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Quench Your Own Thirst: Business Lessons Learned Over a Beer or Two

4.26  ·  Rating details ·  1,010 ratings  ·  99 reviews
Founder of The Boston Beer Company, brewer of Samuel Adams Boston Lager, and a key catalyst of the American craft beer revolution, Jim Koch offers his unique perspective when it comes to business, beer, and turning your passion into a successful company or career.

In 1984, it looked like an unwinnable David and Goliath struggle: one guy against the mammoth American beer ind
Hardcover, 272 pages
Published April 12th 2016 by Flatiron Books
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Average rating 4.26  · 
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 ·  1,010 ratings  ·  99 reviews

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John G.
Jul 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is the best book I've read about starting a brewery and I've read a few of them. I had forgotten about Samuel Adams as being a major part of the craft beer movement. I found this book in the business section of the used book store and that's where it belongs. I like Jim Koch's philosophy about business and his attitude toward labor and career fulfillment. This is a guy I'd like to work for and have a beer with. I've never read a beer book that had recommendations about other books to check ...more
Jim Serger
Jun 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing
"Whatever you do, don't quench someone else's thirst. Quench your own."-Jim Koch

If you are looking for a "go-for-it" story...Read this book; Passion, heart, fear of failure, success, teamwork, growth, potential, dreams, vision and the craft of loving your employees....then this is a must read. See where your vision can take you and others when the pursuit of money is secondary to the pursuit of perusing your dreams. Sam Adams--it's a household name.
Jun 23, 2020 rated it really liked it
Sober 8 plus years plus never even drank beer but was intrigued by the brand loyalty I've seen people have to Sam Adams. This book inspired me to buy a share wish I would have read this book sooner. My brain and bank would have thanked me. People don't get much cooler then Jim.

👂 Picked up these takeaways ⤵️

Every problem has a solution
I didn't want to go where the river was taking me
Most risks aren't really risky
It's possible to listen and not hear
We only think we know what we know
The cash regi
Aaron Nichols
Mar 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Two of my favorite topics - beer and business. An incredibly interesting book as Jim Koch shares stories from along his journey as he went from a startup to one of the largest businesses in the craft beer market. I couldn't put this book down. ...more
David Cancel
Jun 28, 2016 rated it really liked it
Turned into one of my favorite business biographies of the year.
Nate Solberg
Jan 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Terrific book. I’m a fan of business books anyway, and much of what I read here of Jim Koch’s experiences rang true for me. As I read, I counted a number of lessons that had me thinking, “Hey, I could use this with my team!” Aside from the pragmatic and practical, this book also did for me what I think a good business book should do: it made me wonder if what I’m doing is enough, or is there something more? I don’t know that answer, but I appreciated the inspiration to ask the question.

Jim Koch
Anandh Sundar
Mar 25, 2020 rated it really liked it
Some lessons from this
-Trappings of a big company(Support systems, offices) are often clutter and can be avoided. that said, in a SAAS era, this may no longer be true and run risks. Travel lighter analogy: Good to have/must hv
-MBA schools offer many courses on marketing but NONE on selling(this is seen as 'passe') but you are often your first salesman since distributors won't be that
-Markets don't exist what exists are flesh and blood customers
-real oppurtunity is understanding outliers as thats
Trung Trinh
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Ryan Hayes
Dec 05, 2016 rated it really liked it
Don't procrastinate by "playing company", go out and get the sales. ...more
Apr 17, 2019 rated it it was ok
Full disclosure, I'm not a fan of business books or memoirs. I read this book as part of the 2019 Read Harder Challenge. I needed to read a business book, and enjoy the fine alcoholic beverages made by Boston Brewing Company, so I figured I'd pick up Jim Koch's book. Aside from an enjoyment of craft beer, I found it very hard get engaged with this book. I did really enjoy learning the history of the Brewing Company. Yet I found most of the business advice to be quite pandering, and not very insp ...more
Aug 15, 2017 rated it really liked it
I listened to the audio book version, which was read by the author. Jim Koch takes the reader on a journey of missteps and successes throughout the 30-year history of the Boston Beer Company. He provides plenty of actionable insights, while also sharing anecdotes that demonstrate the challenges involved in getting a start-up off the ground. Koch learned a lot as he bootstrapped his company to become the brewery it is today. As part of the origin story, Koch recounted several times where he osten ...more
Schlow Library
Sep 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing
"Jim Koch's book 'Quench Your Own Thirst' is mostly a business book, but it's far more interesting than the typical book about how to run a better business! Koch draws upon his experience in founding Boston Beer Company, the maker of Samuel Adams beer, to craft a book that's also an engaging memoir of turning his passion for good beer into a multi-million dollar company. Each business lesson draws on a story from when he was starting or growing his business, and it's a fascinating journey to see ...more
Will Jo
Feb 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Very enjoyable reading with many short chapters. It is thoughtful for the author to tell the stories structured to the different part of brewing process, although this means not everything is in chronological order.

It is candid the way the author has to share the bad decisions he made along the way, and admittedly being able to luck out bruised, yet still surviving.

To hear how they corroborate with many other smaller companies and even share their expertise and the raw materials are virtually un
Sep 25, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
I picked this book up after touring the Boston Beer Company's boston brewery and enjoyed the book as much as the tour. I enjoyed this book as the story of Boston Beer Company and it's founder Jim Koch and the stories of the beer that they brew. Koch's business advice and insights gleened from his years with Outward Bound, Harvard Business School and BCG as well as Boston Beer Company also provided bits and pieces that you can apply to your own approach to business and life. The stories of Sam Ad ...more
Jul 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Founder of The Boston Beer Company, brewer of Samuel Adams Boston Lager, and a key catalyst of the American craft beer revolution, Jim Koch offers his unique perspective on business, beer, turning a passion into a successful endeavor. Captivating insights into the exciting ride from scrappy start-up to thriving public company. His innovative business model and refreshing stories are lessons applicable to business and life.
Look out for Koch's theory on how a piece of string can teach you the mos
Apr 26, 2019 rated it liked it
While this book had some great lessons in it for business, leadership, entrepreneurship and even friendship and communication, the author's style of writing was very off-putting for me. I didn't mind the language, but he seemed to rephrase the same things over and over and over. While I understand repetitiveness for emphasis of a main point, it turned into just repeating things in various ways to fill pages. I appreciated the short chapters, but found myself only reading one at a time for this r ...more
Mike Kennedy
Jun 05, 2020 rated it really liked it
Interesting book from the founder of Samuel Adams, Jim Koch. It is a combination history of Samuel Adams and business advice. It is a quick read (About 250 pages).

Mr. Koch has an interesting take on business. Despite graduating from Harvard Business School, after dropping out once, he is quite eccentric in his ideas. He takes a very hands on approach, for better or for worse.

Overall it is a very interesting story with some solid business advice. Worth the read if you are a fan of craft beer or
Oct 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
Surprisingly good book! I haven't heard of Jim Koch before, neither of Samuel Adams nor do I drink much beer (but I love it when I do!). Somebody recommended it to me and it was worth reading it. I really enjoyed hearing the story of Mr. Koch and all the knowledge and wisdom he provided with this little book. I'd love to work for him, to know him and of course to drink a beer with him, although that would probably never happen. Thank you for the book, M. Koch. Will try the beer as well! ...more
Dan Cunningham
Mar 03, 2022 rated it it was amazing
An easy read. Interesting stories about the leading craft beer brewer in the U.S, maybe the world. The author is fairly candid in discussing the highs and lows of his life and his career as an entrepreneur. Will drink craft beer mostly going forward, though a six pack will last me ten weeks usually. I did break down and buy a sampler box of summer Samuel Adams beers last summer for the first time and the quality and flavor of what I consumed corroborates his narrative.
Jun 18, 2022 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed this one. At first, I thought it would be just a typical business book about starting from nothing-but Koch admits that he didn't-he graduated from Harvard, worked at Boston Consulting Group, and was an Outward Bound instructor. He talks about the many lessons he learned, and gives good advise, such as the string theory, and the best way for a company to give back to the community. ...more
May 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
In 2017, it's hard to picture the founder of Samuel Adams beer as the plucky underdog battling against the macrobrew Goliaths. But in 1984, when craft beer didn't exist, the idea of challenging Bud, Miller and Coors was inconceivably daring. Jim offers some good, homespun business advice and some beer history tidbits along the way. ...more
Aug 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
This book was a fun read. My beer drinking goes back to when Sam Adams hit the West Coast, so some of the stories brought back some fun memories. The book has so solid business tips. If you are a beer drinker who enjoys a good story while sitting at the bar, I would recommend this book.
George Hamblen
Oct 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Loved every page of this book. It's both an auto biography and a guide to running a business. He tells the story of building a business from scratch. He details the wins and some hilarious missteps. He is truly a pioneer and paved the way for others. ...more
Mitch Romig
Oct 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
Jim Koch's contribution to craft beer has been overlooked and minimized in recent years and that is stupid. His writing is straight forward and entertaining and hipsters in lines for hazy IPA's need to realize that they wouldn't be there without Sam Adams Boston Lager. ...more
Nov 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
One of the best business books I've read. The author details his struggles and advice from start up to focus on maintaining a quality product. While the book is specifically about the beer industry the many of lesson are universal and can be applied to any new business venture.

Highly recommend.
Matthew Flannery
Jan 29, 2018 rated it liked it
Very fun, entertaining book. Disappointed it was more of an autobiography with a few key points, not a business book as advertised. Almost lost me at the end, when he tried to get a final word on some controversial moments and summarized some recent doings that were barely newsworthy.
Steve Anderson
Mar 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Entertaining and enlightening read. Chapters are short and each leaves you with a nugget of business and/or life lesson. A great little book that presents you with an opportunity to improve on your decisions you make. Cheers!
Stephanie Harvey
Jan 07, 2021 rated it really liked it
Endearing and likeable guy with a good story... I think if more people would know this story, Samuel Adams would be more respected as a "craft" beer. I never knew that the recipe was in his family for so long even before he started the company. ...more
Justin Lee
Jan 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I liked it

I thought it was a very good book. Its does not contain as much content as other books, but Jim's stories and easy writing style make it hard to put down.
Mike Furr
Jul 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Great insight on starting your own venture with a lot of craft beer trivia thrown in. So much about Sam Adams part in the craft revolution I didn't know! ...more
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JIM KOCH is the founder of The Boston Beer Company and brewer of Samuel Adams. He founded the company in 1984 using his great-great grandfather's recipe. Samuel Adams Boston Lager has led the American craft beer revolution for more than 30 years, bringing full-flavored beer to the American beer landscape. The Boston Beer Company has become the leading American craft brewery with annual sales of $9 ...more

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