BOSTON – It is with sadness that the Board of Directors of The Boston Beer Company, Inc. (NYSE-SAM) announces the death of one of its longest serving members, Charles Joseph Koch, Jr. at the family farm in Georgetown, Ohio on June 13, 2011.
The elder Mr. Koch was a guiding light for his oldest son, Jim, in the creation of The Boston Beer Company. He contributed his immense knowledge of brewing, as well as his sound business advice. But his greatest gift lay in an old trunk stored in his attic. That trunk contained family brewing memorabilia and beer recipes dating back to the 1800’s. Indeed, he handed over to his son what he considered the best of the family beer recipes. That beer was first brewed in 1984 and soon appeared in taverns and restaurants in Boston under the name Samuel Adams Boston Lager. The success of Samuel Adams Boston Lager is widely credited as a catalyst for the American Craft Beer Revolution.
Mr. Koch was born in Cincinnati on November 14, 1922. He graduated from Withrow High School and the University of Cincinnati, where he majored in chemical engineering and was a member of the Sigma Chi fraternity. He became the fifth generation of eldest Koch sons to become a brewer. His career in brewing began in the beer industry’s pre World War II time of many local small breweries and reached all the way to today’s resurgent craft beer revolution. Mr. Koch apprenticed in some of Cincinnati’s leading breweries of the day, including Wiedemann, Hudepohl, Burger, Bavarian and Schoenling Brewing Company. He also graduated from America’s oldest brewing school, the Siebel Institute of Technology in Chicago in 1948 and served as Brewmaster at the Wooden Shoe Brewery in Minster, Ohio. In coming full circle, The Boston Beer Company bought the Hudepohl-Schoenling Brewery in Cincinnati in 1996. At the conclusion of a major renovation to the renamed Samuel Adams Brewery in 2005, one of the brewery’s two, new copper brew kettles was named in honor of Charles Koch.
Mr. Koch reluctantly left the beer business when he saw that the taste for full-flavored beers was on the wane. In 1958, he co-founded Chemicals, Inc., a distribution company of brewing and industrial chemicals in Cincinnati, Ohio and retired in 1987. He served as a member of The Boston Beer Company’s first Board of Advisors and then on the Board of Directors from its initial public offering in 1995 until his death.
In 1945, Charles Koch married Dorothy Kautz; they were married for 63 years. They have four children: Charles James (Jim), William, Lisa Green, and Susan Koch. He leaves 11 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.
In addition to his role in the American beer business, Mr. Koch was an avid collector of automobiles, both antique and modern. Every year he was a sponsor and supporter of the Ault Park Concours d’Elegance, one of the premier classic car events in the Midwest.
Funeral services for Charles Joseph Koch are private. Donations in his memory can be made to the Georgetown High School Scholarship Foundation (c/o Eric Toole, 987 Mr. Orab Heights, Georgetown, Ohio 45121) or to the Cincinnati Concours Foundation (346 Stanley Avenue, Suite One West, Cincinnati, Ohio 45277).