ChukAlek wins Brewing and Business Experienceship from Sam Adams

The good news from The Great American Beer Festival for San Diego continues. ChukAlek was selected for this year’s Sam Adams Brewing and Business Experienceship! Big congratulations are in order for one of our more original breweries! Here’s the official blurb about what that includes:

BOSTON, Oct. 6, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — Samuel Adams today announced that San Diego County-based craft brewery ChuckAlek Independent Brewers has been selected as the winner of the 2015 “Brewing and Business Experienceship,” a unique mentoring opportunity awarded to one craft brewer annually as part of the Samuel Adams Brewing the American Dream program.

Similar to an extended internship, the Experienceship provides hands-on educational and enrichment experiences tailored to the winning brewery’s needs. As part of the program, ChuckAlek Independent Brewers will receive a trip to the Samuel Adams Boston Brewery for coaching and mentoring from a variety of Samuel Adams experts and brewers, including those involved in ingredients sourcing, sales and distribution, package design and more. Additionally, winners have the opportunity to brew a collaboration beer with Samuel Adams, and receive funding to attend industry events such as The Great American Beer Festival.

Founder and head brewer Grant Fraley, and co-founder and CEO Marta Jankowska were selected from craft brewer applicants that are part of Samuel Adams Brewing the American Dream, a micro-lending and coaching program for small business owners working in food, beverage, craft brewing and hospitality. The brewery was chosen by a panel of professionals from Samuel Adams and the program’s non-profit microlending partner Accion, based on their passion for brewing quality craft beer, current success, and strong growth potential.

“Our Brewing and Business Experienceship provides fellow craft brewers with important ongoing support and advice – something that I wish I had when starting Samuel Adams 30 years ago,” said Samuel Adams founder and brewer Jim Koch. “We understand how difficult it is to manage the many moving pieces of an up-and-coming brewery, and look forward to working and collaborating with Grant and Marta as they continue to provide innovative craft beers to the San Diego region.”

In 2013, Grant Fraley and Marta Jankowska opened ChuckAlek Independent Brewers in Ramona, CA of eastern San Diego County to turn their passion for reviving old, hard-to-find beer styles into a business. Last fall, Fraley and Jankowska looked to expand but faced difficulty securing traditional financing. They then turned to Brewing the American Dream, and were able to secure a $10,000 loan through Accion to help them develop draft beer sales in San Diego. What resulted was their ability to grow distribution to 30 accounts, and become one of the most widely distributed nano breweries in San Diego County.

“We’re very excited to be selected for the Samuel Adams Brewing and Business Experienceship Program,” said Fraley. “Our revivals of old-school beers are a unique contribution to the San Diego beer scene, and this invaluable opportunity will give us the support we need to help grow the brewery and get our uniquely hopped sessionable lagers and original-era porters in front of a wider audience. We look forward to working with the brewers and employees at Samuel Adams and can’t wait to visit the Boston Brewery.”

Samuel Adams Continues to Support the Craft Beer Movement
ChuckAlek Independent Brewers is the fourth craft brewery to receive the Brewing and Business Experienceship. Past winners include San Francisco, CA-based MateVeza, Rochester, NY-based Roc Brewing Co. and Denver, CO-based Brewery Rickoli. Each brewery released a limited-edition collaboration beer with Samuel Adams, and has received a loan through the Samuel Adams Brewing the American Dream program. To date, the program has provided loans to more than a dozen craft brewers across the country in an effort to continue to support fellow craft brewers.

Created by Samuel Adams brewer and founder Jim Koch in partnership with Accion, the Samuel Adams Brewing the American Dream program provides two important components that Jim didn’t have access to when starting Samuel Adams 30 years ago: access to financing and nuts-and-bolts business advice. Since its creation in 2008, the program has provided more than $3 million in microloans to nearly 375 businesses nationwide, coached 4,000+ small business owners, and helped create or retain more than 2,000 jobs. To learn more, visit http://btad.samueladams.com/.

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