For those who like their business advice mixed with tales of the trials and tribulations of starting a new business, this book will go down as smoothly as a pint of Immort Ale, one of Dogfish Head's signature brews. While chapters cover much tried-and-true territory, including entrepreneurship, marketing, sales, leadership, and employee relations, Calagione manages to keep the advice he dispenses fresh by relating it to his own often humorous experiences in starting what is now one of the fastest-growing breweries in the country. Stories of hand-delivering beer from a U-haul in dicey neighborhoods and securing labels with rubber bands after running out of glue attest to both the author's determination and his anything-goes entrepreneurial spirit. Solid writing and a no-nonsense style coupled with a welcome avoidance of business jargon make this an enjoyable and practical read for anyone either interested in the brewery business or thinking of creating his or her own start-up. Recommended for public libraries and large business/entrepreneurship collections.—Susan Hurst, Miami Univ. of Ohio, Oxford (Library Journal
, May 1, 2005)
From the Inside Flap
This is the exhilarating success story of a man who really likes beerso much so that he decided to make a business of it. Starting with nothing but a home brewing kit, Sam Calagione turned his entrepreneurial dream into a foamy reality and built the country's fastest growing breweryDogfish Head Craft Brewery. Brewing Up a Business is the enlightening and entertaining story of Dogfish and Calagione, of the power of unconventional thinking, and of the hard lessons every entrepreneur learns along the way.
In just a few years, Calagione grew Dogfish from a tiny Delaware-based operation into one of the country's most popular independent brews, distributed in twenty-nine states. Along with creating the fastest growing independent brewery, he has established a successful restaurant featuring wood-grilled food, and expanded his brand to include a line of spirits made at his distillery. Even without the benefit of an advertising and marketing budget, Dogfish's revenues have soaredincreasing by more than 100% in 2003 alone. That kind of success might not be normal for most small businesses, but then again, there's nothing normal about Calagione and Dogfish.
From his attention-grabbing publicity stunts, as when he crossed the Delaware River in a homemade boat to introduce his beer to New Jersey, to the creation of such questionable concoctions as peppercorn and lavender flavored beer, doing things differently has been the key to Calagione's success. It hasn't always workedfew people really wanted peppercorn and lavender flavored beer after allbut this fearless entrepreneur learned quickly that you can't reap big rewards without taking big risks.
Straight from Calagione's mouth, Brewing Up a Business offers a real-world look at what entrepreneurship is really like. It's hard work and frustrating to be surefrom exploding fermentation tanks to selling t-shirts at truck stops for gas money, Calagione encountered all the trials and tribulations of starting and running a businessbut it's been worth it. With business booming, Calagione could probably stay the course, play it safe, and focus on doing what he's doing. But why would he? As you'll learn in Brewing Up a Business, being an entrepreneur is much more than just a lot of hard workit's a lot of fun too. There are new beers to brew, restaurants to open, and beer movies to make.
Dogfish is proof that entrepreneurial dreams do come true. And Calagione is proof that you don't need a million dollars in seed money or a Harvard MBA to make your business a reality. For anyone who has a dream, this is all the inspiration and motivation you need to get started brewing up your own business.