Samuel Adams Offering Much Needed Support to Chicago Small Businesses

Samuel Adams Brewing the American Dream® Providing Financing & Coaching to Local Food, Beverage and Hospitality Small Business Owners

Sep 29, 2011, 09:00 ET from Samuel Adams

BOSTON, Sept. 29, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Samuel Adams announces the expansion of its philanthropic initiative, Samuel Adams Brewing the American Dream, to include Chicagoland small businesses through a partnership with ACCION Chicago, a member of the ACCION U.S. Network. Aspiring and current local small business owners in the food, beverage and hospitality industry can apply for loans and take part in business and financial literacy training.  This program aims to help people start, strengthen or grow their businesses.

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For the first time, Chicago-based small business owners can become part of the Samuel Adams Brewing the American Dream program.  In partnership with ACCION, the program helps small business owners access loans ranging from $500 to $25,000 to be used for a variety of business purposes including expansion, equipment, and marketing.  The program also offers unique educational resources including:

  • Speed coaching events that connect small business owners with Samuel Adams employees and other local experts for one-on-one sessions to gain expertise and advice in areas such as sales, accounting, graphic design, PR, marketing, IT, legal and packaging; giving free access to information otherwise unavailable to most.
  • Business and financial literacy seminars specifically designed to meet the educational needs of small businesses in the Samuel Adams Brewing the American Dream program.

Initially launched in June 2008 in partnership with ACCION USA, also a member of the ACCION U.S. Network, Samuel Adams Brewing the American Dream has already provided coaching to nearly 2,000 small business owners and over $750,000 in loans to more than 90 small businesses in select markets across the country. To date, the program has helped save or create approximately 800 jobs by supporting these small businesses.

"Over the last three years, we have provided access to loans, business training, and new networks to small businesses through our Brewing the American Dream program.  We are thrilled to bring this program to Chicago and work with the ACCION Chicago team to help local food and beverage small businesses here in this tough economic climate," said Jim Koch, Brewer and Founder of Samuel Adams.  "One of the many reasons that we have been working with ACCION since the launch of our program in 2008 is because they look beyond the numbers and take into consideration the people applying for the loan. While getting loans into the hands of those who need it most is essential, budding small business owners also need tools and resources to grow.  That's why we designed the program to offer business coaching and training, providing our beneficiaries with the essential ingredients needed for success."

"We have seen demand for loans and resources from food and beverage businesses grow by more than 100 percent in Chicago over the past three years.  Local small business owners are actively looking for alternative funding sources as so many of them are being turned away from traditional institutions," said Jonathan Brereton, Chief Executive and Lending Officer of ACCION Chicago.  "Through this partnership with the Samuel Adams Brewing the American Dream program, our goal is to provide access to hands-on business training and capital, setting-up these food and beverage businesses for long-term growth."

Twenty-seven years ago, Jim dreamt of starting a brewery but lacked the means to make that happen.  He applied for several bank loans, but was turned down for each. With a determination to handcraft beer and a constant eye on quality and taste, Jim brewed his first batch of Samuel Adams Boston Lager® in his kitchen.  Samuel Adams Brewing the American Dream stems from this type of innovative business spirit and is designed to give back to those in pursuit of a similar passion and American dream.

The Boston Beer Company's distributors, which include Burke Beverage, Chicago Beverage Systems, Euclid Beverage Limited, Hayes Beer Distributing Company, Chas. Herdrich & Son, Inc., Kloss Distributing Company, Kozol Brothers, Joseph Mullarkey Distributing and Town & Country Distributors, Inc., have also joined in to support the launch of Samuel Adams Brewing the American Dream in Chicago.  "The enthusiasm and commitment from our partners is integral to the launch of Brewing the American Dream in the Chicagoland area.  We greatly appreciate their support and look forward to working with them to provide small businesses in Chicago with the tools they need through their participation in future programs and events like our Speed Coaching workshops," said Koch.

Chicago's First Brewing the American Dream Beneficiaries & Speed Coaching Event

This month, Samuel Adams Brewing the American Dream welcomed its first Chicago beneficiaries to the program.  Pecan & Charlie's Mobile Cupcakery and Boleres Coffee received loans as well as tailored coaching sessions with Samuel Adams employees and will have the opportunity to participate in the upcoming speed coaching event on October 17th at Kitchen Chicago on the Near West Side.

Pecan & Charlie's Mobile Cupcakery

A mom-trepreneur duo, Colleen Gallagher and Annetta Stella, recently launched a mobile cupcake truck featuring 14 different flavors, catering to the greater Chicago area. Turned down by previous bank lenders, these trained chefs quit their day jobs to pursue their dreams and are using the Samuel Adams Brewing the American Dream resources to launch their business.  

Boleres Coffee

A Purple Heart veteran, Alberto Boleres, launched a coffee import/distribution company. Inspired by his Guatemalan roots and the camaraderie he saw at a coffee shop in Iraq, this military vet is bringing his passion for great coffee to Chicago. After being turned down by numerous banks for a loan, Alberto now has the resources to build his business's coffee base and import new flavors and brews.  

For more information about the Samuel Adams Brewing the American Dream program, please visit To register for the upcoming speed coaching event please visit


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. After bringing the recipe to life in his kitchen, Jim brought it to bars in Boston with the belief that drinkers would appreciate a complex, full-flavored beer, brewed fresh in America. That beer was Samuel Adams Boston Lager®, and it helped catalyze what became known as the American craft beer revolution.  

Today, the Company brews more than 30 styles of beer.  The Company uses the traditional four vessel brewing process and often takes extra steps like dry-hopping, barrel-aging and a secondary fermentation known as krausening. It passionately pursues the development of new styles and the perfection of its classic beers by constantly searching for the world's finest ingredients. While resurrecting traditional brewing methods, the Company has earned a reputation as a pioneer in another revolution, the "extreme beer" movement, where it seeks to challenge drinkers' perceptions of what beer can be. The Boston Beer Company strives to elevate the image of American craft beer by entering festivals and competitions the world over, and in the past five years it has won more awards in international beer competitions than any other brewery in the world. The Company remains independent, and brewing quality beer remains its single focus. While Samuel Adams is the country's largest-selling craft beer, it accounts for just under one percent of the U.S. beer market. For more information, please visit


In seeking a partner for Samuel Adams Brewing the American Dream in Chicago, the brewery turned to ACCION Chicago (, the region's largest and most experienced microlender, to help identify deserving local candidates. ACCION Chicago is a nonprofit alternative lending organization dedicated to providing credit and other business services to small business owners who do not have access to traditional sources of financing. By encouraging the economic self-reliance of microentrepreneurs throughout the Chicagoland area, ACCION Chicago strives to help businesses and communities grow. Since 1994, ACCION Chicago has disbursed more than $17 million to over 2,300 clients. In 2010 alone, ACCION loans created or maintained nearly 700 jobs. ACCION Chicago business loans range from $500-$25,000. For more information about ACCION Chicago's small business loan products, visit  ACCION Chicago is part of the ACCION U.S. Network, the largest microfinance network in the U.S., whose members have collectively lent $305 million to small business owners since inception in 1991.

SOURCE Samuel Adams