Tuesday night, a book, and the corner pub: one of life’s quiet and simple pleasures. You could do worse than Zadie Smith’s Swing Time, Colson Whitehead’s hot new The Underground Railroad, or Sherrie Flick’s Whiskey, Etc., but why not take the time to get deeper into the minds of your favorite brewers? Below is a list of our five favorite books written by brewers, all of whom have become household names in the craft beer world. The authors offer business advice and recipes, but more importantly they provide insights into their own lives and personalities. Slide into the corner booth, grab your favorite beer, and get your learn on.
The Brewmaster’s Table
By: Garrett Oliver, Brewmaster at Brooklyn Brewery
In addition to brewing at Brooklyn Brewery, Garrett Oliver is one of the world’s best known beer experts (he also wrote The Oxford Companion to Beer, a 920-page encyclopedia filled with just about everything there is to know about beer). In The Brewmaster’s Table, Oliver documents the history of the many different styles of beer but also brings these beers to the table, using sensory analysis and taste exploration to help the reader understand the art of pairing craft beer with an appropriate meal.
Brewing up a Business
By: Sam Calagione, Founder of Dogfish Head Brewery
Thinking about starting a business? Do you love craft beer? Are you slightly off-centered? Then this book might be for you. Calagione takes the reader through the entrepreneurial evolution of Dogfish Head, while sharing the most successful parts of his business model. He talks marketing, social media, and of course, beer. A must read for all current and future brewery founders—or any craft-loving business owner, in general.
Quench Your Own Thirst
By: Jim Koch, Founder of Sam Adams Brewing and Boston Beer Company
Business books about beer are generally more interesting than plain old business books, and this one is no exception. In Quench Your Own Thirst: Business Lessons Learned Over a Beer or Two, Sam Adams founder Jim Koch (aka the father of the modern craft beer movement) playfully reveals the secrets to his successful career in beer. Koch’s quirkiness and passion for beer emphatically demonstrate that so much of his success can be attributed to the passion with which he runs his business.
The Craft of Stone Brewing Company
By: Greg Koch and Steve Wagner, Founders of Stone Brewing
Thanks to the business savvy of co-founders Greg Koch (no relation to Jim of Sam Adams) and Steve Wagner, Stone Brewery is one of the most rapidly growing and successful craft breweries in the US. But that’s not really what this book is about. It does feature some “liquid lore” that recounts the history of the brewery, but leans further towards cookbook than business manual. Featuring homebrew and pub fare recipes, it’s told with the flare and arrogance on which Stone’s foundation was built.
Beyond the Pale
By: Ken Grossman, Founder of Sierra Nevada
Ken Grossman, yet another legend and OG of the craft beer world, explains how California’s largest craft brewery came to be. Grossman casts a wide net, covering such diverse topics as homebrewing, business, and sustainability. Perhaps most importantly, the book shows how success in craft evolves from passion and the desire to make the best beer possible.