Boston Beer Co. Expecting Price Increases in 2012

Jim Koch

From GABF, 2011

Samuel Adams drinkers might have to pay a little more for their favorite brew this year.

In an interview with, Boston Beer Co. Founder and CEO Jim Koch said he is anticipating price increases in 2012.

Koch estimates barley costs will rise by 30 percent this year, resulting in a 2 to 3 percent increase in the price of Samuel Adams products.’

“A 30 percent increase in barley cost is significant for a brewer,” he said. “Some of that will get absorbed, but some will unfortunately be passed on.”

Koch did not say exactly which offerings will see a hike, but did mention that the price of Boston Lager will increase in some markets and not in others.

Brewbound also asked Koch about his recent comments in The Washington Post on the potential for canning his beer in the future.

“If we can give people a better Sam Adams, we are going to do it,” he said. “However, right now a can does not improve the quality of the beer. I can’t speak for anyone else, but right now it’s just not a good enough container for my beer.”

While Koch has no immediate plans to begin using can packaging, he said Boston Beer Co. has been working with several manufacturers to develop new can lining technologies.

“The issue with cans is the plastic lining,” he said. “Unfortunately it absorbs the hop aroma and if it’s too thin normal handling will increase the risk of micro-fissures. We have been working with some manufacturers to improve on those issues and we may need to have a special, more expensive can to preserve the taste of the beer.”

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