The nationally-distributed beer Samuel Adams has said that they will be focusing in on the greater MQT area this upcoming year, according to a national representative for the beer.“Sam Adams is excited to be up here full time,” said Carmine Polisei, Market Manager for the company. “MQT is a lot of fun. There is no reason to think Sam Adams won’t grow up here.”

Samuel Adams is the flagship beer of the Boston Beer Company, located in Boston. The company was founded in 1984 by Jim Koch, who still maintains a presence in national advertising campaigns. Boston Beer Company also makes the Twisted Tea and Angry Orchard brands. They are distributed locally by Bayside Beverages, a division of Great Lakes Wines and Spirits of downstate Petosky.According to Polisei, advertising in MQT is part of a national plan to target the 21-30 market. Events like the Mystery Beer debut at the Wild Rover on January 24 and Angry Orchard mixology competitions at Buffalo Wild Wings on January 23 have already occurred, while more are in the works according to Polisei.

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A poster (left) was printed and a snow bank was dyed with red ink to advertise different events in January. (Above photo from Facebook, left photo from Bryan Lopac)

Paired with traditional marketing, like radio and television ads that have already to air more frequently in the MQT media market, the marketing plan is well underway.The national plan is in accordance with Samuel Adams’ 30-year anniversary to target people to drink the beers for the first time.”There are a lot of people in the 21-30 group that haven’t tried Sam Adams before,” Polisei said. “We want the cutting edge crowd that’s in MQT and that takes a different marketing approach in a college town.”

Initial feedback has been mixed to the brewery’s plans. While some think it will be a good thing for the national attention to the area, others think that a big business might contradict the craft beer movement in MQT and the state.“Given Michigan’s craft brew movement it might be stepping on some toes for some. Craft beers though are accepted everywhere and Sam Adams is a craft beer, so it could go either way,” said MQT’s acceptance of other craft beers could be the defining factor of Samuel Adams success. Other attempts at big brewery craft brews – like Budweiser’s Black Crown – have flopped in MQT.According to Carmine, the Upper Peninsula has been drinking more Samuel Adams products than downstate Michigan by seven percent, where microbreweries and craft beers are more prevalent per person.

Samuel Adams success was defined by the craft beer movement. Boston Beer Company went public in 1995, the height of the first wave of smaller breweries across the country. According to the Brewers Association – a trade group focusing on smaller breweries and homebrewers – Boston Beer Company is the largest craft brewery by sales volume.”With (MQT) being a craft beer town at times, this is another craft flavor for them to enjoy,” said Bryan Lopac of Bayside Beverages.

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