Boston Beer founder and brewer Jim Koch quit his consulting job 33 years ago in order to pursue a career in brewing beer—and America thanks him for it.
Now, decades later, the renowned entrepreneur behind Samuel Adams has taken five micro-breweries from across the nation under his wing, including Brewery Rickoli in Wheat Ridge. Together, Samuel Adams and the brewmasters are part of Brewing the American Dream, which offers collaborative coaching, micro-loans and other resources to help the craftsmen expand and pursue their dreams.
The final product: The Brewing the American Dream Variety Pack, featuring a one-of-a-kind collaboration beer from each participating brewery. All proceeds from the 12-pack will be donated to Accion, the program’s nonprofit partner who provides small business loans to culinary and beverage entrepreneurs across the country.
We spoke with Brewery Rickoli brewmaster Rick Abitbol about his involvement in the project.
What excited you about the program?
“The main reason we wanted to participate in the Samuel Adams Brewing the American Dream program was the opportunity to grow and get the word out about our beers. We make friends whenever people give us a taste! We also realize that there is great demand for great beer that has no gluten.”
How has Sam Adams helped you grow and improve as a micro-brewery?
“Samuel Adams has helped us form a realistic vision of our business and its place in the market as well as given us great help and advice. Not to mention, we now enjoy immense bragging rights through our association.”
What makes Brewery Rickoli different from the other micro-breweries involved?
“We were one of the smallest startups in Colorado and have built our brewery up to the tiny size we now are. We also decided to fill a niche that was missing in the beer scene—full-flavored craft beer brewed with care to remove gluten. We have dialed-in the way to make great beer and keep it great all the way through the process.”
Tell us a little bit about Oats McGoats Stout, Rickoli’s beer in the collaboration pack.
“Oats started as an extension of our rye stout recipe. I worked with one of the Sam Adams brewers to arrive at this recipe through exchanged samples and tasting sessions. We ended up with a really nice stout that has a unique sweet note from the oat malt, yet stays very drinkable without being cloying. Round and silky smooth.”
What are you most excited for about this collaboration?
“Because of the national distribution of the collaboration pack, we’re able to get the word out that removing the gluten from beer does not always make it bad beer. Not everyone brews like us, so we make real craft beer for serious palates. This beer stands solidly with all of the others in the pack, regardless of gluten, period.”