Common Questions

  1. Samuel Adams Brewing the American Dream is a micro-lending and coaching program for food, beverage, craft brewing and hospitality small business owners nationwide. We began our program in 2008 and since then we have supported more than 350 food and beverage craftspeople with over $3M in capital, coached and mentored nearly 4,000 small business owners and helped to create or save more than 2,000 local jobs. The program stemmed from the experience of, Samuel Adams Brewer and Founder, Jim Koch, when he started brewing beer in his kitchen 30 years ago. In many ways, Jim’s struggles 30 years ago are the same ones facing food and beverage craftspeople today and Jim hasn’t forgotten how hard it is to start and run a successful small business. That’s why he created Samuel Adams Brewing the American Dream, a unique program that provides the two things he wishes he had when starting Sam Adams: financing and real-world business advice.
  2. In seeking a partner for Samuel Adams' Brewing the American Dream the company turned to Accion to facilitate lending to hardworking business owners seeking to grow. As the largest nationwide micro-and small business lending network in the United States, Accion connects small business owners with the accessible financing and advice it takes to create or grow healthy businesses. For more information, visit us.accion.org.
  3. Micro-loans are small loans, typically between $500 and $25,000, which can be used for materials, supplies, vehicles and other business and operational expenses. These loans are essential for a small business’ success and are the types of loans that big banks are hesitant to grant.
  4. The Samuel Adams Brewing the American Dream Speed Coaching events are held in more than 12 cities annually and provide small-business owners with access to coaching from professionals working in food, beverage, and craft brewing industries. Over the course of the evening, registered attendees can participate in up to six 20-minute, personalized and high-impact coaching sessions with members of the Sam Adams team, and our business partners, who have a range of expertise in key business functions including e-commerce, finance, social media, branding, marketing, and others. Attendees can come prepared with questions around specific challenges they are facing in their small businesses as well as collateral and branding materials for real time problem solving and feedback. Check out our events page to learn more.
  5. Yes, Speed Coaching events are open to all small food, beverage, and craft brewing business owners nationwide, not just small business owners who have received a micro-loan from the Samuel Adams Brewing the American Dream fund at Accion. Check the schedule here to sign up for a Speed Coaching program. Registration opens one month prior to each event.
  6. The Brewing the American Dream Pitch Room helps small business owners perfect the art of their sales pitch and help prepare them to meet with potential wholesale and retail buyers. The event is held in 4 cities annually. Food, beverage, and craft brewing small business owners who apply and are selected to participate compete against other small business owners in their market for a chance to vie in the year-end finals. The winner, determined by criteria including pitch quality, creativity and passion, will receive a $10,000 business grant and a series of personalized coaching sessions from Sam Adams experts over the coming year. Visit the Events page to learn more about the Pitch Room.
  7. Want to attend an event, volunteer as a Speed Coach, or simply learn more? You can contact us at brewingtheamericandream@bostonbeer.com or call us at 617-368-5203.
  8. Common Business Questions/Tips

  9. You’ve got three minutes or less to sell someone on your business, so it’s important you cover the essentials in a concise, compelling way. Remember to make it personal, always be positive, and practice, practice, practice.

    Samuel Adams Brewery Manger Jennifer Glanville has more advice on how to perfect your pitch.
  10. Many entrepreneurs when first starting a business elect to begin with a home-based business. There are quite a few benefits to having a home-based business, both financial and personal. While opening a storefront adds significant costs to your model, it also welcomes foot traffic—which depending on your location, can be quite beneficial.

    Still not sure what’s right for you? Check out this list of pros and cons to opening a storefront that can help.
  11. There are many important things to keep in mind when starting a food or beverage business. When starting out make sure to invest significant time in the development of your first prototype. From there test, test, test, adjust, and then test some more. You want to make sure you have mastered your recipe before bringing your product or service to market.

    Additionally, launching a business can be tough. Make sure despite all the revisions you may have to make you stay positive. In the words of Samuel Adams brewer and founder Jim Koch, “to be successful in a small business you need passion.” Want more of Jim’s advice? Hear his three essential tips for starting a brewery.

  12. A business plan is a great, must-have tool for all entrepreneurs. It will provide you with a deeper understanding of internal and external factors that directly affect the growth of your business.

    In addition to serving as a guide, it is a great resource to leverage while seeking funding. Read more about how to write a business plan.
  13. As a business owner, there are various ways to finance your business. If you can’t qualify for a traditional bank loan you can turn to crowdfunding, credit cards or a microloan.

    Microloans are small business loans under $50,000. They’re a great option for start-ups, businesses in industries deemed to be too risky by the banks (such as food and beverage), and for individuals with damaged credit.

    Learn more about the Samuel Adams Brewing the American Dream microloan program, and how you can apply for a microloan with Accion.