Frequently Asked Questions

What is Brewing the American Dream?

Samuel Adams Brewing the American Dream is our way of making the start-up process a little easier for food, beverage and craft brewing entrepreneurs than it was for Sam Adams Founder and Brewer Jim Koch in 1984. Though the crux of the program focuses on national micro-lending and coaching, it’s more than just a program for us: it’s our passion. We started in New England (go figure!) in 2008, and expanded across the country. Inspired by the struggles Sam Adams had as a startup 30+ years ago, and the fact there was no place to go for help, Brewing the American Dream is a unique passion project that provides the two things every small business owner needs, especially when starting out: real-world business advice and access to a true financial partner.

What is Accion Opportunity Fund?

Accion Opportunity Fund Community Development (AOF) is a national non-profit small business lender that connects business owners with the capital and know-how they need to build a better future. Samuel Adams is proud to have AOF as the national philanthropic partner of Brewing the American Dream, helping hardworking business owners get the access to capital they need to grow. For more information, visit

How is a Loan from AOF Different from a Traditional Bank Loan?

AOF connects small business owners who don’t qualify for bank loans with financing options that are right for their business. Entrepreneurs typically fail to qualify for bank loans if they have short or no track record for their business, limited credit access, or require relatively small sums of money (AOF’s average loan size is around $20,000). AOF pairs lending with flexible repayment terms that set borrowers up for growth, and with customized coaching from skilled, compassionate staff who are deeply invested in helping every small business owner achieve success.

What types of loans are available through Brewing the American Dream?

Brewing the American Dream works with AOF to provide loans to entrepreneurs across the country, along with other trusted local non-profit lending partners in key geographies. Loans are typically used for materials, supplies, vehicles and other business and operational expenses. These loans have fair, flexible terms to help fuel business growth. To find out more about the loans AOF offers in your area visit AOF’s website. To find out about additional lending options that may be available in your area through local BTAD lending partners, please reach out to the BTAD team directly.

What is a Speed Coaching event?

Speed Coaching is our version of a speed date (minus the awkwardness) where you leave with business advice instead of a phone number. Our national mentoring events provide small business owners with the opportunity to get real-world advice and guidance from those who matter: experts in the food, beverage and craft brewing industries who have spent a lifetime honing their business specialties in our industry. Held annually in more than 12 cities nationwide, Speed Coaching attendees can participate in up to six 20-minute coaching sessions, asking questions and discussing issues specific to their business with the experts at Samuel Adams, Accion, and other local small business owners. An incredible opportunity for any small business owner in the food and beverage category, Speed Coaching is fast, personal, and how owners get answers to their biggest challenges.

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Can I attend a Speed Coaching event if I have not received a Brewing the American Dream loan?

No loan with us? No problem. Speed Coaching events are free and open to all small food, beverage, and craft brewing business owners nationwide. If you dream of taking your business to the next level, join us to get real-world coaching at the speed of small business from Samuel Adams, Accion and other business owners. Check the schedule on our events page to sign up for a Speed Coaching event. Registration opens one month prior to each event.

What is the Brewing the American Dream Pitch Room Competition?

Brewing is easy. Selling is hard. That’s why we’ve created the Pitch Room Competition. Fact is, before any small business owner meets with potential wholesale and retail buyers, you better have your pitch ready. The Brewing the American Dream Pitch Room is an event dedicated to helping owners perfect their pitch, and rewarding the ones who do it best. Starting in four cities, regional winners get the chance to move on to the national stage, where one winner - based on pitch quality, creativity and passion - will receive a $10,000 business grant and a series of personalized coaching sessions from the experts at Samuel Adams.

How else can I get involved?

To attend an event, volunteer as a Speed Coach, or simply learn more, email or call us at 617-368-5203.