WHAT IS ALCHEMY & SCIENCE?
It is different things to different people – depending on when they came into contact with us – and whom you would consider “us”.
Chapter One: The Beginning
August 12, 2010 - august 13 2011
Magic Hat Brewing Company was sold on August 11, 2010.
Alan Newman (that’s me – see “stuff” in the appendix) and Stacey Steinmetz (see “stuff” in appendix), among others, left the company at this time and Stacey & I decided to stick together and find something to do together.
We searched high and low, looking into a few “iconic Vermont business” and were about to do a joint venture with a local PE company to buy and “invigorate” a local potato chip company.
Then the phone rang and it was my old buddy, Jim Koch. Jim started and was the driver of the Boston Beer Company, a company I greatly admired from a distance – and one I learned much from by watching over the years.
Jim wanted me create a division of Boston Beer to explore brewery opportunities and to develop 3-5 businesses over the term of my 5 year contract. I told them I needed Stacey, they said fine. We discussed the need to operate away from Boston to avoid being sucked into their way of doing things … but to be entrepreneurial and find ways to succeed with long tail innovative brands. Who could turn this down? So now begins ….
Chapter Two, The Boston Beer Years
August 14, 2011 – December 31, 2016
Alchemy & Science, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Boston Beer Company.
I could write a book about these five years, but that would be for another time. Suffice it to say that during this time we started and/or reinvigorated five separate businesses – with a central management team overseeing and managing the businesses and the interface with the parent company.
- Angel City Brewing Company, Los Angeles, CA
- Traveler Beer Company, Burlington, VT
- The Just Beer Project, Burlington, VT (a moment of silence for the dead, please)
- Coney Island Brewing Company, Coney Island (Duh), NY
- Concrete Beach Brewery, Miami, FL
This would be a period of high learning and activity but at the end of my contract period it was time for me to move out of the world of Boston Beer and find what was next. Stacey remains with Boston Beer, now re-named A&S Brewing. Which takes us to ….
Chapter Three, Next.
January 1, 2017 –
Figuring it out … again. This time, Stacey stays at Boston Beer, but Steve Hood joins the search.
The good news and the bad news is Boston Beer’s non-compete policy.
The good news: it is keeping me from falling back into the industry where all my relationships and much of my experience has been – but where I clearly need to leave behind. The bad news: it prevents me from with working with a few of my friends in the industry.
Then there is my personal feelings on the topic, which I frequently shared with Jim, that their non-compete, and the way they enforce it, is below them. They obviously believe differently (on this and many other business issues).
So what is next?
First – Over the years I’ve learned that transitions are difficult, and take some time. I’ve given myself a year to figure out what is next. And I am approaching this as I always do, using my “throw shit on the wall and see what sticks” philosophy. And hopefully, have some fun while throwing and catching. So, what has “stuck to the wall so far?
Higher Ground Music where I am an investor and partner.
Burlington Record Plant where I am a shareholder and advisor.
And I am currently evaluating 2-3 other “opportunities” to see if any make sense for me.
Where will this take me? If you are really interested, check back from time to time as Alchemy & Science looks to re-invent itself one more time.
PLEASE DO NOT SEND ANY UNSOLICITED IDEAS OR INVESTMENT OPPORTUNITIES.