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The Boston Globe


How Boston Beer’s founder became a billionaire

Jim Koch has just 1.3% of the market, but a powerhouse niche it is

Armed with a family recipe and a flair for marketing, C. James ‘‘Jim’’ Koch popularized craft beer in the United States and turned Boston Beer Co. into the second-largest American-owned brewery. It also made him a billionaire.

Craft beer such as Sam Adams has been a bright spot in an otherwise stale US beer market. Total American beer sales fell 2 percent in the first half of 2013, according to data compiled by Bloomberg, while the craft brew segment grew 15 percent. Boston Beer’s sales increased more than 17 percent during the period.

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