Brewery founder seeks national holiday for patriots
Jim Koch, founder of Sam Adams brewer Boston Beer Co., wants the rest of the United States to join in the celebration of Patriots’ Day, an official holiday in Massachusetts and Maine to commemorate the first military battles of the Revolutionary War in Lexington and Concord.
Koch said he is starting a starting a national petition drive to further the campaign, in partnership with The Lexington Minute Men Inc., a group of re-enactors.
“When I first started brewing, I believed that beer lovers would appreciate a rich, full-flavored, high-quality American brew that was unlike other beers available in 1985. I wanted to give my beer a name that sparked that feeling of independence,” Koch said in a statement. “I had always admired Samuel Adam’s role in the revolutionary war; as the rabble rouser, he was the most independent minded of the founding fathers. Early on, he pushed for independence from England. Twenty-five years ago, I introduced Samuel Adams Boston Lager on Patriots’ Day, and I’m excited to be joining the Lexington Minute Men in their pursuit to make today a nationally recognized holiday.”
Patriots’ Day is celebrated on the Monday nearest April 19, which falls on that date this year.
Events include parades, battle re-enactments and the world-famous Boston Marathon, which expects more than 26,000 entrants this year in the 26-mile, 385-yard foot race.
Koch’s campaign is still in the starting gate, and it remains to be seen how successful he’ll be. One stumbling block could be the national push to make Sept. 11 a national Patriot Day to mark the 2001 terrorist attacks on the U.S. Already, that Patriot Day is made official each year through presidential proclamation, but it is not a federal holiday: schools, banks and government agencies do not close.
It seems the similar names could derail Koch’s ambition, but some may see merit in his efforts to nationally commemorate the start of the American War of Independence.
Regardless, several of the Founding Fathers found beer brewing a noble endeavor and many a rebel hatched their plans over a pint or two, so it seems appropriate that the founder of the largest U.S. craft brewery would spearhead this campaign.
Anyone interested in supporting the effort can join the “Making Patriots’ Day a National Holiday” FaceBook page. If it gains 25,000 fans, Koch and The Lexington Minute Men will present a petition to Congress.