Brewing Up A Business: A Microbrewed Entrepreneur
One of my favorite recently-published small business books is Sam Calagione’s “Brewing Up A Business: Adventures in Entrepreneurship from the Founder of Dogfish Head Craft Brewery”. As the book’s title makes clear, this memoir-style story is written by Dogfish founder Sam Calagione. That’s a name you may already be familiar with — assuming you’re a fan of high-quality, craft brewed beer. Many of the country’s best known beer critics, in fact, consider Calagione’s company to be one of the most unique and experimental breweries in business today. Even the legendary (and recently deceased) beer journalist Michael Jackson described Dogfish Head as “America’s most extraordinary and adventurous small brewery.”
Throughout the 256 pages of “Brewing Up A Business”, the inevitable highs and lows of launching a microbrew beer operation are cataloged with a fairly even mixture of straightforward storytelling and self deprication. Even better, Calagione essentially lays out the blueprint that was responsible for the huge success of his business.
Nevertheless, I wouldn’t recommend Calagione’s occasionally long-winded tale to just any entrepreneur. If you happen to be in the food or beverage business, however, and if you have anything more than a passing interest in existing far apart from your competition, this is a must-read. As for creative-minded entrepreneurs who aren’t working anywhere near the service industry? They’ll still find enough inspirational material here to make the book worthy of at least a quick flip-through.
If you’re truly crunched for time, and yet still interested enough to wonder how this small-time brewmaster built for himself such an impressively big-time reputation, check out this brief interview with Soft Skull founder Sander Hicks, or this much lengthier interview with Beerdude’s Pete Ricks.