First Career: Business consultant (1978-85)
Current Career: Brewer, company founder (since 1985)
Through the Years: One could argue that Sam Adams founder Jim Koch (pronounced Cook) was merely pursuing his destiny when he founded the Boston brewery — after all, his family had been in the brewing business for five generations. Koch started out as a consultant for the Boston Consulting Group, but soon became disillusioned by the corner office and first-class flights around the country. So Koch teamed up with 35-year veteran brewmaster Joe Owads and, in 1984, tasted the first batch of Sam Adams. More than 20 years later, Koch is still actively involved in the business.