Food & Beverage

Craft beer bubble? No way, says Boston Beer co-founder Koch

Sam Adams founder: US best place in world to be beer drinker

The craft beer industry is booming, but Boston Beer founder and brewer Jim Koch said Thursday there is still much more room to grow.

"The revolution's started and now the best place in the world to be a beer drinker is in the United States," he said in an interview with CNBC's "Closing Bell."

Koch said when he started the company in his kitchen 31 years ago, people didn't understand the idea of American beer with quality and taste.

Now, "Americans are waking up to flavor and taste in just about everything and beer is a part of that."

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That said, he certainly doesn't think there is a craft beer bubble.

In fact, Boston Beer, which produces Sam Adams, still only represents a little more than 1 percent of the market, Koch said.

Overall, craft brewed beers are still only a fraction of the beer industry.

"There's almost 90 percent of the people out there who are drinking other beers than craft beers," Koch said. "What percent wants to drink good beer? I think it's more than 11 percent."

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The Boston-based company recently reported earnings that beat Wall Street expectations. It posted first-quarter profit of $13.7 million. On a per-share basis, it had profit of $1. The average estimate of three analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research was for earnings of 69 cents per share.

The brewer also posted revenue of $199.5 million.

—The Associated Press contributed to this report.