4393 AWARDS

Entrepreneur of the year: Jen and John Kimmich

  • 1 min to read

The Alchemist Brewery • Waterbury, Vt.

Don’t build a brewpub in Waterbury. Nobody ever goes there.

John and Jen Kimmich decided not to listen to that advice in 2003, and opened up the Alchemist pub smack in the middle of a town that had a reputation as a place where crazy people ended up.

Call them crazy, but the Kimmichs have done all right, and it’s been based largely on not doing things people tell them.

Brew other beers besides Heady Topper, some said. Nope, we’ll concentrate on doing one thing great, the Kimmichs answered.

Widen your distribution area, some said. Nope, came the reply, locals need their Headys.

Build the new place anywhere but Stowe, some said. The Kimmichs’ answer: We live here.

Sometimes you just can’t stop success, can’t help if the rest of the world finds out about you and goes nuts. But making one of the best beers on the planet doesn’t matter a whit if you aren’t also making sure the locals are the ones reaping the fruits of that success.

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