Written by Phineas Upham
Originally recognized as “The Wooden Shoe Brew,” Samuel Adams was developed in 1860 by Louis Koch. He originally bottled and sold his brews as Louis Koch Lager until Prohibition, then again in the 1950s.
Six generations later, Jim Koch was brewing beer in his kitchen using the original recipe from 1860. He was working as a consultant, having earned degrees from Harvard Business School. There, Koch met Harry Rubin and Lorenzo Lamadrid. The three left their jobs to found the Samuel Adams brewing company in December of 1984. Each took on a different role for the company, with Koch taking the lead on publicity.
Koch crafted the brand’s commercials, which featured him talking about the art of crafting beer. Rubin took on the role of business management, and Lamadrid took care of investing. Rubin and Lamadrid used Sam Adams as a stepping stone to get into their respective fields, and both went on to become prominent business men.
With the help of Joseph Owades, the man credited with inventing the “light” beer, the group perfected their recipe and named the brew after a Boston Patriot with a rich history of brewing.
It was voted “Best Beer in America” in 1985, where it had debuted at a historic recreation of the first battle in the American Revolution. Within the year, the company was selling roughly 63,000 barrels. The company currently has headquarters in Boston, Cincinnati, and Breinigsville, and it takes annual trips to Bavaria to select hops for the following year.