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The Brewers Association's Guide to Starting Your Own Brewery Paperback – December 26, 2006
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Top Customer Reviews
First, I agree with the previous reviewer - this book has more typos and grammatical errors than any book I've ever read! It's really unacceptable in any book, but certainly when the book retails for $80.
Second, this isn't a step-by-step guide to starting a brewing business. It's a hodgepodge of articles from old issues of The New Brewer magazine combined with random interviews and new writings from various "brewing professionals". Their seems to be no real "road map" or grand plan to the way the info is presented. I was extremely disappointed in the amount of information provided on professional brewing equipment. In contrast, an entire chapter was devoted to the selection of flooring material for the brewhouse floor. Admittedly this is an important decision, but the ratio to other information is odd at best.
I've met Ray Daniels at an AHA rally and he seems like a great guy who is passionate about beer and brewing. Unfortunately, this is a poor effort by Ray and I am guessing he's quite embarrassed whenever anyone mentions it.
I would have really have liked to have seen more real money and real equipment talked about. Basically they broke it down like this: it is hard and expensive, but if you can pull it off it is sooo worth it. That's not enough for me. Oh, I will mention there was a very detailed business plan which could be a great reference to the right person, but it reads like a business plan, go figure. Real snoozer of a way to end the book.
One last thing, this is an $80 book that as an AHA member I was able to buy for $50 from the Brewers Association so I at least felt like I got a deal, but to now see Amazon with it for sale for $50 kind of burns me up. This isn't an $80 book (think college text book) nor really a $50 book (think high school text book or instruction manual), it's more of a decent $25 book (think normal informative/opinionated book). So, all in all I am not saying don't get this book, but I would only get this book if you are seriously contemplating opening your own brewery and only as one more reference, not the be-all-to-end-all.
The transcribed interviews are missing punctuation needed to make it read properly. In-text notes to the designers are still present. There are typos and misspellings, as though the chapters from various brewery owners were simply copy/pasted from their e-mails to the final publication.
And I've hardly started the book! I'm on page 23....
What gets me most is that this is the second/revised version of this book. Seriously people. Next time ABA, let me copy-edit it in exchange for beer. You know I'll do it.
If the book improves dramatically by the end, I'll revise my review.
A person who is serious about starting a brewery will need to buy more books and learn a lot more after reading this book, but it's a good start for an outsider. Anyone who ever worked in a brewery before, or has experience running (not working in, but running) a restaurant, you could probably skip most this book and move on to more detail oriented books.
However, there is a lot of very good information in this book, and it has a lot of uses. This is a great place to start for anyone considering opening a brewery or brewpub, but has no experience in either industry. This isn't about brewing beer, it's about the industry and some of the logistical headaches associated with a brewery.
Chapters include topics like choosing the right flooring for the brewery, waste water, TTB regulations and more. If nothing else, you should buy this book only to learn about all of the things that you haven't considered when you think about opening a brewery. The Brewers Association's Guide to Starting Your Own Brewery also provides a few good numbers and spreadsheets to give you some idea of how the money goes.