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2024 Power 100: Sam Hendler

A man with a beard wearing a blue shirt holds a beer and stands in front of a row of taps. Photo | Courtesy of Jack's Abby Craft Lagers Sam Hendler, CEO & co-founder of Jack's Abby Craft Lagers
Sam Hendler Title Co-founder & CEO Company Jack's Abby Craft Lagers, in Framingham Employees 120 Residence Framingham College University of Vermont Read all the Power 100 profiles here
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Sam Hendler sees his influence in the Central Massachusetts business community as providing a critical component of any well-lived life: fun.

At Jack's Abby Craft Lagers, Hendler is at the helm of the largest craft brewery in Central Mass. The brewery produced 52,000 barrels of beer in 2022. That equates to 1.61 million gallons, enough to fill nearly two and a half Olympic-sized swimming pools. Jack's Abby produces more than 50 types of beers, ranging from familiar staples like Post Shift, a bavarian-style pilsner, to Citrus Got Real, a paloma-inspired lager and a Jack’s Abby beer hall exclusive.

At the end of April, Jack's Abby became an even larger player in the Central Massachusetts craft brewery industry, when it announced the planned acquisition of the third-largest brewery in the region - Wormtown Brewery in Worcester.

The craft brewing industry is a tight-knit community, where successful brewers will help out up-and-comers who are just learning the craft and the business. Under Hendler, Jack’s Abby employees have held leadership positions at the Mass. Brewers Guild, including Hendler himself, who has served as MBG president. In 2022, he won the F.X. Matt Defense of the Industry Award from the national Brewers Association, largely for his efforts on Beacon Hill to convince lawmakers to change the franchise law that left brewers at the mercy of distributors.

Craft breweries were hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic, and Jack’s Abby was no exception, as the revenue from its beer hall played an important role in the business’ financial picture. Realizing the business had to adapt to changing times, Hendler led the charge in expanding the brewery to contract brewing for other businesses, allowing Jack’s Abby to maximize the use of the brewery and add an additional source of revenue to the business.

The brewery has a collaboration with the Boston Celtics to create a basketball-influenced brew called Banner City, another key step in helping Jack’s Abby rebound from the pandemic.

Read all the Power 100 profiles here.

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