Samuel Adams marks 15 years brewing the American Dream, funding small businesses with $100 million
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.