Brewing up a Business – Sam Calagione

Another book review. It’s been a while but apart from Game of Thrones and it’s sequels I haven’t been reading much. There are too many great tv shows, I’ve been gaming and DIY-ing over the last half year or so to get to it.

Brewing Up A BusinessSince I got into home brewing a bit since early this year, I’ve been dreaming about being a brewer. Not certainly if I would really like it, but it’s some form of escapism. By recent results, I would suck at it too. Anyway, it is the reason I picked up this book and was looking forward to reading about how the Dogfish Head brewery got to be.

And I was disappointed. While I thought this book would be one big anecdote about the beer business, owning a brewery and stories about the early years, it was focused on a random small-business. There were the stories, but they were introductions to generic business talk, or trying to prove an earlier point.

The beer stories are good, but almost never more than a page long, which I find disappointing. Also, they’re quite random from different periods of the brewery’s existence. There’s stories from the beginning (which are sometimes incredible) and stories from more recent periods up til 2004 (more or less when the book was written).

The unexpected business part of the book is fairly random without much proving the opinions given. There’s some stories to back things up, but in a lot of cases it’s not going further than ‘do this instead of that’.

I am thinking that I was mostly uninformed, instead of the book being not as good as I expected. But then again, when a book is called ‘Brewing up a Business’ with a sub title stating ‘Adventures in Beer’, I kind of expect it to be about adventures in beer.

So, I think it was not a very useful book to read. Some nice background information on Dogfish Head, which is nice. It’s one of the lesser represented American craft breweries in Dutch beer shops.


About Sjoerd de Haan-Kramer

I'm a web developer at Emakina. I'm highly interested in booze, with a focus on whisk(e)y. I like to listen to loads of music and read quite some books. I'm married to Anneke, have a daughter Ot, a son Moos and a cat called Kikker (which means Frog, in Dutch). I live in Krommenie, The Netherlands.
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