently did Five Questions with Jim Koch, and we thought (dang) that would make for a pretty fun Monday morning read. Wish we thought of it.
Ohio has seen a lot of growth as well [in craft brewing], from about 50 breweries five years ago to more than 100 today, many who are my personal friends. Ohio has such a rich brewing heritage, and it is great to see more and more breweries opening up, creating jobs and brewing some really good beer.
Koch is actually a sixth generation brewer, and his father worked in several breweries around Cincinnati. Of course, he didn’t start off as a brewer. Koch was a Harvard MBA who decided to give up consulting (which sounds fairly lucrative) to brew craft beer. To find his signature brew (Boston Lager), he first retreated to his family’s attic in Cincinnati to seek out his family recipes.
The first time I brewed the recipe for Boston Lager, two things happened: 1) the wallpaper peeled off my kitchen walls, and 2) I fell in love with the taste of Boston Lager. I thought that if I could taste this beer every day of my life, I’d be a happy man. That was my motivation for starting The Boston Beer Co. I wanted to make a better beer, one brewed with high quality, flavorful ingredients and introduce it to the American drinker.
It’s a cool story, but like the Journal, we’d be interested in seeing Koch develop the Sam Adams Cincinnati experience a little more.
Q: Do you ever see a day when the Samuel Adams brewery in Cincinnati offers regular tours or opens a tasting room?
A: Right now, we’re focused solely on brewing at the Cincinnati brewery but I’ve learned never to say never! Only time will tell.