By McGrath, Luttrell, Luttrell, and McGrath
Rowman & Littlefield (2017)
Entitled Brew Your Business, I assumed this “ultimate craft beer playbook” would be a handy guide for those looking to write a business plan and dive into the brewing industry, but that part of the book didn’t begin until page 89 of 154.
Before you get there, you have to wade through not only an inaccurate first sentence of the prologue, but a heavy dose of rudimentary homebrewing instruction targeted at what I’d view as a wholly different audience. Once the reader reaches page 89, he or she finds only the most basic information on brewery start-up, to include a whopping four pages on crafting a business plan.
With all due respect, I didn’t find any use for this book. It was written in the style of college junior with strong footnoting skills. Sprinkled throughout are a series of “Talking from the Tap!” interview interludes asking questions that a college freshman might have left behind. This collegiate craftsmanship (no offense to my son, a college freshman) is perhaps no surprise, as two of the four writers are college professors. However, it is a surprise, and should be a surprise.
The publisher should never have accepted this pitch (even if they’re itching to cash in on the craft beer craze with a book during the holiday gift-giving season), and the writers should have instead started a blog to document their craft beer learning curve (no offense to beer bloggers out there, myself included). These folks may be enthusiastic about the craft beer world, but they’re not ready to write a book about it, no matter how well they cited their sources.
If you’re thinking of starting a brewery, this is not the book for you, and if you’re thinking of taking up homebrewing, this book is also not for you.
FTC disclaimer: I received a copy of this book for free from the publisher.