Thursday, November 4, 2010

Book Review - Brewing up a Business, by Sam Calagione

Every amateur brewer dreams of opening their own microbrewery and spending the rest of their days concocting innovative and flavoursome beers. Sam Calagione did just that in 1995 when he established the Dogfish Head Craft Brewery in Delaware.

Sam has written a book telling the story of his entrepreneurial journey and the result is both a business manual and an interesting insight into one of the most respected craft breweries now operating in the United Sates. The book focuses primarily on the business side of the story and discusses issues around finding an idea, getting finance, marketing and PR, sales, leadership etc, however even if you have no interest in taking this journey yourself, the book is a fantastic read.

Sam, a college English graduate, is an exceptionally good writer, and mixes the important lessons of starting a business with the interesting anecdotes of some of his own successes and failures. He is highly driven and has an unbelievable entrepreneurial spirit, one example of his drive is that in order to open his brewpub in Delaware he needed to have the state law changed, which he did!

Dogfish Head is now world renowned for using innovative ingredients in their beer (chicory, raisins, peaches etc) and have grown to be one of the largest independent breweries in the US. If you are looking to eventually take this journey towards opening your own brewery/brewpub then this book should be your bible, if however you just have a love of good beer (or good business stories) then this book will prove highly interesting.

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