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Learning From the Beer Pioneers

By Rex Moore - Apr 15, 2013 at 12:00PM

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Lessons on keeping the quality high while the business grows.

When Boston Beer (SAM 3.84%) founder Jim Koch decided to start up a brewery in 1984, his inspiration came from his family -- in a reverse sort of way. As the well-told tale goes, Jim's dad -- a fifth-generation brewer -- tried to steer him away from a business he saw as too tough because of the ongoing wave of consolidation.

But today Jim's company is the largest craft brewer in the nation, with almost 1% of total beer sales. Many at the recent Craft Brewers Conference count Boston Beer among their most-admired companies. Our Rex Moore took on the tough assignment of covering the conference, and asked about other companies these brewers learned from. Today, Port City Brewing founder Bill Butcher talks about fellow craft beer maker Sierra Nevada.

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The Boston Beer Company, Inc.
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