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Beer School: Bottling Success at the Brooklyn Brewery
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Beer School: Bottling Success at the Brooklyn Brewery

3.69  ·  Rating Details ·  516 Ratings  ·  47 Reviews
What do you get when you cross a journalist and a banker? A brewery, of course. "A great city should have great beer. New York finally has, thanks to Brooklyn. Steve Hindy and Tom Potter provided it. Beer School explains how they did it: their mistakes as well as their triumphs. Steve writes with a journalist's skepticism-as though he has forgotten that he is reporting on ...more
ebook, 306 pages
Published January 31st 2011 by Wiley (first published September 1st 2005)
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(showing 1-30)
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Matthew Fitzgerald
"Business School with a Bit of Beer" might have been a better title. The book does what it hopes to do pretty well: it charts the Brooklyn Brewery from its humble beginnings with Steve's homebrew into the brand recognized today for quality and Brooklyn renewal. But coming from the two guys that were there for every step of the way, there's a surprisingly large amount that I felt was missing from this book, specifically, from the beer perspective. Almost in passing, we learn that the beer the fle ...more
Peter Goutis
2.5 stars

I wanted to like this book so bad. I love brewing beer and craft beers in general. I have this faraway dream of one day starting a brewpub business and brewing beer for a living. so I thought this would be a great read for me.

There are a few problems with this book.
1. it's trying to be a few different books and not being successful at any of them. The authors should have picked a thesis and stuck to it.
2. it's not organized very well. it can be rambly at spots before the authors circl
...more
Liz
Nov 28, 2010 Liz rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My high rating of this book has a lot to do with the good timing of this read. As I'm currently working through the complicated process of building a business plan, looking for investors and considering my future as an entrepreneur, the advice of these local businessmen has really hit the mark. Their lessons and honest advice have helped me understand how shareholders work, how raising capital works, and how unexpected challenges can be turned into revenue streams (in the Brooklyn Brewery's case ...more
Abbe
From Publishers Weekly

This winning tale of the rise of the Brooklyn Brewery follows the basic pattern of every entrepreneur's memoir: a restless visionary sets out to accomplish a dream, barely survives a series of setbacks, emerges victorious—and ready to tell readers how they can do the same. But this account serves up more than the usual suds and foam—its counsel is sound and its prose lively, and it should appeal to both wannabe industrialists and beer drinkers, not that those categories a

...more
Gerhard
Hindy and Potter's tale of how they started Brooklyn Brewery should be the template for all business books: honest, engaging, and well written. The book takes the reader from the first spark of the idea for a brewery through the long and arduous journey of turning that idea into a success, and then the work of keeping Brooklyn Brewery successful. This means you read through chapters that focus on the importance of financing, sales and distribution, understanding the core values and missions of a ...more
Leigh
Apr 26, 2014 Leigh rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good follow-on to course I took last year on the history of Brooklyn and to all the walking tours that I have taken there. One more way to get to know this fascinating borough of NYC. Heart-warming to have manufacturing in general and beer brewing in particular returning to a borough that usta be such a hub of manufacturing.
Also a "sobering" and fascinating tale of just how challenging it is to be an entrepreneur, even a successful one.
I actually listened to it as an audiobook (though that is n
...more
Miguel Barrera
Beer School nos cuenta la historia del nacimiento, ardua lucha y éxito de la compañía cervecera Brooklyn Brewery. Ésta historia es contada en primera persona para dar un toque más personal a pesar que son varias personas las que nos relatan en ella, la historia en sí es bastante interesante para aquellos que buscan una historia de éxito en el mercado cervecero en donde nos dejan ver los varios problemas tanto legales como financieros e incluso delincuenciales que tuvieron que sufrir y combatir p ...more
Ben
Jul 09, 2008 Ben rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is is a business text set in the exciting world of brewing against the colorful backdrop of Brooklyn. It has an eclectic cast of characters: the war correspondent, the banker, the famed graphic artist, the mob, and the brewer with a stylish sense of uniqueness. It captured the highs and lows, and difficulty of starting a brewery which also happens to be a successful business. These guys didn't succeed because they made crazy beer. They took advantage of their place, and time, to make a qual ...more
Miranda
Nov 07, 2010 Miranda rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
if you're interested in small business -- and, i guess, not even breweries, really, but in this specific brewery -- this is the book for you! if you are interested in beer, this is not the book for you.

very readable but not very engrossing. it reads a lot like a polished press release and is pretty emotionless, which i get (if you have a business public face you don't want to "open up" i guess) but there were some moments that could have been great, especially considering one of the authors was
...more
Bryan Boyd
Dec 22, 2013 Bryan Boyd rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoy reading about entrepreneurs and the obstacles they encounter. It amazes me how different entrepreneurs approach starting their business and then managing it. Approaches are not the same and almost always loose some focus that needs eventually to be recalled. America is great in that entrepreneurs who see opportunities differently, can be successful even with completely different paths. One common ingredient however, is hard, persistent work and being right timed.
John G.
Didn't dig this book too much, seemed like this was more of a financial prospect rather than a labor of love for the authors. Too technical and corporate/business for my taste, a much better book is "Beyond The Pale: The Story of Sierra Nevada" by Ken Grossman and "Nuts" which is about Southwest Airlines for two business case studies with soul and heart.
Jeremy
Feb 23, 2010 Jeremy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was both an interesting history of the Brooklyn Brewery (which I'd not heard of before this book), and an excellent manual on management and entrepreneurial growth. It gave me lots of good ideas applicable to my day job, and inspired me to seek out and try a few Brooklyn beers (which proved to be quite tasty).
Kyle
Aug 03, 2010 Kyle rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was not only entertaining, but also a FANTASTIC resource of business advice and practical experience. I listened to the audiobook because I don't have time to sit down and read, and it was even more amazing because the book was read by the authors and founders of the Brooklyn Brewery! I would recommend this to anyone!
Maggie
Jun 16, 2008 Maggie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This isn't sophisticated literature...it's a history and rough guide to tackling an entrepreneurial idea. It's inspiring, realistic, straightforward, specific, and honest account of the founding, history, and development of the brewery. As someone who's heading down a similar path, it seemed like it might be worth my time and attention...and I'd have to say it was!
Eric Magruder
Nov 29, 2012 Eric Magruder rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great business book whether you're interested in starting a brewery or not. Interesting anecdotes about their brewery are interspersed between wonderful 20/20 hindsight observations about building a successful business. Both Tom and Steve are very candid about the pitfalls and thrills of becoming an entrepreneur, and are brutally honest in assessing their progress. All in all, a great read.
Alex
Nov 08, 2011 Alex rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Wish it were a little more about the beer than the business, but it's a fascinating look at starting a company nonetheless. A little dry as a result, and since both founders alternate chapters they repeat themselves a bit, but it's a good read.
Samantha
Apr 27, 2015 Samantha rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good book, I just wish out didn't jump around so much. Instead of being chronological, Steve and Tom focus on business "Lessons" so that you may hear pieces of the same story several times throughout the book.
Marc Udoff
This was an easy good read on the history and challenges of building Brooklyn Brewery. It is pitched as an how to be an entrepreneur book, which really it doesn't do a great job of. It does make for good reading to give insight into the beer industry and how hard it really is.
Ashlee
Oct 05, 2015 Ashlee rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A little repetitive in a couple areas, but it's a great small business read. Lots of lessons and it gives you both the good and the bad. My Small Business Management students will hopefully enjoy it too!
Andres
May 23, 2015 Andres rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A success story on the early craft beer movement. Steve and Tom narrate the story back and forth with an evaluation on their performance as businessmen. It is more about the business side of beer than beer per se.
Andrew
Jan 26, 2012 Andrew rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you are thinking of starting a business, this might be a 4 star book for you. If you are thinking about reading about beer, this would be a 2 star book for you. I echo comments that at times this reads like promotional material.
tim lezgus
Feb 19, 2008 tim lezgus rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was looking to read about the craft industry. Great take aways about how the craft brew industry has evolved and the link between brewing and distributing. This book really goes into the life of the Entrapenuer and the trials and tribulations of that life. Good Read. Interesting.
Jernej Vrečar
Dec 29, 2016 Jernej Vrečar rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A cool behind-the-stage view of the business behind the craft brewery. Focused more on the business part, rather on the brewing part. Which is good. Craft brewing has been romanticised enough. It is nice to read about some less pleasant sides of this business.
Phil
Jul 06, 2011 Phil rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Anecdotal business start-up story. Both co-founders weighed in with their experiences and provided some candid feedback on each other's job. Interesting although I would've liked to see more data that went into the initial business plan, i.e. projected costs, revenue, profit margin
Chandler
This is THE book to read if you are considering forming your own brewery, or business in general. So many issues are brought out in this book that I never even considered. So cheers to Tom and Steve for explaining how they made their dreams a reality.
Scott
Oct 20, 2014 Scott rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: brewing
Kinda interesting as a business book on how to work with a partner. Fun history and a couple fun stories, but kinda lacking if you are looking for a business planning type book, and not very beer brewing focused.
David
Apr 02, 2011 David rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book contained fascinating insight into the challenges of starting a brewery. Brooklyn made it with a lot of hard work and a lot of luck. It terrifies me when these guys say that they haven't slept soundly since becoming an entrepreneur.
David
Nov 26, 2012 David rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: brewing, non-fiction
A good book for an insight to the breweing industry.
Tobias Barker
Not just a book about brewing, a well depicted entrepreneurial journey, including all the trials & tribulations of starting your own business. Loved this book!
Gary Anthony
Aug 22, 2013 Gary Anthony rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: modern-age
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