Book Review: Beer School

January 28, 2011

After I got done reading Brewing Up a Business, I started reading Beer School, which was also published in 2005. Beer School is about “Bottling Success at the Brooklyn Brewery” and was written by founders Steven Hindy and Tom Potter, who take turns writing a chapter and having a little section at the end of each chapter to comment on the other person’s topic. A good portion of the book can be viewed on Google Books for free.

Hindy was a former journalist before he convinced Potter, an English major and banker, to help him establish Brooklyn Brewery in the 1980s. This book is more autobiographical than Brewing Up a Business. It talks about how they got into brewing, forming the partnership, making a business plan and money-raising, the mission statement, motivating employees, creating and expanding the distribution system, building the brewery, doing public relations work, hiring and firing employees, and one partner selling his shares. The last chapter is about entrepreneurship.

Beer School isn’t exactly in chronological order, though it tries to be by when issues came up in their business. It doesn’t try to talk to you about how you might use their lessons in your business. They just tell you what happened to them and what they learned from it. Beer School is more in depth about business practices, and talks about creating a business plan, different sources for finding investors, legal issues for starting and running a business, and much more. While Brewing Up a Business had me thinking about how I might run my cidery, Beer School has me thinking about how to start it. I actually started writing a business plan after reading this book.


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