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Baltimore’s Checkerspot wins Samuel Adams’ 11th annual Brewer Experienceship

Checkerspot Brewing Company founders Judy and Rob Neff display a can of their beer at the 11th annual Brewer Experienceship at the Great American Beer Festival. (Submitted photo)

Checkerspot Brewing Company of Baltimore beat out four other national competitors to win the 11th annual Brewer Experienceship at the Great American Beer Festival.

Brewing the American Dream, the philanthropic arm of Samuel Adams aimed at providing mentorship and capital to food & beverage entrepreneurs nationwide, is proud to introduce Checkerspot Brewing Company of Baltimore, Maryland as the winner of its 11th Brewer Experienceship.

The Brewer Experienceship was deliberated live for the first time ever this year. An in-person celebration of five finalists, the inaugural Crafting Dreams Beer Bash was hosted Sept. 7 at Arlo SoHo in New York City. Finalists nationwide including Checkerspot Brewing, Ohio’s Fibonacci Brewing, New York’s Wolf & Warrior, California’s Brewing with Brothas, and Connecticut’s Rhythm Brewing, were able to showcase their signature brew and share their brewing and business story with judges and beer lovers.

At the end of the night, attendees cast votes for their favorite brewery of the bunch, which factored into the Brewing the American Dream team’s ultimate decision to crown Checkerspot Brewing Company as this year’s Brewing Experienceship winner.

Each year, the Brewer Experienceship provides one craft unparalleled access to brewing and business resources from experts at Samuel Adams, including founder and brewer Jim Koch himself.

In addition to a trip to the Samuel Adams Boston Brewery where Checkerspot will participate in a collaboration brew day, the company has the opportunity to attend beneficial industry events on behalf of Brewing the American Dream. In Jim’s case in 1984, the Great American Beer Festival was one of those industry events that changed the course of craft beer for everyone by putting Samuel Adams Boston Lager on the map.

Founded by Judy and Rob Neff in 2018, Checkerspot Brewing Company offers small-batch and gluten-reduced beers at its taproom at 1399 S. Sharp St. The company is dedicated to the community, with ongoing charitable programs ingrained into the brewery’s DNA, the brewery was a standout among the more than 50 applicants nationwide.

Like Samuel Adams, the Neffs believe a great beer that does good—often giving back to organizations like The Baltimore Animal Rescue and Care Shelter, Baltimore Military Muster and many more through fundraisers and collaboration beers.