Books on Breweries

I have been doing a tremendous amount of reading lately.  To put things in perspective, I don’t really like reading.  But I have enjoyed all the books I have been consuming.  Maybe it is because I actually have a passion for the stuff I am reading.  There is a lot to this “I’m opening a brewpub” thing.  There are things you knew you didn’t know, things you didn’t know you were supposed to know, and things you thought you knew until you learned you were [mostly] wrong.  As I read these books, I have been going through a roller-coaster of emotions between excitement over the new stuff I am learning and terror over how on Earth I am going to accomplish this.

Since opening a brewpub is about a lot more than just brewing beer, I have had to read a wide range of books that I never thought would cross my path.  Here is a quick list of some of the books I have read or am in the process of reading since I decided to do this crazy thing.

Starting Your Own Brewery

The Brewers Association’s Guide to Starting Your Own Brewery

The Brewers Association’s Guide to Starting Your Own Brewery by Dick Cantwell was the first book I read once I decided to jump into the deep end.  It is a good primer on all the stuff it takes to start a brewery (hence the name).  I have found as I am going through this process that it sticks pretty close to the shallow end, but it was great for giving me a start without overwhelming me.  It is not the end all, be all of opening a brewery but it can’t be with the differences between each and every brewery.  The great take away I got from it was that it gave me an introduction into all the things that I needed to learn about and I could delve into those topics without being ignorant of what I was seeking.

Restaurant Success By The Numbers

Restaurant Success By The Numbers

When I started to take the viewpoint that what I was opening was actually a restaurant making its own beer, I decided I needed more education in opening a restaurant.  Restaurant Success By The Numbers by Roger Fields was a great book that debunked some of the myths about restaurant failure rates and presented the opening and running of a restaurant in terms of financial interests and number crunching.  I like numbers so this book really spoke to me.  It touched on many of the same small business items the brewery book did but in a way that was a little more satisfying.  It also touched on the front of the house and back of the house items that I only had a vague understanding of.

I also made a quick read of A Brewer’s Guide to Opening a Nano Brewery: Your $10,000 Brewery Consultant for $15 by Dan Woodske to get the small nano-brewery bootstrap point of view.

Now, I have come to the mindset that what I am really doing is starting a small business that happens to be a restaurant and brewery.  Consequently, I have been reading a lot of small business related items.  I have been reading Business for Beginners: From Research and Business Plans to Money, Marketing and the Law (Quick Start Your Business) by Frances McGuckin.  I’m almost finished with that.  I have been reading a bunch of articles on SBA.gov and SCORE.org.  I still want to read more.  I am half done reading Commercial Leases: Negotiate the Best Terms by Janet Portman and Fred Steingold

I have still managed to read a few more books on beer and brewing.  I now have the entire Brewing Elements Series (Malt, Water, Hops, and Yeast).  I have finished the Malt book.  I also recently got Brewing Classic Styles: 80 Winning Recipes Anyone Can Brew by Jamil Zainasheff and was gifted Craft Brew: 50 Homebrew Recipes from the World’s Best Craft Breweries by Euan Ferguson book.  I was also gifted The Beer Geek Handbook: Living a Life Ruled by Beer by Patrick Dawson and Greg Kletsel, which was a fun little read.  [Did I just use the words fun and read in the same sentence?  Something must be wrong with me.]  The next book I plan on purchasing is Quality Management: An Essential Guide for Brewers by Mary Pellettieri.  All of this has me behind in my normal BYO, The New Brewer, and Zymurgy reading.

Meanwhile, Chef Sallie has been doing quite a bit of reading herself.  She has been preparing Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) documentation and getting her Food Manager Certification.  There is a ton of reading that goes along with all that stuff, so I want to make sure I acknowledge her suffering as well

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