Koch, Newman Dish On New Project – Alchemy & Science

Boston Beer Co. founder, Jim Koch, has partnered with Alan Newman, the original founder of Magic Hat Brewing, to create an entirely new side project – Alchemy & Science.

The startup, which is based in Burlington, VT is a subsidiary of the Boston Beer Co. and is currently in the infancy stages of development.

“Right now this project is basically a clean sheet of paper,” said Koch. “We just signed the papers on this project a week ago.”

A sheet of paper so clean, that both Newman and Koch have yet to make any formal plans for the project. Newman describes the project as an ‘incubator.’

“Alchemy & Science was a company that I had formed with my business partner Stacy Steinmetz,” he said. “We are creating more of a virtual incubator in the sense that we have a lot of resources to offer the industry.”

Plans for the project could include purchasing an existing brewery, building and outfitting an entirely new operation or identifying geographical regions that could benefit from a vibrant craft beer scene.

“We are asking ourselves how we can we use our creative resources to come up with some new and interesting ideas,” said Newman.

For now, Newman didn’t indicate what direction Alchemy & Science would be heading but did say that the initial ideas would begin to take shape over the next three to six months.

Newman also gave Brewbound.com some insight into a few of the questions they are pondering:

  • Is there a style that isn’t experiencing the popularity we think it should be?
  • Can we bring something new and innovative to that style?
  • Can we do a better job of brewing and selling a particular beer?
  • Are there any locations where we think there is an opportunity to have a local craft brewery and bring great, world class beer to that community?

Boston Beer’s role will be to provide financial support and other resources.

“I am very focused on the things we are currently doing here with Samuel Adams,” said Koch. “I realize there are some more opportunities and interesting things that can be done, but I have my hands full.”

“Alan (Newman) has some very sound business judgment,” he added. “It’s a great opportunity to work together and do things that weren’t going to happen given my focus with the Samuel Adams brand.”

Newman will undoubtedly bring experience from his days as the founder or Magic Hat, but is adamant that he isn’t looking to re-create the brand under a new name.

“At Magic Hat we had a mold and brand,” he said. “We had certain things we wanted to do that didn’t fit the brand so we didn’t do them. This relationship allows us to not be encumbered by any other brand.”

“If we do five projects it would be my expectation that all of them look and feel different from each other,” he added.

Newman will travel to Boston next week to experiment on some potential beer styles.

“Samuel Adams has some of the best craft breweries in America,” he said. “We don’t know what we are going to do yet and we don’t know where we will do it, but the relationship with Boston Beer allows us to have a resource to develop really interesting in great beer.”

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