Monday, September 28, 2015

Samuel Adams Announces 2016 Brewing the American Dream Craft Brewer Experienceship Winner

  New Jersey Brewery Selected for Extended Mentoring Program from Samuel Adams

BOSTON ― September 28, 2015 ― Samuel Adams today announced that New Jersey-based craft brewery Flounder Brewing Company has been selected as the winner of the 2016 “Brewing and Business Experienceship,” a unique mentoring opportunity awarded to one craft brewer annually as part of the Samuel Adams Brewing the American Dream program.

Similar to an internship, the Experienceship provides hands-on educational and enrichment opportunities tailored to the winning brewery’s needs. As part of the program, the team at Flounder Brewing Company will receive a trip to the Samuel Adams Boston Brewery for coaching and mentoring from a variety of Samuel Adams experts and brewers involved in ingredients sourcing, sales and distribution, package design, and more. Additionally, they will have the opportunity to brew a collaboration beer with the Sam Adams brewers and receive funding to attend industry events such as The Great American Beer Festival.

Founder Jeremy “Flounder” Lees, and his two co-founders, his brother Dan and cousin Billy, were selected from craft brewer applicants that are part of Samuel Adams Brewing the American Dream, a micro-lending and coaching program for small business owners working in food, beverage, and craft brewing. The brewers were chosen by a panel from Sam Adams, based on their passion for brewing quality craft beer, current success, and strong growth potential.  

“This is our fifth Brewing and Business Experienceship, and the program continues to provide our fellow craft brewers with valuable support and advice – something I had trouble finding when starting Samuel Adams 31 years ago,” said Samuel Adams founder and brewer Jim Koch. “I first brewed Sam Adams in my kitchen and the Flounder Brewing Company first brewed in their garage, so we understand the challenges of expanding and scaling as an up-and-coming brewery. I look forward to working and collaborating with the Flounder Brewing family as they continue to provide innovative craft beers in New Jersey and beyond.”

In 2005, Flounder along with his brothers and cousin began experimenting with brewing in the garage of their 90 year old Ukrainian grandmother, Babi. Their grandfather, a beekeeper and the original artisan in the family, was the inspiration for the Flounder Brewing Company’s flagship beer, Hill Street Honey Blonde Ale. The family sought out a $6,000 loan from Brewing the American Dream when they decided to purchase a small system and move from a garage to a nano-brewery of their own in Hillsborough, NJ. Flounder Brewing has continued to grow and now has more than ten seasonal and year-round craft beers and will be expanding and hiring their first employees in early 2016.

“We’re really excited to have been chosen for the Brewing and Business Experienceship,” said Lees. “Our beers are brewed with the hope that every time you crack one open, you’ll have a good time, take a moment, and enjoy the people around you.  We encourage everyone to experience their beer. This program will help us provide that experience to more drinkers and help us expand. We can’t wait to meet with the team at Sam Adams, and really look forward to visiting the Boston brewery.”

Samuel Adams Continues to Support Fellow Craft Brewers
Brewers who have received the unique Experienceship include San Diego, CA-based ChuckAlek Independent Brewers, San Francisco, CA-based MateVeza, Rochester, NY-based Roc Brewing Co. and Denver, CO-based Brewery Rickoli. Each brewery released a limited availability collaboration beer with Sam Adams, and has received a loan as well as coaching through the Samuel Adams Brewing the American Dream program.  To date, the program has provided loans to nearly 30 craft brewers across the country in an effort to continue to support the booming craft beer industry. As Jim Koch frequently says, “We either all succeed together or not at all.”

Samuel Adams Brewing the American Dream was launched in partnership with Accion, the nation's leading nonprofit provider of small business capital and coaching. Since 2008, through the support of Brewing the American Dream, Accion has lent more than $6.4 million to 625 small food and beverage businesses. Just as important, the program has coached or mentored over 5,000 businesses and created or saved more than 2,600 jobs. To learn more please visit:

About Samuel Adams and The Boston Beer Company
The Boston Beer Company began in 1984 with a generations-old family recipe that Founder and Brewer Jim Koch uncovered in his father's attic. Inspired and unafraid to challenge conventional thinking about beer, Jim brought the recipe to life in his kitchen. Pleased with the results of his work, Jim decided to sample his beer with bars in Boston in the hopes that drinkers would appreciate the complex, full-flavored beer he brewed fresh in America. That beer was aptly named Samuel Adams Boston Lager, in recognition of one of our nation's great founding fathers, a man of independent mind and spirit. Little did Jim know at the time, Samuel Adams Boston Lager would soon become a catalyst of the American craft beer revolution.

Today, The Boston Beer Company brews more than 60 styles of beer. It relentlessly pursues the development of new styles and the perfection of classic beers by searching the world for the finest ingredients. Using the traditional four vessel brewing process, the Company often takes extra steps like dry-hopping, barrel-aging and a secondary fermentation known as krausening. The Company has also pioneered another revolution, the 'extreme beer' movement, where it seeks to challenge drinker's perceptions of what beer can be. The Boston Beer Company has been committed to elevating the image of American craft beer by entering festivals and competitions around the globe, and is one of world's most awarded breweries at international beer competitions. As an independent company, brewing quality beer remains its primary focus. Although Samuel Adams beer is America's leading craft beer, it accounts for only one percent of the U.S. beer market. The Boston Beer Company will continue its independently-minded quest to brew great beer and to advocate for the growth of craft beer across America. For more information, please visit

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