Sam Adams founder and Newton resident Jim Koch was invited to have dinner with President Donald Trump and other business leaders Tuesday evening in Bedminster, NJ.
KOCH: I’m not quite sure why I’m here. I’m like the smallest company by far. I’m Jim Koch, and I started making Sam Adams beer in my kitchen 37 years ago (inaudible) the designated drink. (Applause.) At least I brought the beer. (Laughter.) (Inaudible.) And I guess I’m sort of speaking on behalf of what is now 7,000 small brewers in the United States.
KOCH: When I started Sam Adams, American beer was a joke, and it pissed me off. 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.
TRUMP: That’s right.
KOCH: I mean, Americans — I’m the largest American-owned brewery at 2 percent market share. We were paying 38 percent taxes —
TRUMP: Wow. But you’ve done a great job. Great job.
KOCH: — and competing against people who were paying 20. And now we have a level playing field, and we’re going to kick their ass.
TRUMP: Yeah. That’s good. We’ve done that. That was a very unfair situation. That’s right. Good job. That’s a really good job. (Applause.)
KOCH: Thank you. My wife Cynthia —
TRUMP: Hi, Cynthia.
KOCH: — working with the White House on health (inaudible).
TRUMP: That’s right. That’s exactly. Thank you very much. Thank you. Great job.