retail news in context, analysis with attitude

by Kevin Coupe

As Michael Sansolo noted in his column last week, the musical "Hamilton" seems to have pervaded every part of the culture.

Including, as the Chicago Tribune reports, the beer business.

Because, when Jin Koch of the Boston Beer Co. showed up for an interview there recently, he took note of the fact that his Sam Adams brand gets a shout-out onstage when one of the characters says, "I'm John Laurens in the place to be! Two pints o' Sam Adams, but I'm workin' on three, uh!"

Love it! Love it! Love it!" Koch tells the . "You know, somebody probably said, 'You can't have the founding fathers as black actors doing rap,' and look at what they did. That's kind of the story of Sam Adams. People saying you can't do it. You shouldn't do it. But I said I'm going to do it anyway."

Indeed, Koch says that his entire business model - which arguably started the craft brewing business that has become so strong in this country - is based on challenging conventional wisdom.

"A guy who worked with us for many years had this nice phrase," Koch says. "He said at Boston Beer Co., there's a restless dissatisfaction with the status quo, and that has been kind of one of our values. The status quo sucks. The status quo exists because we haven't figured out yet how to make it better, but we will. We're constantly innovating, not listening to people who say you can't do that."

"The status quo sucks." It may not be poetry, but to people who prize innovation - and/or drink beer - that kind of sentiment is music to their ears.

And my kind of Eye-Opener.
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