Charles J. Koch Jr. was Brewer, Father of Boston Beer Founder

Written by Mike Boyer for

Retired brewer Charles J. Koch Jr., father of Boston Beer Co. founder Jim Koch, died Monday at his family farm in Georgetown. He was 88.

A Cincinnati native and graduate of Withrow High School and the University of Cincinnati, Mr. Koch was an apprentice starting before World War II at some of the city’s best-known breweries including Wiedemann, Hudepohl, Burger, Bavarian and Schoenling Brewing Co.

But possibly his greatest legacy was an attic trunk of brewing memorabilia, including beer recipes dating back to the 1800s, which became the foundation of his eldest son Jim’s beer business. Boston Beer was a pioneer in the American craft brewing industry.

In 1996, Boston Beer acquired the former Hudepohl-Schoenling Brewery in the West End. As part of a renovation in 2005, one of the brewery’s two copper brewing kettles was named in Mr. Koch’s honor.

Mr. Koch operated a company distributing brewing and specialty chemicals until his retirement in 1987. He was also the longest-serving member on Boston Beer’s board of directors.

An avid automobile collector, Mr. Koch was a sponsor at the Ault Park Concours d’Elegance classic car event each summer.

He is survived by his wife of 66 years, the former Dorothy Kautz; four children, Charles James (Jim) of Boston, William Koch, Lisa Green and Susan Koch; 11 grandchildren; and two great-grand children.

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