In the highly competitive beer industry, pioneer Rhonda Kallman stands alone. Rhonda Kallman always had whiskey in her blood—she took her first taste from her father’s whiskey and ginger at a very early age. At the young age of 24, Kallman cofounded the Boston Beer Company (BBC)—brewer of Samuel Adams—which quickly became most successful craft brewery in the world. But Kallman did more than just establish and build this world renowned company.
Along the way, she single-handedly paved the way for women in the historically male dominated beer industry. Recognized in 1990 by the Institute for Brewing Studies as the “Pioneering Woman in the Beer Industry,” Kallman has broken down countless barriers and established a whole new set of opportunities for women in business. Being at the forefront of the craft beer movement for three decades, eventually let Kallman to the distilled spirits industry—after all, the process for making great whiskey begins with making great beer.
As the Founding Partner and Executive Vice President of BBC for 15 years, Kallman knows how to build a successful organization—one that is the most successful craft beer company in the world that now has a $3 billion market cap. One of Draft Magazine’s "Top 10 Innovators" in the beer industry, Kallman helped build Boston Beer’s innovative infrastructure and create the most admired and best-trained sales force in the industry. With $200+ million in revenues, Kallman utilized unique go-to-market strategies that capitalized on the power of sales, promotion and marketing. With a coordinated, integrated message, Samuel Adams Boston Lager quickly became regarded as “The Best Beer in America.” Throughout her time with the Boston Beer Company, Kallman was committed to recruiting and promoting women within the company, shattering the proverbial glass ceiling that was once standard among the industry.
A “serial entrepreneur,” Kallman left BBC in 2011 to pursue her next challenge, founding New Century Brewing Company, where once again her unique contributions were recognized by her peers. She received the coveted “Maverick Award” for being a leader and innovator in her field, and in 2004, she was listed as one of Inc. Magazine’s “25 Entrepreneurs We Love,” and was also featured in the documentary film Beer Wars.
Currently, Kallman is Founder and CEO of Boston Harbor Distillery, where she focuses on her first love: whiskey. A native Bostonian, she is spirited, tenacious, passionate, hardworking, and grateful to the pioneers, like herself, who have paved the way for local artisans to make and present their craft.