Edible Austin was recently invited to help judge the Samuel Adams Brewing the American Dream Austin Pitch Room Competition, hosted at Central District Brewing.
Brewing the American Dream Pitch Room is the philanthropic initiative to help to foster the next generation of entrepreneurs who are revolutionizing America’s food, beverage and brewing industries. This competition is sponsored and funded by Jim Koch of Boston Brew Company, makers of Samual Adams.
The finalists in this year’s area competition each presented a compelling story. We learned that Cactus Land Brewing Company (Adkins, TX) makes a diverse family of beers for diverse people. Iron Bridge Icehouse ( Bastrop, TX) brews in small batches and switches them up to keep it fun. Dos Sirenos Brewing (San Antonio, TX) focuses on the freshest ingredients for their German and Belgium brews. Veteran-owned Kai Simone Winery (Spring Branch, TX) serves award-winning wines and hosts fabulous events. Texas Cannon Brewing (Blanco, TX) is on a mission to bring craft brewing to small towns across the state. All were selected to make their best two-minute business pitch to a panel of judges, which typically includes restaurant and retail buyers, chefs, food writers and bloggers, as well as representatives from Sam Adams.
The pitches were effervescent, well-crafted and inspirational as five area competitors shared their passion behind their brands and their expansion dreams. Best of all were the samples of their delicious brews and wines. Following each of the pitches, the judges provided thoughtful feedback regarding business and marketing issues and opportunities. While all founders gave it their best shot, in the end, Texas Cannon Brewing Company was named the winner, and awarded a $10,000 business grant for marketing and operations funding, as well as 1:1 business coaching from Samuel Adams experts.
Jim Koch started Samuel Adams in his kitchen in 1984. His spirit has been a driving force behind the American craft beer movement, inspiring a whole new category that’s produced thousands of jobs in communities from coast-to-coast. For Jim, it hasn’t been just about brewing a better beer. It’s about waking up every day to do something he loves. Since its founding in 2008, the “Brewing the American Dream” initiative has coached over 12,000 people, provided $65 million in food and beverage loans and contributed to the creation of 9,000 jobs in 39 states.
“Capital alone is not enough to run a healthy, growing enterprise. Without the basics and acumen of business know-how, even the most unique and delicious products won’t get to the mouths of potential customers,” is the premise behind the entrepreneurship program. To learn how you can participate in one where you live, go to brewingtheamericandream.com
About Brewing the American Dream:
In 2008, Samuel Adams launched its core philanthropic initiative, Samuel Adams Brewing the American Dream. In partnership with Accion Opportunity Fund, one of the nation’s largest non-profit micro-lenders, the program supports small business owners (40% women and 80% BIPOC) in the food, beverage, and brewing industries through access to business capital, coaching, and new market opportunities. The goal is to help strengthen small businesses, create local jobs, and build vibrant communities. Since the inception of the Samuel Adams Brewing the American Dream program, BTAD has worked together with Accion Opportunity Fund in loaning more millions to more than 3,200 small business owners who have subsequently repaid these loans at a rate of more than 97%. Their coworkers, together with local business partners and community organizations, have provided coaching and mentoring to more than 12,000 business owners across the country helping to create or maintain more than 9,000 local jobs.
(L to R) Jennifer Glanville, Director of Brewery Programs, Boston Beer Company, Ralph Yznaga, Edible Austin, Lonnie and Stephanie Dutton, Texas Cannon Brewing