Sunday, October 19, 2008

Sam Calagione, a brewing rock star

I was recently labeled a "brewer groupie" by a fellow blogger after I talked
about the "man crush" I have for Sam Calagione and Jim Koch. So to dive a little deeper into the world of great brewers, I decided to read a book. What luck. Sam Calagione had indeed written a book about the trials and tribulations he went through while starting up his brewery, Dogfish Head, one of the fastest growing breweries in the country.
As a beer fan, I found the book to be entertaining and enjoyable. Sam tells us his memorable stories and lessons learned while he tried to get his brewery up and running. From the failed publicity stunts and successful campaigns, to his loss of friends and customers. Like the time he spent in an airport back room being interrogated by the TSA, his stories are full of humor, and humility.
As a fledgling home brewer with ideas of someday opening my own brewery, I found the book to be educational and extremely inspirational. I related to Sam's big dreams on a little budget. Starting a brewery with a 12 gallon home brew system is an amazing feat. However, by brewing such small batches, it allowed Sam to experiment with different ingredients. Thus, making Dogfish Head Brewery what it is today, "Off Centered Ales for Off Centered People".
All bias aside, this is really a good book. It isn't just for the beer crowd, but for anyone who owns, or someday plans to own their own business. Sam shares with the reader how difficult, as well as rewarding it has been to be a business owner. I found myself on several occasions flip flopping back and forth with my dream of following in Sam's footsteps. Who knows what the future holds? Not even Sam was willing to say. All in all, Dogfish Head makes some amazing beer. It was almost as much fun reading his book, as it is dinking his beer.

1 comment:

Brian P said...

I read this book a few years ago and still pull it off the shelf from time to time. It is a great read for anyone who wants to know the business of beer.