Sam Adams Troubled By Where Craft Beer Culture Is Going

America’s craft beer landscape is rapidly evolving and Boston Beer Company’s Jim Koch, the original brewer of Sam Adams Boston Lager, doesn’t at all like the direction it’s headed. With the country’s tastes taking a turn for the hoppy, Boston Beer is being forced to abandon its longtime aversion to the intensely hoppy West Coast style of IPA—a choice which has stemmed almost solely from Koch’s own distaste for such brews—to keep profits high.

Sam Adams Boston Lager has been a staple of the American beer scene for almost thirty years, notes Boston Magazine. Since Koch himself founded the company in 1983—using shrewd marketing savvy refined by his time at Harvard and with heavyweight management company Boston Consulting Group to propel the brand onto the national scale—they’ve continued to pride themselves on being a “craft beer” company, despite a multi-billion dollar valuation.

But now that popular beer bars in its home town are refusing to stock the company’s lagers, which lack the trendy novelty that hipster drinkers so eagerly drink, Koch is increasingly concerned that trouble is on the horizon. And for good reason; “right now, it’s about what is shiny and new,” muses one local Boston bar owner. And since Sam Adams just isn’t either of those things, Boston Beer Company must act accordingly. [Boston Magazine] [Photo: Flickr/Jason Evans]