BOSTON, Massachusetts – As Brewing the American Dream celebrates 15 years supporting small food and beverage businesses across the U.S., Samuel Adams today announces that its priority philanthropy program has surpassed $100 million of funding. This milestone commemorates the program’s dedication to uplifting devoted craftspeople everywhere in partnership with nonprofit lenders like Accion Opportunity Fund.
Established in 2008, Brewing the American Dream was born out of the same passion that led Sam Adams founder and brewer, Jim Koch, to start the craft beer revolution. Koch recognized that despite being the heartbeat of our country, food and beverage entrepreneurs are often underrepresented and underfunded. He set out to support them with valuable resources and much-needed access to capital. 15 years later, Brewing the American Dream celebrates $100 million in loan funding to more than 4,200 small business owners, with coaching and mentorship provided to 14,000 entrepreneurs who have created or retained more than 11,000 local jobs nationwide. Moreover, identifying the unique barriers they face, Brewing the American Dream has proudly championed a network of businesses that are 76% BIPOC-owned and 63% female-owned.
“There could not be a better way to celebrate our 15th year than with this incredible milestone. How time flies when you are doing what you love and get to help others do the same,” said Jennifer Glanville Love, Director of Partnerships & Collaborations at Boston Beer Company. “We are immensely grateful to have supported so many deeply impassioned entrepreneurs who fearlessly chase their dreams each day–and that’s really what $100 million represents for us, more dreams realized.”
Amidst the current economic landscape, access to affordable capital is critical for aspiring food & beverage entrepreneurs. Yet, the program’s impact stretches well beyond funding. It boasts a dynamic breadth of initiatives that offer business advice and discipline-specific education to equip participants with the knowledge and skills to run a healthy, growing enterprise.
Brewing the American Dream’s unique program roster retains year-round efforts like Speed Coaching and Pitch Room Competitions, the latter of which has awarded a total of $500,000 to finalists in various markets across the country. Another program staple, the Brewing & Business Experienceship, is now in its 12th year of selecting one lucky craft brewer to work side-by-side with experts at the Samuel Adams Boston Brewery.
Showing no signs of slowing down, the program saw a 25% increase in coaching and event attendance in the last year alone. Through years of successfully executing signature programs and working hand-in-hand with entrepreneurs, Brewing the American has maintained a keen pulse on the evolving needs of today’s small business owner. This experienced insight and demand has led to recent program additions such as food styling and photography coaching in 2022 and an inaugural Bootcamp intensive that launched in May of this year.
“Samuel Adams has been a steadfast supporter of small food and beverage businesses over the past 15 years,” said Luz Urrutia, CEO of Accion Opportunity Fund. “Working creatively alongside a variety of local non-profit partners over that time, they have expanded access not only to critical capital that these businesses need to grow, but also to valuable learning, networking, and promotional opportunities to support their success. We at Accion Opportunity Fund are grateful for their partnership and look forward to continued collaboration.”
As the food & beverage community remains a powerful thread in the country’s DNA, Brewing the American Dream is committed to being an ever-evolving resource for the dreamers that make it stronger each day.
About Brewing the American Dream
In 2008, Samuel Adams launched its core philanthropic initiative, Samuel Adams Brewing the American Dream. In partnership with Accion Opportunity Fund, one of the nation’s largest non-profit small business lenders, the program supports small business owners in the food, beverage, and brewing industries through access to business capital, coaching, and new market opportunities. The goal is to help strengthen small businesses, create local jobs, and build vibrant communities. Since the inception of the Samuel Adams Brewing the American Dream program, Brewing the American Dream has worked together with Accion Opportunity Fund and other non-profits in loaning more than $100 million to more than 4,100 small business owners in the food and beverage industry. Samuel Adams employees, together with local business partners and community organizations, have provided coaching and mentoring to more than 14,000 business owners across the country, helping to create or maintain more than 9,000 local jobs.
About Accion Opportunity Fund
Accion Opportunity Fund works to create an inclusive, healthy financial system that supports the nation’s small business owners by connecting entrepreneurs to affordable capital, educational resources, coaching, and networks. Through innovative partnerships and outreach strategies, we reach entrepreneurs of color, low-income entrepreneurs, and women, who often lack access to the financial services they need to build and grow their businesses. Loans made by Accion Opportunity Fund Community Development. California Finance Lenders license number 6050609.
About Boston Beer Company
The Boston Beer Company, Inc. (NYSE: SAM) began in 1984 brewing Samuel Adams beer and the Samuel Adams brand is currently recognized as one of the largest and most respected craft beer brands. Our portfolio of brands also includes Truly Hard Seltzer, Twisted Tea, Angry Orchard Hard Cider, Dogfish Head Brewery and Hard Mountain Dew as well as other craft beer brands such as Angel City Brewery and Coney Island Brewing.
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