SOMERVILLE, Mass. — Recent comments from the founder of Sam Adams have stirred up controversy, leading neighbors of the brewery in Jamaica Plain to demand an apology.
Sam Adams founder Jim Koch attended a dinner with other business leaders hosted by President Donald Trump.
Koch, when asked to introduce himself, remarked about feeling out of place among large company owners and then thanked Trump for tax cuts, saying it has helped micro-breweries.
"We were paying 38 percent in taxes and competing against people paying 20," Koch said. "Now, we have a level playing field."
The comments then led to Somerville Mayor Joseph Curtatone swearing off Boston’s largest beer company, as Curtatone tweeted out his frustrations.
“I will never drink Sam Adam’s beer again!” Curatone tweeted.
He went on to condemn “Trump’s white nationalist agenda” and called Koch a “complicit profiteer.”
Mayor Curtatone responded to critics on Twitter saying, “Got some people insisting they're going to make Sam Adams their beer of choice now because of something I tweeted. No, they won't.”
Koch's comments also upset neighbors of the brewery in Jamaica Plain, who say the move insults the communities they believe the administration is harming.
"We were both really outraged from it, we definitely expected more from him," Jeremy Phillips said. "He's in the community. He had a Pride event last month. Was that just lip service? Is it because he knows the LGBTQ community has economic dollars?"
Now, a banner hangs from a house next door to the brewery, slamming the beer maker for its love of President Trump.
"We basically want to give them the knowledge about this so they can make their own choice about whether they want to support Sam Adams," Julian Kennedy said.
Residents plan to keep the banner up until Koch apologizes, or until he makes a donation with money he saves from tax cuts.
"I think it's an opportunity for him to reflect and prioritize," Phillips said.
Boston 25 News reached out to the brewery for comment, but they did not respond.
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