2014 Brewing the American Dream Pitch Room Competition: Meet the Finalists

Entrepreneurs nationwide in the food, beverage, and craft brewing industries have been perfecting their two minute business pitches as part of our Brewing the American Dream Pitch Room Competition. This national contest offers small business owners the chance to win a $10,000 grant, extended coaching and mentorship from members of our team, and an opportunity to pitch their product to key retailers and buyers.

We’ve hosted four regional “Pitch Room” competitions this year in Chicago, Denver, Boston, and New York City. We’ve heard from a total of 23 small business owners who had just two minutes to pitch their products to a panel of expert judges ranging from members of the Sam Adams team (including Jim Koch), retailers, buyers, and business experts. Following the pitch, the small business owners were offered valuable feedback putting them one step closer to perfecting their sales pitch. When a small business is starting out, sometimes all they have is their pitch or their story, so improving this pitch goes a long way to enhance one’s selling abilities at the offset.

As a new element of the competition, we partnered with Entrepreneur magazine to host a “Wild Card” Competition, giving small business owners across the country that couldn’t attend a regional competition the chance to submit their best pitch by uploading a two minute pitch video online. Once we narrowed that pool down to X finalists, our drinkers helped us choose who would be moving on to the Pitch Room Finals (more on that below).

This year we have nine finalists who will be participating in the Brewing the American Dream Pitch Room Finals in New York City on December 4th!

Meet the finalists:

Chicago

Winner: Christine Welch, CoffeeCake Connection – West Chicago IL. CoffeeCake Connection bakes gourmet and gluten free coffee cakes.

Runner-Up: Fernando Gutierrez, Torti Products – Highland, IN. Torti Products offers ready to bake authentic flour tortillas, available in white and whole wheat.

Denver

Winner: David and Jennifer Bacon, Flapjacked – Broomfield, CO. Flapjacked offers protein pancake mixes that are healthy and easy to prepare (just add water).

Runner-Up: Douglas Michaels, Noble Savage – Wheat Ridge, CO. Noble Savage creates frozen paleo meals to offer people a delicious, nutritious alternative to the rest of the convenient food choices currently available.

Boston

Winner: Laurie Meizler, Joos – Newton, MA. Joos makes 100% organic, fresh, non-pasteurized fruit and vegetable juices, and also offers a Joos Cleanse program which includes access to a certified health counselor and/or registered dietician.

Winner: Margaret and Frank Lunn, HotPot Coffee – Chatham, NH. HotPot Coffee develops gourmet hot and spicy coffee beans that are custom blended and expertly roasted for unique flavors such as Chipotle Chocolate and Cayenne Bourbon.

New York

Winner: Matt Bachman and Ben Gordon, Wandering Bear Coffee – New York, NY. Wandering Bear Coffee brews cold brew coffee and offers them in an eco-friendly box (that is often delivered to offices in NYC) that contains 12 servings.

Runner-Up: Rynn Caputo, Caputo Brothers Creamery – Spring Grove, PA. Caput Brothers Creamery makes frozen fermented cheese curd. They are one of the only creameries to offer cultured Cagliata.

Wild Card Competition

Winner: Shelly Fasulko and John Pippin, Brewnuts – Cleveland, OH. Brewnuts uses craft beer as a key ingredient in their delicious donut recipes and glazes, offering seasonal styles to reflect the craft beer scene throughout the year.

Thank you to everyone who participated in the Brewing the American Dream Pitch Room Competition this year! We’ll be announcing the overall winner after the Pitch Room Finals take place on December 4th in New York City.

If you’re in the New York City area, join us for the Brewing the American Dream Pitch Room Finals! RSVP here.