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Beer School: Bottling Success at the Brooklyn Brewery

This is the first book review we have had on this site. There are sure to be many to follow as I have done a lot of reading on the subject of beer, but this was my most recent accomplishment, so let me share a little bit. First off, this isn’t a new book, it has been out for a few years. I actually found it in my local Borders back in PA. I was a bit surprised becasue beer books at Borders tend be be geared to beginning homebrew or one of those Idiot’s Guide things. They generally seem to have more cocktail and wine books than anything.

The manger of the store is actually a beer nut, and she wanted to see how the book would sell since she loved it so much. During checkout she talked to me for awhile about beer and what I drank and asked if I homebrewed. She also asked for any other beer book suggestions and I shared a few that I thought would be good. Brewing Up a Business (still haven’t read it) seemed like the one that would be most like Beer School (didn’t read it at the time), but I digress.

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Beer School is written by founders of the Brooklyn Brewery, Steve Hindy and Tom Potter. Both were English majors in college and came together to found a very successful brewery. The book hits on a lot of levels, if you are into brewing, starting a brewery, or business in general you should enjoy this book. They take you through their trails and success and are quick to point out where they were just plain lucky. I find that a lot of entrepreneur type books do not give enough credit to people who have helped them or where they have gotten lucky, Tom and Steve acknowledge both.

The beginning of the book covers their pasts and their foundation for starting the company. They then move into the founding of the business and the ground rules they went in under. They highlight the areas where they felt that special attention needed to be paid, like their logo. They also go into their distribution problems and cash flow. I’m not going to tell everything that happened because I want you to read it for yourself. The book is just downright readable. I wasn’t able to put the book down.

Not too many business books go into problems faced by a stolen forklift battery charger, or getting robbed at gunpoint, or dealing with the mob (yeah the mob!). I would of loved to have worked for these guys at the time. They required their sales people to read Micheal Jackson books and held tasting sessions. Perhaps the part I most enjoyed is that they wanted to give back to their community and let their employees shine. They tell a good story and you will not be disappointed by the read. You can get the book on Amazon for about 12 bucks new. Don’t worry I don’t make a dime on the sales (nor do I on any product I mention on this blog) I just really enjoyed the book and think it is a worthy read for anyone.