Sam Adams founder: People don’t drink the marketing

By John Carpenter

Blue Sky Reporter

Let it be known to one and all: When given the chance to sit down and talk innovation with an entrepreneurial legend over a beer, Blue Sky answered the call.

Boston Beer Co. founder Jim Koch — creator of Sam Adams and thus the Godfather of the American craft beer movement — was in town Thursday to judge a homebrew contest at Binny’s Beverage Depot in Lincoln Park. We sat down with him at Timothy O’Toole’s in Streeterville.

His advice for startup types can be summed up thusly:

• Don’t start a business unless you are passionate about it, because there are going to be a lot of hard days.

• Quality matters, because “people drink the beer. They don’t drink the marketing.”

• Don’t grow too fast, because it can kill you fast.

• Don’t do it unless it makes you happy.

“Getting rich is life’s big booby prize,” he said. “If you have to choose between, do you want to be happy or do you want to be rich, and you pick rich, you’re a sociopath.”

To read the rest of this story, published in the Chicago Tribune August 31, 2015, click here.

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