BOSTON, MA — Samuel Adams Brewing the American Dream, a microlending and mentoring program for food, beverage, craft beer, and hospitality small businesses, announced that Brewla Bars has won the program’s 2013 national Pitch Room competition. Founded by siblings Daniel and Rebecca Dengrove, Brewla Bars are healthy, popsicle-like treats based on brewed ingredients such as tea, root beer and coffee.
The Pitch Room competition, introduced this year as a new component of the Brewing the American Dream program, helps small business owners perfect the art of the sales pitch and is another way the program is extending its focus on coaching and mentoring.
On Monday, six finalists from regional Pitch Room competitions across the country traveled to the Samuel Adams Boston Brewery to present their best two-minute sales pitch before a panel of business experts and retail buyers. The judges provided feedback and advice to each participant before ultimately selecting Brewla Bars as the national Pitch Room winner. They evaluated each business and pitch using specific criteria, including quality, creativity, passion, and product viability.
The final competition panel of judges included:
- Jim Koch, brewer and founder, Samuel Adams
- Sandy Block, vice president of beverage operations, Legal Sea Foods
- Gina Harman, president and CEO, Accion U.S. Network
- Amy Latimer, president of the TD Garden, Delaware North Companies
- Todd Merry, chief marketing officer, Delaware North Companies
- Ron Lundy, manager of a large national drug store chain
The six finalists, selected from four regional Pitch Room competitions held across the country, included:
- San Francisco winner Cole Meeker, Sea of Change Trading Company
- Denver winner Linda Torres-Winters, Lindita’s Salsa
- Boston winner Michael Fairbrother, Moonlight Meadery
- Boston runner-up Robin Cohen, Doves and Figs
- New York winners Daniel and Rebecca Dengrove, Brewla Bars
- New York runners-up Catherine Oddenino and Ruthie Vishlitzky, Luca & Bosco
There was also a “People’s Choice” winner selected by the general public. Videos of the six finalists’ pitches were posted on the Samuel Adams Facebook page, and the small business owner with the most “likes” was named the “People’s Choice.” This year’s winner was Luca & Bosco, which creates fine-crafted ice cream.
“All of the small business owners in the Brewing the American Dream Pitch Room did a great job and had really interesting, quality products,” said Jim Koch. “Daniel and Rebecca Dengrove were able to set themselves apart with a strong pitch, smart packaging, and the ability to convey how Brewla Bars appeal to a wide range of consumers. Their passion was evident right from the start, and they successfully demonstrated their business story. That’s really what we were looking for.”
Koch noted that Brewla Bars will receive a $10,000 business grant, extended mentoring and support from Samuel Adams including a series of in-depth business coaching sessions. As the Pitch Room’s 2013 “People’s Choice,” winner Luca & Bosco will also receive a coaching package from Samuel Adams based on their specific business needs.
“We’re incredibly excited to win the Pitch Room,” said the Dengroves. “We’ve already received feedback that’s helped improve our sales pitch, and we can’t wait to start the business coaching and mentoring with the folks at Sam Adams. They have such a passion for helping small businesses and so much knowledge that we really feel our work with the team could be transformative for our business.”
Samuel Adams Brewing the American Dream
Samuel Adams Brewing the American Dream was launched in 2008, in partnership with non-profit microlender and small business expert Accion, and has provided more than $2.6 million in loans to nearly 300 small businesses nationwide, coached 3,000-plus small business owners, and created or retained upwards of 1,800 jobs.
For more information about the Samuel Adams Brewing the American Dream program, please visit http://btad.samueladams.com/.
Samuel Adams, Samuel Adams Boston Lager, and Samuel Adams Brewing The American Dream are registered trademarks of The Boston Beer Company.
About The Boston Beer Company
The Boston Beer Company began in 1984 with a generations-old family recipe that Founder and Brewer Jim Koch uncovered in his father’s attic. Inspired and unafraid to challenge conventional thinking about beer, Jim brought the recipe to life in his kitchen. Pleased with the results of his work, Jim decided to sample his beer with bars in Boston in the hopes that drinkers would appreciate the complex, full-flavored beer he brewed fresh in America. That beer was aptly named Samuel Adams Boston Lager, in recognition of one of our nation’s great founding fathers, a man of independent mind and spirit. Little did Jim know at the time, Samuel Adams Boston Lager soon became a catalyst of the American craft beer revolution.
Today, The Boston Beer Company brews more than 50 styles of beer. It relentlessly pursues the development of new styles and the perfection of classic beers by searching the world for the finest ingredients. Using the traditional four vessel brewing process, the Company often takes extra steps like dry-hopping, barrel-aging and a secondary fermentation known as krausening. The Company has also pioneered another revolution, the ‘extreme beer’ movement, where it seeks to challenge drinker’s perceptions of what beer can be. The Boston Beer Company has been committed to elevating the image of American craft beer by entering festivals and competitions around the globe, and in the past five years has won more awards in international beer competitions than any other brewery in the world. As an independent company, brewing quality beer remains its single focus. Although Samuel Adams beer is America’s largest-selling craft beer, it accounts for only one percent of the U.S. beer market. The Boston Beer Company will continue its independently-minded quest to brew great beer and to advocate for the growth of craft beer across America. For more information, please visit www.samueladams.com.
About Accion in the U.S.
In seeking a partner for Samuel Adams’ Brewing the American Dream the company turned to Accion to facilitate lending to hardworking business owners seeking to grow. As the largest nationwide micro-and small business lending network in the United States, Accion connects small business owners with the accessible financing and advice it takes to create or grow healthy businesses. Since 1991, the five members of the Accion U.S. Network have collectively made over 47,700 loans, totaling over $380 million.
Additionally, over 400,000 business owners across the nation have turned to Accion for financial and business advice via workshops, online tools, and one-on-one consultations. Globally, Accion (www.accion.org) is a pioneer in microfinance, reaching millions of individuals through its international network of partners. For more information visit us.accion.org.