Jim Koch, chairman of Boston Beer, speaks with imperious confidence about his Boston Lager. When VinePair caught up with the Samuel Adams founder earlier this year, Koch said that the lager would accompany his last meal if he were on death row.
At another significant meal Tuesday night, the Dinner for Business Leaders hosted by President Trump at the Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, N.J., Koch said his brewery is set to “kick ass.”
As reported by the Boston Globe, Koch’s brewery last quarter experienced an 8 percent effective tax rate drop, from 36 to 28 percent. The fall comes largely because of the Craft Beverage Modernization and Tax Reform Act, which came into effect in January.
An official White House transcript from the dinner included remarks by the president and several business executives, including Koch.
When Koch’s turn came to speak, he addressed the room “on behalf of 7,000 small brewers in the United States.”
“When I started Sam Adams, American beer was a joke, and it pissed me off,” Koch said. “And now, American brewers make the best beer in the world. And the tax reform was a very big deal for all of us, because 85 percent of the beer made in the United States is owned by foreign companies.”
With the introduction of January’s tax reform, however, Koch says American brewers, including his own Sam Adams, are ready to take on the foreign competition, “and we’re going to kick their ass.”
Without a doubt, the whole of the national beer industry shares Koch’s joy at the improved tax rate. But the fact that Koch chose to attend Trump’s dinner—and personally—thank him will, for many, leave a bitter aftertaste.