One of the most difficult aspects of starting a brewery is coming up with the money. Funding is EVERYTHING. There is no set amount that you need, and despite all your planning and projections, you will always need more.
Breweries choose many different paths to raising money, some are more successful than others. We had so many different doors closed in our faces, and thankfully it only made us more determined. We finally found a good chunk of our financing through a company called Accion. They are not a traditional bank, but a non-profit with an investment network who fund start ups. After several meetings with them, telling our story and sharing our passion for the brewing industry, they offered to help us make our dream a reality. And a few short weeks after they funded our loan, they had a surprise for us…
They had passed our story on to the Samuel Adams Brewing the American Dream program. This program, founded by Boston Beer Company CEO Jim Koch, was set up with the sole purpose of helping entrepreneurs obtain hard to find financing, mentoring and advice. It’s a highly competitive program, with very few small businesses chosen to be a part of it each year. Needless to say, when representatives from Sam Adams reached out to us to let us know we had been chosen, we thought it was a scam. But when we received a letter from Jim Koch himself, letting us know how he was blown away by how our story and family history in brewing was so similar to his, we were beyond thrilled.
Through this program, we have access to coaching and advice from successful business owners, we have an army of people pointing us down the right path to success. Say what you want about Jim Koch, but the man definitely has a passion for the craft beer industry and for cultivating success in others. We are so honored to be a part of this program.
We’ve been very vocal about how the entire process of starting Richter Aleworks has been an uphill climb. But this week, it finally felt worth it after seeing our name on the bottom of a six pack of Sam Adams Summer Ale. If you would like a closer look, pick up a sixer of Summer Ale at your local store and raise a glass with us. Cheers to Sam Adams, cheers to Jim Koch, and cheers to the amazing brotherhood that is the craft beer industry!