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General Category => Going Pro => Topic started by: jeeyeop on December 30, 2015, 06:00:23 AM

Title: Best books on commercial brewing?
Post by: jeeyeop on December 30, 2015, 06:00:23 AM
Hey guys, I'm pretty new to brewing as it is, so it's just a far off fantasy for me at the moment to one day open a brewery.

However, I was wondering if anyone could recommend a good book on the basics of starting/operating a commercial brewery or brewpub. Right now I'm mainly reading basic beer books + items listed under the cicerone program. Thanks!
Title: Re: Best books on commercial brewing?
Post by: majorvices on December 30, 2015, 10:07:15 AM
The MBAA series is pretty good. IIRC its 125 bucks for the three books so you better be serious. FWIW I brewed for 15 years before opening my brewery. Not something to be taken lightly. If you don't have really, really good beer and know what you are doing you probably won't be around long.
Title: Re: Best books on commercial brewing?
Post by: klickitat jim on December 30, 2015, 01:02:19 PM
It seems, to me at least, that if one enjoys brewing they should look to a brewing job. Owning a brewery is probably more for the guy/gal who loves sales and dealing with bills, taxes, and government regulations.
Title: Re: Best books on commercial brewing?
Post by: majorvices on December 30, 2015, 01:47:36 PM
It seems, to me at least, that if one enjoys brewing they should look to a brewing job. Owning a brewery is probably more for the guy/gal who loves sales and dealing with bills, taxes, and government regulations.

while I do own a fifth of my brewery I do have partners who take care of that stuff for me. I brew and manage production.
Title: Re: Best books on commercial brewing?
Post by: klickitat jim on December 30, 2015, 02:17:45 PM
It seems, to me at least, that if one enjoys brewing they should look to a brewing job. Owning a brewery is probably more for the guy/gal who loves sales and dealing with bills, taxes, and government regulations.

while I do own a fifth of my brewery I do have partners who take care of that stuff for me. I brew and manage production.
That I could see as a best situation. I would want next to nothing to do with the customer side, or the office. 10min a week in a decision making meeting, then let me go get wet n sweaty.
Title: Re: Best books on commercial brewing?
Post by: hopfenundmalz on December 30, 2015, 02:23:39 PM
It seems, to me at least, that if one enjoys brewing they should look to a brewing job. Owning a brewery is probably more for the guy/gal who loves sales and dealing with bills, taxes, and government regulations.
The later list is why a guy I know says "opening a brewery is the reason I no longer brew beer". He has hired a Brewer and concentrates on the business side.
Title: Re: Best books on commercial brewing?
Post by: denny on December 30, 2015, 04:46:14 PM
It seems, to me at least, that if one enjoys brewing they should look to a brewing job. Owning a brewery is probably more for the guy/gal who loves sales and dealing with bills, taxes, and government regulations.

IMO, if one enjoys brewing they should remain a homebrewer.
Title: Re: Best books on commercial brewing?
Post by: reverseapachemaster on December 30, 2015, 05:19:31 PM
If you're relatively new to brewing then you should focus on brewing first and maybe get a job at a brewery and see how much you love the amount of time spent cleaning to turn it into a career. Then work some more on perfecting beers that give you a marketable product.
Title: Re: Best books on commercial brewing?
Post by: Pinski on December 30, 2015, 05:27:58 PM
To your question,
The Brewer's Association Guide to Starting Your Own Brewery
By Dick Cantwell
A great, thorough, very well written overview introduction to those seriously considering opening a brewery.

Brewery Operation Manual
By Tom Hennessy
While I haven't finished, its a good overview. Not as well written as the BA book and seems to take more of a "cheap and easy" approach to going pro, which may be perfect for some.
Title: Re: Best books on commercial brewing?
Post by: jeeyeop on December 30, 2015, 08:39:21 PM
appreciate all the advice guys!

Yep, I'm still only a few months into brewing so I know this would be a whiles away before becoming a reality. I just wanted to get some insight into the industry while I have time to read.

I actually quit my job earlier this year on the East coast and moved to Cali cause I hated consulting and wanted to do something with beer. I have been looking for that first job in the industry, but man, it's tough to find any assistant brewing position right now.

I was already thinking about the MBAA set so I think I'll definitely purchase it now.

I've heard some negative things about the BA guide to starting your own brewery, can anyone else confirm whether or not this is a good idea? The brewery operation manual looks pretty solid though from reviews although your comments make me feel otherwise now :[

Thanks again guys!

btw off-topic, how did you guys find your first commercial brewing jobs?
Title: Re: Best books on commercial brewing?
Post by: hopfenundmalz on December 30, 2015, 09:45:08 PM
appreciate all the advice guys!

Yep, I'm still only a few months into brewing so I know this would be a whiles away before becoming a reality. I just wanted to get some insight into the industry while I have time to read.

I actually quit my job earlier this year on the East coast and moved to Cali cause I hated consulting and wanted to do something with beer. I have been looking for that first job in the industry, but man, it's tough to find any assistant brewing position right now.

I was already thinking about the MBAA set so I think I'll definitely purchase it now.

I've heard some negative things about the BA guide to starting your own brewery, can anyone else confirm whether or not this is a good idea? The brewery operation manual looks pretty solid though from reviews although your comments make me feel otherwise now :[

Thanks again guys!

btw off-topic, how did you guys find your first commercial brewing jobs?

Look at the current Zymurgy, there is an article by Tom Hennessy covering starting a brewery for minimum cash. Form your own options after reading that.
Title: Re: Best books on commercial brewing?
Post by: Pinski on December 30, 2015, 09:46:57 PM
appreciate all the advice guys!

Yep, I'm still only a few months into brewing so I know this would be a whiles away before becoming a reality. I just wanted to get some insight into the industry while I have time to read.

I actually quit my job earlier this year on the East coast and moved to Cali cause I hated consulting and wanted to do something with beer. I have been looking for that first job in the industry, but man, it's tough to find any assistant brewing position right now.

I was already thinking about the MBAA set so I think I'll definitely purchase it now.

I've heard some negative things about the BA guide to starting your own brewery, can anyone else confirm whether or not this is a good idea? The brewery operation manual looks pretty solid though from reviews although your comments make me feel otherwise now :[

Thanks again guys!

btw off-topic, how did you guys find your first commercial brewing jobs?

Keep in mind, neither of the books I mentioned are intended to be comprehensive (I hope), but rather provide a very good general overview of the things you will need to think about and address if you're considering going down the road of professional brewing, like you. Neither are expensive nor long reads, pick them up and  take away what you will.
Title: Re: Best books on commercial brewing?
Post by: Pinski on December 30, 2015, 09:58:51 PM
I've heard some negative things about the BA guide to starting your own brewery,

Could you please provide some specifics, or point me toward the reviews your read?
Title: Re: Best books on commercial brewing?
Post by: jeeyeop on December 30, 2015, 10:13:31 PM
http://www.amazon.com/Brewers-Associations-Guide-Starting-Brewery/dp/1938469054

it could just be because it's not a fully comprehensive book, but it does seem like an interesting read nonetheless. I'm looking at the Zymurgy article now and it's pretty interesting as well.
Title: Re: Best books on commercial brewing?
Post by: Stevie on December 30, 2015, 10:14:52 PM
4-stars on 38 reviews is respectable IMO.
Title: Re: Best books on commercial brewing?
Post by: a10t2 on December 31, 2015, 03:26:34 AM
I would add Tony Magee's new book to the list. I got it for Xmas and have just about finished it.

http://amzn.com/1556525621

For a brewpub, check out The Restaurant Manager's Handbook. It's essentially the bible for that industry - which is much, much more complicated than a brewery.

http://amzn.com/0910627975
Title: Re: Best books on commercial brewing?
Post by: majorvices on January 01, 2016, 04:26:11 PM
btw off-topic, how did you guys find your first commercial brewing jobs?

Most of us are all homebrewers here. But for me it involved sinking a bunch of money into a business.

I hire people who seem like diligent and earnest individuals and who will work for for $9 per hour. If it works out I try to get them a raise whenever possible. 2 of my best hires started out as volunteers. That said I don't take on volunteers any longer because of insurance issues.
Title: Re: Best books on commercial brewing?
Post by: S. cerevisiae on January 02, 2016, 01:10:47 AM
IMO, if one enjoys brewing they should remain a homebrewer.

+10,000
Title: Re: Best books on commercial brewing?
Post by: bluesman on January 02, 2016, 04:09:40 AM
There are many books available some of which were mentioned, but my advice is to meet with and talk to as many professional brewers/owners as you can to get a first hand feel for the business. Commercial brewing is a tough business to crack and takes a lot of knowledge, some experience and the relentless pursuit to succeed. Certainly research the business as much as possible. All the best to you!
Title: Re: Best books on commercial brewing?
Post by: jeffy on January 02, 2016, 01:05:07 PM
There are many books available some of which were mentioned, but my advice is to meet with and talk to as many professional brewers/owners as you can to get a first hand feel for the business. Commercial brewing is a tough business to crack and takes a lot of knowledge, some experience and the relentless pursuit to succeed. Certainly research the business as much as possible. All the best to you!

By the way, welcome back.  How is the new brewery going?
Title: Re: Best books on commercial brewing?
Post by: bluesman on January 03, 2016, 05:29:37 AM
Thanks Jeff! The brewery is doing well. We are moving and grooving. We've signed an agreement with the largest distributor in the state and have about a half dozen draft brands shipping. We also just released our first brand in bottles. I find it amazing that I have time to post on this awesome forum, but I'll never forget where I came from. Cheers!
Title: Re: Best books on commercial brewing?
Post by: majorvices on January 09, 2016, 09:30:40 PM
It seems, to me at least, that if one enjoys brewing they should look to a brewing job. Owning a brewery is probably more for the guy/gal who loves sales and dealing with bills, taxes, and government regulations.

IMO, if one enjoys brewing they should remain a homebrewer.

I appreciate and respect your opinion but you are misguided. I brew 5 or 6 days a week and can't get enough of it. What a great and fun career.
Title: Best books on commercial brewing?
Post by: Stevie on January 09, 2016, 11:01:29 PM
Major - I think the best thing you got going for you is the fact that you have a team around you that allows you to continue doing your thing. From what you have said in the past, sounds like you did it right.
Title: Re: Best books on commercial brewing?
Post by: HoosierBrew on January 09, 2016, 11:02:46 PM
Major - I think the best thing you go going for you is the fact that you have a team around you that allows you to continue doing your thing. From what you have said in the past, sounds like you did it right.


+1.   Freeing yourself to brew and create has to make a huge difference. I know it would for me.
Title: Re: Best books on commercial brewing?
Post by: a10t2 on January 10, 2016, 04:11:06 AM
I appreciate and respect your opinion but you are misguided. I brew 5 or 6 days a week and can't get enough of it. What a great and fun career.

I also fall into this camp, and after puzzling over this for a few minutes I realized that it's because I like brewing, as opposed to making beer. Making beer, especially as a home brewer, is pretty simple. Water, malt, time, temperature. It's cooking. Brewing, on the other hand, is all about solving problems as they arise. It's engineering, as opposed to cooking, and I enjoy engineering as only the truly perverse can.
Title: Re: Best books on commercial brewing?
Post by: mattmartin3053 on March 02, 2016, 07:37:49 PM
http://www.amazon.com/Brewers-Associations-Guide-Starting-Brewery/dp/1938469054

it could just be because it's not a fully comprehensive book, but it does seem like an interesting read nonetheless. I'm looking at the Zymurgy article now and it's pretty interesting as well.

Thank you for the recommendation.  I enjoy brewing, but I just finished my MBA, and would love to run a brewery one day.  While that is far far away since I do not have the capital to start one, but I am doing a lot of research to hopefully make this happen someday.  While I understand that I might not be able to concentrate on the brewing as much, but I also really enjoy crunching numbers and the business side as well.  Maybe it could be the best of both worlds!
Title: Re: Best books on commercial brewing?
Post by: Stevie on March 02, 2016, 09:00:54 PM
I know there are industry specific attorneys out there. Maybe beer centric accountants are a thing.
Title: Re: Best books on commercial brewing?
Post by: Pinski on March 02, 2016, 09:07:14 PM
I know there are industry specific attorneys out there. Maybe beer centric accountants are a thing.

They are in Portland.
Title: Re: Best books on commercial brewing?
Post by: mattmartin3053 on March 02, 2016, 09:08:20 PM
That would be sweet. I'll look and see if there are any in the Bay Area!


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Title: Re: Best books on commercial brewing?
Post by: denny on March 02, 2016, 09:09:29 PM
Maybe buy a book on winning the lottery, too!  ;)
Title: Re: Best books on commercial brewing?
Post by: boulderbrewer on March 03, 2016, 03:52:05 PM
Maybe buy a book on winning the lottery, too!  ;)

Or buy Denny's and Drew's Experimental Brewing book and their new one Homebrew All-Stars. Better than winning the lottery!  8)
Title: Re: Best books on commercial brewing?
Post by: denny on March 03, 2016, 03:54:57 PM
Maybe buy a book on winning the lottery, too!  ;)

Or buy Denny's and Drew's Experimental Brewing book and their new one Homebrew All-Stars. Better than winning the lottery!  8)

check's in the mail, Marc!  ;)
Title: Re: Best books on commercial brewing?
Post by: Thirsty_Monk on March 19, 2016, 11:30:49 PM

Maybe buy a book on winning the lottery, too!  ;)

Or buy Denny's and Drew's Experimental Brewing book and their new one Homebrew All-Stars. Better than winning the lottery!  8)

check's in the mail, Marc!  ;)

This low balling is making me sick. I could have a check too?
Title: Re: Best books on commercial brewing?
Post by: majorvices on March 20, 2016, 11:10:23 AM

Maybe buy a book on winning the lottery, too!  ;)

Or buy Denny's and Drew's Experimental Brewing book and their new one Homebrew All-Stars. Better than winning the lottery!  8)

check's in the mail, Marc!  ;)

This low balling is making me sick. I could have a check too?

+1 ;)