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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Off-centred book for off-centred business people
This book by Dogfish Head founder Sam Calagione is pitched as a generic business book, but is mainly focused on his experiences in setting up Dogfish Head's brewpub/restarant and craft brewery. As an aspiring microbrewer, that is why this book was so fascinating for me - this guy and his team have come up with some supremely innovative and inspiring ideas on how to...
Published on 30 Aug 2011 by Pads72

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2.0 out of 5 stars Autobiography, not a business manual
Either this book is an autobiography, or business advice for craft brewers--but it can't promise to be both.

What this book mostly wasn't: helpful tips for starting a craft brewery by way of a personal tale of starting one of the most successful craft breweries in the US.

What it mostly was: a former English major's braggy autobiography about his...
Published 7 months ago by sintheta


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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Off-centred book for off-centred business people, 30 Aug 2011
This book by Dogfish Head founder Sam Calagione is pitched as a generic business book, but is mainly focused on his experiences in setting up Dogfish Head's brewpub/restarant and craft brewery. As an aspiring microbrewer, that is why this book was so fascinating for me - this guy and his team have come up with some supremely innovative and inspiring ideas on how to succeed in the craft brewing sector. Sam also describes the hard graft required to break through in an industry dominated by giant corporations by 'scratching out a niche till it bleeds'. If you are thinking about bringing a new or innovative product to market, this could be the book that gets your brain cells thinking about different routes to succeed.
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5.0 out of 5 stars book was what was I had expected, 11 Jan 2014
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The Book was for a gift and it seemed to please my son in-law as beer making is his hobby.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Autobiography, not a business manual, 4 Dec 2013
Either this book is an autobiography, or business advice for craft brewers--but it can't promise to be both.

What this book mostly wasn't: helpful tips for starting a craft brewery by way of a personal tale of starting one of the most successful craft breweries in the US.

What it mostly was: a former English major's braggy autobiography about his exceptionalism and his personal tale of starting one of the most successful craft breweries in the US.

The book has several key faults. This most major one is that the advice of the book can be broken down into several pithy statements: be true to yourself, be true to your brand, know and listen to your customers. These generic comments are useful for any type of business, you just can't base an entire book on them. Almost every single section of the book is a rewording of one or several of those points. This started to become evident when some of his anecdotes started reappearing, and I'm only a third of the way through the book. The book is seriously in need of an editor; I'm not sure how it made it into the second edition with those kinds of blunders.

You should expect these kinds of books to be motivational, to encourage the timid would-be craft brewer into taking the plunge into the business. What Calagione fails to do is acknowledge his privilege and his exceptionalism, and presents them almost as bragging. In the first chapter he presents the story of his party-animal teenage self kicked out of a prep school. Most people aren't gutsy enough to be kicked out of their high school, and most kids don't have the kind of support that gives them things like prep school. Calagione also founded his company at a time when interest in craft beer was exploding, and rode that wave.

Make no mistake, Calagione is an exceptional man and has accomplished great things as a result of that. The problem is that he presents a tale that can only be accomplished by an exceptional man with support, not an aspiring brewer.

Despite all this, we should thank Calagione for sharing his journey with a growing public of aspiring craft brewers. If you comb the book you will find nuggets of advice in some of the anecdotes. Given a thorough edit, this book could be an enjoyable autobiography with some amusing anecdotes. But this book will never be a useful guide to the aspiring craft brewer.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great, 12 Oct 2013
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This was a great read, as a aspiring brewer this book really gives you an insight into the hard work an dedication it takes to make a idea into reality. Not only that it's humorous, some of the things that Sam gets up to is quite laugh out loud funny. I would recommend this book to any homebrewer, entrepreneur or someone just after a good book
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5.0 out of 5 stars great for anyone interested in starting a homebrewery, 28 Sep 2013
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small subheadings under which anecdotes and entrepreneurial snippets are written are really good and make the book very easy to dip in and out of. So much more personal and fun than a serious business guide, with all the same great info
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not a motivational text, 24 Jun 2013
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I bought this for a friend who was contemplating setting up a very small scale micro-brewery. The grandness of the operation described in this book seems to have put him off his own project for good.
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