(Burlington, VT) – Alan Newman, who founded Magic Hat Brewing in 1994, and Jim Koch, founder and brewer of The Boston Beer Company, have been friends and colleagues for more than 15 years. Recently, they met over a beer, and Jim urged Alan to return to the craft beer industry. They talked about how they might collaborate. Out of this came Alchemy & Science, a craft brew incubator headquartered in Burlington, Vermont, that will be funded by Boston Beer Company. Newman is joined in this venture by Stacey Steinmetz, his longtime business associate from Magic Hat.
“I see this as a once in a lifetime opportunity,” said Newman. “Stacey and I get to start with a blank piece of paper and a mission. Our job will be to find the opportunities in craft brewing – the blank spaces that exist. Some of those blank spaces will be geographical, others will be stylistic. Some may be with existing breweries or brewpubs. We’ll be looking for unique brewing techniques and ingredients as well as hunting for ancient or new recipes and beer styles to develop and introduce to beer lovers,” he concluded. Alchemy & Science will have the brewing talents and broad resources of Boston Beer available to them as they look for opportunities around the country.
“When Alan left Magic Hat in 2010, our industry lost a unique individual,” said Jim Koch. “He was a very creative brewer with real brand and business sense. We’ve kept in contact and recently, I asked what he was doing. He said he had no real interest in returning to craft brewing.”
“I asked if he would be open to working with us. The whole thing fell into place quickly. We talked about our vision for the venture and how to structure it. We decided Alchemy & Science should be a subsidiary of Boston Beer and that Alan should run it. I told him the mission should be to make great craft beer in any way, place or style that he thought made sense,” Koch added.