Last Call: Koch on Boston’s Foreign Future; Craft Act Gains Sponsors


Koch will ‘likely be the last American owner of the Boston Beer Company’

Jim Koch, founder and chairman of the Boston Beer Company, told the Wall Street Journal that he would “likely be the last American owner” of the brewery that produces the iconic Samuel Adams lineup.

The big reason for that, Koch claims, is the U.S. tax code. The high rate, he recently argued in front of a Senate sub-committee has brought about takeovers of American breweries by foreign entities, creating a climate where nearly 90 percent of the beer made in America is actually produced by international firms.

Nonetheless, in a second quarter earnings call yesterday, Koch clarified, when prodded by an investor, that he isn’t considering an exit. So if he’s the last American owner of the company, that era doesn’t yet have an end in sight.

Craft Tax Bill Boasts 71 House Sponsors, 8 in Senate

As of July 29, the Craft Beverage Modernization and Tax Reform Act, a sweeping bipartisan bill that would dramatically cut the federal excise tax rate imposed on brewers, currently boasts 71 sponsors in the House and eight in the Senate. The Brewers Association has compiled an interactive map that lists, by state, each congressional sponsor of the bill. The organization has also advocated for its members to contact their representative lawmakers and encourage them to support the bill.

Joe Paterno Beer an Early Hit

A beer brewed in tribute to Penn State’s all-time winningest football coach, the late Joe Paterno, has proven itself a champion before even hitting the market. Duquesne Brewing, which brewed the Vienna-style lager in partnership with the Paterno family, initially expected to sell through 500 barrels of the beer by late September. In pre-sale orders alone, though, the brewery has sold more than 2,800 barrels, far exceeding those early forecasts without even tapping the Philadelphia or Pittsburgh markets yet, reports Penn Live.

“I’ve never seen anything like this, and I’ve been in the beer industry a long time,” Mark Dudash, owner of Duquesne Brewing, told the website. “It just doesn’t happen this easy. Something special is in the making. I just said to Jay [Paterno], ‘There’s a guardian angel up in heaven somewhere.’ What’s going on right now, it just doesn’t happen. This thing is crazy.”

The Paterno Legacy Series Lager, as it’s called, boasts some of Paterno’s impressive career stats – 209 wins, 24 bowl victories – on the can, alongside a sketch of the coach, clad in his distinct glasses.

Though the beer is here just in time for football season, Dudash said it won’t be a “one-and-done,” but rather they plan to build the brand, despite the legendary coach’s career ending unceremoniously after he was let go by the school in light of the Jerry Sandusky sex abuse scandal.

Profitability of Alabama’s Craft Beer No Guarantee

Though Alabama, like the rest of the country, is enjoying a craft beer awakening of sorts, manufacturers in the southern state aren’t exactly printing money, reports Rather than turning a profit, breweries in the state – which could reasonably be described as a tad behind the times when compared to hubs like Oregon, California or even nearby North Carolina – are continually reinvesting with an eye toward the future. In Alabama and beyond, that predicament impacts not only tiny producers, but breweries with fairly significant scale, Bart Watson, chief economist with the Brewers Association, told the website.

“I talk to brewers who have reached that region of making 15,000 barrels a year and have never turned a profit because they keep growing and they see opportunities down the line,” he told “And [they] choose those over short-term profitability.”