Tell us about your business.When we (co-founders Maggie Foley, 26, and Helder Pimentel, 29) launched Backlash in 2011, it was with a simple driving force -- to stand up and make beer that represented who we are. We're young and fun, but we don't enjoy pounding watery beers into our faces as fast as we possibly can. Instead, we want to know what's in our glass -- who made it, where the ingredients came from, and where our dollars are going. We want to drink hand crafted beers from people who care deeply about what they do -- not about the volume of product they can push to meet sales goals. As a two person (soon-to-be husband and wife) team brewing in Massachusetts, that's exactly what we're doing -- talking, tasting, and sharing great brews with people who also share our values. We are the backlash -- stand up with us, join the movement, and help to reclaim beer.
What makes your business stand out?It's our mission to take American beer back from what it has become -- watered down, gimmicky, mass produced junk. We've taken it upon ourselves to put a name and a face to a movement that's slowly starting to take hold, especially in our home state of Massachusetts. We certainly can't do it alone, and we're thrilled to see our community starting to reject the million dollar advertising budgets of mass-produced brands, and start asking their bartender about which beers on tap are made locally. Our business is unique in that we don't want to be the one and only beer producer -- instead we want to spearhead a movement where many small producers can turn the tides on the big guys, for once.
What's the best business advice you've received?Something we stumbled upon and have kept as a core value is to "be the extra degree." The difference between water at 210 and 211 degrees is absolutely nothing...but at 212 degrees, water starts to boil. We apply this lens to everything we do -- from the ingredients that we brew with and attention to detail in creating recipes, to every interaction we have with a fellow beer enthusiast (and let me tell you -- they. are. enthusiastic.) Plus we realize how freaking lucky we are to do something that we love, professionally. There are challenging days where it feels like a team of just two people isn't enough to run a small business, but that extra degree of effort is always worth it.
Mark Your Calendar
NominationsJune 3–Aug. 29, 2014
Nominate yourself or other aspiring makers.
JudgingJune 23–Sept. 9, 2014
Judges will select finalists throughout this period.Meet the judges
Online VotingSept. 15–Oct. 13, 2014
Vote for your favorite American makers.Vote now
Winners AnnouncedOct. 17, 2014
2014 Award Winners and Audience Choice Winner announced.See past Award Winners
American Made EventNov. 7–8, 2014
Join us for our annual event in New York City.Buy tickets now