Beer Smells of History, Samuel Adams Boston Lager: Who is Jim Koch?

With all his own money and a family recipe called Louis Koch Lager that he found in his attic, Jim Koch founded the Boston Beer Company in 1984. He names his beer after Samuel Adams, one of the Sons of Liberty and one of the Founding Fathers of America.

By Jane Dickens Published on 10 Haziran 2024 : 23:01.
Beer Smells of History, Samuel Adams Boston Lager: Who is Jim Koch?

He was also a brewer at one time. This important political figure, who passed away on October 2, 1803, was brought back to life 181 years later by another Harvard graduate.

The Seven Years' War, which lasted 7 years between England and France and was the first real World War, ended with the signing of the Treaty of Paris in 1764. The American leg of the war (the other legs were Europe and India) was won by England, which allied with the colonialists in America. The victory consolidated British rule in North America but left England with a huge debt. England, described by Sir George Macartney in 1773 as "this great empire on which the sun never sets", needed new taxes to overcome this debt burden. In fact, the British thought that this war benefited the colonists in America more than themselves, and they invited the American colonists to pay the bill. Moreover, the colonists in America (I do not say American because there is no America yet) continued to trade with enemy France during the war. There had to be a price for this!

Charles James Koch (born May 27, 1949) is an American entrepreneur, billionaire, and the co-founder and chairman of the Boston Beer Company, the producers of Samuel Adams beer. Koch is widely considered to be a founding father of the American craft brewing movement.

With the sugar law that was put into effect again in 1764, the tax of 6 pence per gallon on molasses was halved, but unlike before, strict measures were introduced to collect this tax. In the past, the sugar tax was a law that was on paper but not implemented. But now it has turned into a whip that the British held in their hands to pay off post-war debts!

Of course, this law was not liked at all in America. To American colonists, it was absurd to pay taxes to a parliament in which they were not represented. Even "No to taxes without representation!" The slogan became a popular slogan. The idea of ​​breaking away from England slowly began to spread among people and reached a considerable number of supporters.

The Stamp Duty Act implemented in 1765, the Townshend Act implemented in 1767 and finally, the Tea Act implemented in 1773 were the last straw. Three ships loaded with tea, sent to America by the East India Company, docked at Boston port. A group of people who called themselves the Sons of Liberty and came together to protect the interests of American colonists was calling to meet in Boston Harbor. The crowd, stressed out by taxes, destroyed 3 shiploads of tea and dumped it into Boston Harbor. This incident, known in history as the Boston Tea Party, became one of the most iconic events in American history and ignited the American War of Freedom.

After this big incident, a group started to say that what was done was wrong. However, one person from the crowd came to the podium and said that the British tea monopoly in America was already equivalent to a tax and that the destruction of 3 ships of tea was not an illegal action, but a principled and constitutional action taken by people whose rights had been taken to defend their rights, and received great support.

The person who gave this speech was none other than Samuel Adams, one of the Sons of Liberty and one of the Founding Fathers of America. Samuel Adams, a failed Harvard-educated tax collector, was a very successful politician. Uncle Sam, who was the pioneer of the Boston Tea Party and motivated and guided the masses during the War of Freedom, later became an important figure in the founding of America and became the 4th governor of the state of Massachusetts.

This important political figure, who passed away on October 2, 1803, was brought back to life 181 years later by another Harvard graduate. But this time it's beer!

Samuel Adams Brewery

Young Harvard graduate Jim Koch, who worked at the famous BCG, had two big problems. He was very bored working at BCG and could not find a different and aromatic beer to drink in America. Jim, who wanted to drink a "different" beer, could only access imported beers such as Heineken and Beck's, but after the first sip, he came to the conclusion that these were not "different" either. Seeing this gap in the market, Jim thought he needed to make a move in the beer market in 1984 and left his job at BCG to start a new career.

According to Jim, his problem of not being able to find different beers was also valid for other American beer lovers and it was necessary to fill this gap. When he told his father, Charles Koch, about this situation, Charles thought his son was going crazy. After a tirade saying, "How can you quit your job at BCG, brew beer in the garage at home on Sundays, but always have a gold bracelet on your arm?", he took out the recipe for the beer that their great-great-grandfather Louis, a German immigrant, had produced in Missouri in 1870 and gave him. Jim, who implemented his grandfather's recipe at home, went door to door to all the bars in Boston and asked them to try the samples he produced. Jim named his beer after an important figure who was a symbol of Boston and was himself a home brewer. That name was Samuel Adams!

Good man Jim Koch

By April 19, 1984, Samuel Adams appeared in 25 bars in Boston. So why this date? Because April 19 is American Patriot's Day. Thus, the founding fathers were honored and the spirit of Samuel Adams is once again honored. At this time, Jim had no office, no company, no distributor, and no computer. Jim and his partner Rhonda Kallmann were the only employees of Samuel Adams, and all they did was go from bar to bar asking people to try their beers and get their opinions.

People liked the beer they tried, and the name Samuel Adams quickly began to spread among beer lovers. In July 1984, Samuel Adams was chosen as the best beer at the Great American Beer Festival, where 93 local producers participated, and this victory accelerated the rise of Samuel Adams.

The first bar to put Samuel Adams on its draft menu is Doyle's Cafe in the Jamaica Plain district of Boston. By the end of 1985, Samuel Adams had produced 500 barrels and expanded into Massachusetts and Connecticut. But more importantly, it was imported to Germany, a beer country. That was a good sign. Jim's instincts were right! People were hungry for different and good beer, and when they found it, they didn't miss it!

In 1988, sales reached 36,000 barrels and Jim was finally able to establish a production facility. This way he could ship beer to both coasts of America. This geographical expansion was followed by beer varieties, and Samuel Adams began producing varieties such as Boston Ale, Double Bock, and Cream Stout. This success of Samuel Adams encouraged other small manufacturers. The number of small brewers, which was a handful in the 1980s, passed three-digit figures in the 1990s and was running towards four-digit numbers. Today, Samuel Adams, with more than 1200 employees, produces more than 50 different types of beer and exports these beers to many countries around the world.

Above all, Jim has his name written in gold letters on the American Beer Revolution.