For our latest installment in the 5 Questions With… series, I bring you something a little different. My interview today is with Fox Business Network anchor Robert Gray, who will be broadcasting all day today from Sam Adams headquarters in Boston. The broadcast is part of Fox Business Network’s American Icon series. Without delay, here’s our exchange:
1. The Thirsty Beagle: There are many American business icons out there; why profile Sam Adams?
Robert Gray: We have highlighted a number of iconic American companies in our series. Past Icons have included the likes of Google, Coca-Cola, and General Mills. We selected Sam Adams because, like the namesake Patriot Brewer, the beermaker has been a leader in a revolution — in the beer wars. Boston Beer, which brews Sam Adams, has grown from a family recipe cooked up in founder Jim Koch’s kitchen to become not only the biggest U.S. craft beermaker, it is now the biggest American-owned brewery. We’re going to focus not only on that journey, but discuss the challenges ahead.
2. TTB: Year over year, the craft beer business has been growing — is this a market that will continue to expand, and why?
RG: The craft beer market has been growing, even as overall beer sales have declined. That shows that more Americans are increasingly turning towards craft and micro-brews. I’m not sure I can account for the change in tastes except to say Americans have gotten a taste of handcrafted beers that are often produced locally and they like them versus the mass-produced options. And the growth is forecast to continue.
3. TTB: Is beer on an uptick in terms of societal perception? Has it become more civilized now? Is it too civilized?
RG: Beer may be the new wine. It’s always gone down easy with burgers and wings, but beer pairings are much more common in more upscale restaurants and some brewmasters frequently face off with sommeliers in pairings with cheese. We’ll have a segment including a Boston Beer brewer and a chef to discuss the trend.
4. TTB: In terms of Friday’s coverage, what are some things viewers can expect to see?
RG: Master Brewer Grant Wood will break out the more rare and top shelf brews, such as the Utopia and Barrel Room Collection. These are the expensive and harder-to-find labels that feature 25% alcohol and compete with cognacs in the after-dinner category. We’ll also discuss the Perfect Pint, which is poured into the custom-crafted Sam Adams glass.
5. TTB: What are a couple interesting things the average beer fan might not know about Sam Adams?
RG: We will take viewers on a fun trolley ride that runs from the brewery to Doyle’s, the first pub to serve Sam Adams on tap back in the 80s. The owner will discuss this special relationship that endures today. … Aside from the limited edition brews, there are 32 flavors being brewed at any one time. Sam Adams has brewed more than 40 flavors. And Sam Adams is now the biggest American-owned brewer, not just craft beers. It’s available in all 50 states and 15 countries.
Thanks Robert. You can catch the coverage today on Fox Business Network, and find additional coverage and replays at www.foxbusiness.com.