I suddenly have a great big man-crush on Jim Koch from the Boston Beer Company. Why? Because after weeks and weeks of my constant poking, prodding, and incessant whining, he’s finally decided to see things my way.
Well, okay, not really. The real story goes like this:
In a recent Hoperatives post, I wrote that as much as I like Sam Adam’s products, I was somewhat disappointed that for all the ties Jim Koch and the Boston Beer Company have to Cincinnati, we didn’t seem to get much love from them. I suggested there should be more visibility in their brewing operations at the former Hudepohl-Shoenling brewery on Central Parkway, including brewery tours and a Brew House or two. Basically, I just wanted someone from Sam Adams to admit that while Boston is the company’s headquarters, Cincinnati is pretty important to the company, too, and we help them make and sell an awful lot of good beer.
Of course, once I got rolling I was unable to help myself and took it a step further by suggesting that Mr. Koch, a Cincinnati native, should help us carry the standard for the growing craft brew revolution around town.
Thursday, I got my reply, albeit indirectly. Basically, he suggested I sit down and let the grown-ups work. But in a good way.
The title of a new Hoperatives post on Thursday afternoon proudly read, “CINCINNATI NATIVE JIM KOCH GIVES BACK TO THE QUEEN CITY“. The article in question referenced a Cincinnati Business Courier report that the Boston Beer Company would be setting up a micro-lending program in the area with the help of area lending organization Bad Girl Ventures. It will be similar to the “Samuel Adams Brewing the American Dream” program already operating in New England. As designed, it “provides loans of $500 to $25,000 to businesses in the food, beverage and hospitality industries.”
Now, do I really believe that this announcement has anything to do with my original depraved ranting? No, obviously not. When I write something here for puddintopia.com, I’m effectively the internet equivalent of that crazy, unshaven guy on the street corner with electric socket hair that spends his day muttering to himself and picking his nose before standing up and screaming, “PINEAPPLE, RACCOON!” and then ducking behind a dumpster. When I write posts for Hoperatives, I see it much the same way, but as if that crazy guy puts on his one rumpled suit, slicks down his hair, and tries to control the outbursts for the judge on court day.
So, no, whether I had a good point or not, I don’t expect that the chief executive of a multi-million dollar corporation read my post and suddenly decided, “You know what, this guy has a point. Let’s give them a quarter of a million dollars.” As much as my ego and I would like to believe that my pen was indeed mighty enough to get those wheels cranking in motion, that’s really not how things work, especially for well-run companies like this one.
Otherwise, there’d be a lot more crackpots with websites making hare-brained suggestions on the internet. Well, more than there are now, at any rate.
The important point here is that all of this talk of building momentum for Cincinnati’s renaissance as a great craft brewing town, leveraging modern sensibilities while celebrating proud traditions, isn’t just nonsense shouted into the wind. It’s something I know is real, something I deeply believe in. It’s something that others believe in too. I know, because a lot of people have made a point to tell me as much since my first Hoperatives post on the issue. Now, apparently, Jim Koch agrees with us, enough to invest real money in helping our little revolution grow.
I asked for a little moral support. He’s offering that and a whole lot more. Sure, my ramblings had nothing to do with it, but I’d still like to buy the man a beer or two and raise a pint in toast.
Viva la Revolucion!