It would have been the perfect opportunity to shoot a television commercial, if only Jim Koch could have remembered to hire a film crew.
On Tuesday, the founder of Boston Beer Company surprised passengers aboard a JetBlue Airways flight bound for New York with free samples of Boston Lager, poured from the company’s recently introduced “Sam Cans.”
The impetus for the impromptu promotional endeavor, Koch said, is a new partnership between the beer maker and the airline in which JetBlue will now serve cans of Samuel Adams Boston Lager on all flights over 339 miles. The partnership developed after a representative of JetBlue learned, in February, that Boston Beer would begin canning its flagship beer.
“They asked if we would be interested in selling Sam Adams on all JetBlue flights that serve alcohol,” said Koch. “I thought JetBlue would be a great partner for us. They are an innovative startup and pay a lot of attention to the details of the customer experience. Their customers are also my drinkers. It’s a great fit.”
Koch said sales of Boston Lager at 35,000 feet will not be a significant source of revenue but does see the partnership as another opportunity to introduce craft beer to new customers.
“Flying can sometimes be an unpleasant experience,” said Koch. “But if you are a Sam Adams drinker, at least you can have your favorite beer and it could help turn a bad flight into a good day.”
Koch said he is also in talks with the airline to produce a beer and food pairing menu.