How Samuel Adams Brewing the American Dream is Helping Food and Beverage Businesses Become Pitch Perfect

In 2008, when we launched our Samuel Adams Brewing the American Dream program, we imagined that new food and beverage business owners would benefit greatly from access to all kinds of coaching – from how to procure ingredients, to marketing opportunities like how to create a compelling label and website, to addressing a variety of legal issues, and even leasing commercial space. But what we didn’t anticipate is that so many would want help figuring out the best way to tell their own story – essentially becoming “pitch ready” for some of our country’s biggest retailers.

As part of our program, we host Speed Coaching events across the country where business owners receive advice from Samuel Adams employee-volunteers representing a range of business functions. At every event from coast to coast, our coaches, who have a wide range of expertise, were being asked the same questions:

“How can I pitch my product to a national supermarket chain?” or “How can I get a restaurant to use my product as a new ingredient?”

So we decided to help.

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Q&A with Small Business Owner & Brewing the American Dream Loan Recipient Edward Belden of Peddler’s Creamery

The many business challenges that our founder Jim Koch faced when starting Samuel Adams, became the inspiration for creating our Samuel Adams Brewing the American Dream program.  Through the program, we partner with microlender Accion to provide access to capital and much-needed nuts and bolts business advice to small business owners just starting out in the food and beverage industry to help give them the support Jim wished he would have had early on.

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We ask you to join us in supporting small businesses this holiday season, especially on Small Business Saturday. Here is a list of business owners in our program and be sure to check out featured products on Pinterest.

Recently, we had the opportunity to chat with small business owner Edward Belden, founder of LA based Peddler’s Creamery. Peddler’s Creamery produces high quality artisan bicycle-churned organic dairy and non-dairy ice cream and frozen desserts that features local ingredients. Edward Belden received a loan from Samuel Adams Brewing the American Dream to help fund his start-up equipment for his unique fresh churned ice cream and supplies.  He has participated in numerous speed coaching events and was even featured on the bottom of our Boston Lager 6-packs.

Here’s what Edward had to say about the idea behind his business, the importance of being involved in the community, and some of the best business advice he has received:

Q: Where did the idea for Peddler’s Creamery come from?

A: I loved making ice cream, eating ice cream, and riding bicycles. I was riding my bike past an ice cream place soon after graduating college and the idea to put them all together popped into my head!

Q: What are the benefits of fresh churned ice cream?

A: It allows us to use fresher local ingredients. You can also have more unique flavors that you might not have in a typical ice cream shop experience. It’s also fun to have customers participate in the process by getting their own chance to peddle the bicycle that churns the ice cream.

Q: 5% of profits from Peddler’s Creamery go to social and environmental causes. Which organizations have benefited from this and why do you think it is important for your business to invest in the community in this way?

A: We have worked with Habitat for Humanity, LA County Bicycle Coalition, and Downtown Women’s Center. Where are in an area in LA that is trying to help a lot of people transition out of homelessness and we feel it is really important to invest in the community. On Small Business Saturday we are going to be hosting our first Churning for Charity event and donating the ice cream volunteers make to the Downtown Women’s Center.

Q: What was the biggest challenge you faced when starting your business?

A: One of the biggest challenges we faced was finding funding. There is a lot you can do on your own – you can create recipes and have an amazing product, but you need to be able to create your own capital. Having the opportunity to work with a company like Samuel Adams was incredibly helpful.

Q: How has Brewing the American Dream helped your business?

A: Knowing that there was capital and additional support coming in through the program was super helpful and the network we have developed is incredibly powerful. Samuel Adams helped us get the word out about our business – we were featured on posters in bars in LA and also on the bottom of Boston Lager six packs. It was cool to be able to go to my local grocery store, pick up a six-pack of Sam Adams, and show it to my friends.

Q: What advice do you have for entrepreneurs in the food and beverage industry who are just starting out?

A: I think the best advice is something I got from a friend of mine – follow your passion and jump in. Don’t be afraid to take make your own path.

Want to learn more about Peddler’s Creamery? Check out their website.

Celebrate Small Business Saturday with Samuel Adams Brewing the American Dream

BTAD logoThe many business challenges that our founder Jim Koch faced when starting Samuel Adams became the inspiration for starting our Samuel Adams Brewing the American Dream program.  Through the program, we partner with Accion to provide access to capital and much-needed nuts and bolts business advice to entrepreneurs just starting out in the food and beverage industry to help give them the support Jim wished he would have had early on.

As the holidays draw near, we hope everyone considers supporting our small business partners to round out their shopping list.

We ask you to join us in supporting small businesses this holiday season, especially on Small Business Saturday.

Here’s how you can participate with us:

Touring the Boston Brewery this week? All of the donations from the complimentary tour will go towards the Brewing the American Dream fund. Be sure to check our website for holiday hours.

In Boston but can’t make it to the brewery? Order a Samuel Adams Boston Brick Red on tap at participating locations. We donate a percentage of the proceeds to the Brewing the American Dream fund for every keg sold.

We encourage you to check out our Brewing the American Dream Business Directory to find a small business participating in the program near you.  We’re also featuring products from Brewing the American Dream participants on Pinterest.

Brewing the American Dream Pitch Room Competition

These past few months we’ve been traveling across the country meeting with small business owners in the food and beverage industry. Although this time, we’re not sourcing ingredients for a new beer. Entrepreneurs nationwide have been perfecting their two minute pitch to expert judges as part of our Pitch Room Competition which offers the chance to win a $10,000 grant, extended coaching and mentorship from The Boston Beer Company, and an opportunity to pitch their product to key retailers and buyers.

In partnership with Accion, we’ve hosted four “Pitch Room” competitions this year  in San Francisco, Denver,  Boston, and New York City. We’ve heard from 25 small business owners who had the opportunity to pitch their products in just two minutes to a panel of expert judges ranging from members of the Samuel Adams senior leadership team (including Jim Koch), retailers, buyers, and business experts. Following the pitch, business owners were offered valuable feedback putting them one step closer to perfecting their sales pitch.

Meet the finalists…

Sasm Adams Coaching30Cole Meeker, owner of San Francisco based Sea of Change Trading Company,  impressed the judges with his baked seaweed snacks. They come in a variety of different flavors including Thai BBQ and Maple Sea Bakin’. Cole’s dedication to keeping his ingredients fresh and all natural made him the judge’s pick.

Lindita winnerLindita Torres-Winter was the winner at the Denver “Pitch Room” event. As owner of Lindita’s Salsa, she has developed a salsa mix that gives you fresh salsa – all you need to do is add the tomatoes. Lindita grew up as a farm worker and picked tomatoes as a child. She created her authentic mixes based upon her Hispanic culture and heritage.

SamPitchRoom_437_LowResMichael Fairbrother of Londonderry, NH won the Boston “Pitch Room” event with his pitch of Moonlight Meadery. Michael became passionate about mead way back in 1995 when he tried it for the first time – since then, he has opened his own meadery that offers a variety of different styles of mead. Michael has extensive knowledge about mead and is dedicated to experimenting with his craft.

doves_figsRobin Cohen, owner of Doves and Figs based in Arlington, MA was a finalist at the Boston event and she will also be joining us in the finals. Robin produces delicious jams and all natural fruit spreads made with all locally grown products  made with no preservatives and made in small batches. The Boston judges loved her family story and her passion for her product.

BrewlaBrother and sister duo Daniel and Rebecca Dengrove, owners of New York based Brewla Bars, were the winners of the New York City Pitch Room event. Their all natural frozen bars made with craft brewed ingredients impressed the judges.

Lucca headshot editedCatherine Oddenino and Ruthie Vishlitzky, owners of New York based Luca & Bosco, were finalists at the New York City event. Their commitment to using all natural ingredients for their high quality ice cream.

The winners from our regional events have been invited to compete  in the “Pitch Room” finals at the Boston Brewery on December 9th – stay tuned for more details and may the best pitch win!

Holiday Cookies Baked with Winter Lager!

Winter Lager Pour ShotBaking cookies around the holidays is a Samuel Adams favorite among our brewers. And like all our favorite things, we take to it the only way we know how – by adding beer! While we know a thing or two about brewing, we tapped some real baking professionals for ideas on how to create this year’s batch of Samuel Adams Winter Lager cookies.

We’re excited to collaborate with LuLu’s Sweet Shoppe of Boston and Colonel De Gourmet Herbs and Spices of Cincinnati – both proud participants in our Samuel Adams Brewing the American Dream program – to create our Winter Lager cookie recipe. While the recipe comes courtesy of Sandy Russo at LuLu’s Sweet Shoppe, Colonel De Gourmet Herbs and Spices provided the spices we needed to add the holiday flavor.

Bake your own Winter Lager cookies (and send us some) by following the simple directions below!

Samuel Adams® Winter Lager Cookie

Recipe by Sandy Russo of Lulu’s Sweet Shoppe

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup Samuel Adams Winter Lager
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 Tbsp ginger
  • 1 Tbsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp orange powder
  • 2 Tbsp orange zest
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 2 sticks butter, softened
  • 1 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
  • ½ cup molasses
  • 1 egg

Winter Lager & Cookes #2Preheat oven to 350°. Beat butter and sugar for 3 minutes, add molasses, beat for 1 minute.  Add the egg & beer, beat 30 seconds.

Combine flour, salt, spices and baking soda.  On lowest speed of mixer, beat in half of the flour mixture.  Using a spoon, stir in remaining dry ingredients. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and divide into 2-3 portions; press each into a round, flattened disk and wrap well. Refrigerate for 1 hour.

Roll dough to ¼” thickness and cut into perfect pint shapes. Transfer to parchment lined baking sheet & bake for 10-15 minutes, until edges are lightly browned.

Royal Icing (optional):

  • 3 egg whites
  • 1 lb. confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/2 tsp white vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp orange extract or pure vanilla extract

Place all ingredients in bowl and beat on medium high for 10 minutes. Icing will become thick and glossy. Spread over cookies immediately and enjoy!