Brewing the American Dream, is the philanthropic arm of Samuel Adams aimed at providing mentorship and capital to food & beverage entrepreneurs nationwide. Each year the Brewer Experienceship division of the program provide one craft brewer unlimited access to brewing and business resources from experts at Samuel Adams, including founder and brewer Jim Koch himself.
And this year’s recipient is the Checkerspot Brewing Company, a small-batch brewery founded by Judy and Rob Neff that crafts gluten-reduced beers at their taproom in Baltimore, Maryland.
The 2022 Brewer Experienceship was deliberated live for the first time ever. An in-person celebration of five finalists, the 1st annual Crafting Dreams Beer Bash was hosted on September 7th at Arlo SoHo in New York City.
Finalists from across the country including Maryland’s Checkerspot Brewing, Ohio’s Fibonacci Brewing, New York’s Wolf & Warrior, California’s Brewing with Brothas, and Connecticut’s Rhythm Brewing, were able to showcase their signature brew and share their brewing and business story with judges and beer lovers.
At the end of the night, attendees cast votes for their favorite brewery of the bunch, which factored into the Brewing the American Dream team’s ultimate decision to crown Checkerspot Brewing Company as this year’s Brewing Experienceship winner.
“We were impressed by Judy and Rob’s beer – but even more inspired by their story,” said Jim Koch, Founder and Brewer of Samuel Adams. “Turning passion into purpose is what led me to create Brewing the American Dream. Checkerspot is a deserving brewery that truly appreciates the heart and science of beer and I’m thrilled to share this experience with them.”
“We’re coming up on five years in business, and I cannot think of a better way to celebrate,” said Judy Neff, Co-Founder and Brewer. “We just found a new ‘forever home’ for the taproom and brewery, and with the Experienceship prize, we’re eager to expand our impact on the Baltimore community and beyond.”
Like Samuel Adams, Judy and Rob believe in great beer that does good—often giving back to organizations like The Baltimore Animal Rescue and Care Shelter, Baltimore Military Muster and many more through fundraisers and collaboration beers.
Since Brewing the American Dream began in 2008, Samuel Adams has supported its nonprofit lending partners by providing more than 3,800 loans totaling over $86 million to food and beverage entrepreneurs in 41 states across the country
(Image credits: Samuel Adams /Checkerspot Brewing)