Cheers! Life Lessons from Boston's beer king Jim Koch

Tue Oct 18, 2016 9:13am EDT
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By Chris Taylor

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Next time you knock back a cold Sam Adams beer, you have one man in particular to thank for it: Jim Koch.

The co-founder of Boston Beer Company comes from a long line of brewers, and culled the original Sam Adams formula from his great-grandfather's old recipes. But it was Koch who built the company into the premier craft brewer in the nation, taking on the big boys like Anheuser-Busch.

For the latest in Reuters' "Life Lessons" series, the 67-year-old sat down to toast a life that has gone from cold-calling Boston bartenders to sitting astride a $2-billion success story.

Q: Growing up in southern Ohio, who exactly were you learning from?

A: My grandparents lived on a farm, my mother was an elementary school teacher, and my dad was a brewmaster. So from my grandparents I got good values, from my mom I learned about the importance of education, and from my dad I got an appreciation of beer. So I guess it was in my blood.

Q: Was your first job in a brewery?   Continued...

Boston's beer king Jim Koch.   REUTERS/Handout