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Publisher's Summary

Is this a book for beer aficionados or business enthusiasts? Both, and it's as refreshing as a cold brew.

In Beer School, authors and entrepreneurs Steve Hindy and Tom Potter share the improbable saga of Brooklyn Brewery, the company they grew from a home-brew hobby into a multimillion-dollar business - all in the most competitive beer market in the United States.

If you have a thirst for entrepreneurial success, drink up. If you are a business manager or owner and want fresh ideas and insight, tap in. You'll learn entrepreneurial basics, plus some things textbooks don't teach you, as you follow the company's successes (and a few failures) and find out about:

  • Creating that all-important first business plan
  • Getting financing and/or recruiting investors
  • Using guerilla marketing, publicity, and community involvement to attract attention
  • Keeping employees educated and motivated
  • Partnering on events and networking for opportunities
  • Keeping your cool when the Mafia comes calling
  • Hiring "virgins" - why veteran salespeople can have problems in start-ups
  • Managing people, finances, expectations, and growth
  • Surviving a vociferous attack in Las Vegas when the odds against you are 8-to-1

    From the beginning, the odds were against Steve and Tom. It's estimated that eight out of ten businesses fail in their first year. Yet these entrepreneurs succeeded in a competitive arena dominated by mega-corporations and mega-money. The brew they began making in a Brooklyn brownstone over 20 years ago is now sold around the world. Their story, recounting the fears and obstacles they faced and the decisions and successes they shared, will inspire you. Like discovering the perfect brew or starting a business, reading this book is a heady experience. Cheers!

  • ©2007 Steve Hindy and Tom Potter; (P)2009 Audible, Inc.

    Critic Reviews

    "Its counsel is sound and its prose lively, and it should appeal to both wannabe industrialists and beer drinkers, not that those categories are mutually exclusive....they offer a compelling model and a heartening story." (Publishers Weekly)

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    • Overall
    • Performance
    • Story

    Thinking of starting ANY business? Read this!

    What did you love best about Beer School?

    I went in to this thinking the book would be similar to Stone's Brew Co. book. but I found this book to be really enlightening about how startups come about and the roller coaster ride that takes place following that dream.

    What was one of the most memorable moments of Beer School?

    When the "mob" peeks in for a visit.

    What does Steve Hindy and Tom Potter bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Hearing their experience going through a hold up at Brooklyn Brewing's offices was really riveting. I really don't know how they were able to keep their composure talking about this episode in the company's history.

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    • Story
    • A. S.
    • Seattle, WA
    • 04-26-13

    Entrepreneurs' Success Story

    Any additional comments?

    Growing up with parents that own a small company, I found the Steve and Tom's book to be a strangely familiar story of their journey to create a successful business. They tell the story of their start up beer brewing company from start to finish. At the beginning of the book they tell you that you may want to start you own business after reading this book. I was much more unsure about starting a business after reading about their adventure of ups and downs. I recommend any person interested in the beer business or business in general to read.

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    • Luke
    • Oakland, OR, United States
    • 04-15-13

    Hire a narrator!

    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    I would not recomend this book to a friend. I could only handle the narration for 30 minutes. The cadance was off to the story and zero emotion. You're telling the story of your life put a little feeling into it.

    How could the performance have been better?

    Stick to brewing, which they do very well by the way, and hire a narrator.

    Do you think Beer School needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

    I was unable to listen to it all.

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    • Story
    • Andrew
    • ELYRIA, OH, United States
    • 06-09-12

    A book on business with a great story behind it

    Would you consider the audio edition of Beer School to be better than the print version?

    No, there wasn't to much inflection in the authors voice at times. I was hoping for something a little more at some parts.

    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Steve and his interaction with the Mob

    What three words best describe Steve Hindy and Tom Potter ’s voice?

    Calm, inspiring, trustworthy

    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes, it is a story of their brewery and it didn't jump around to much.

    Any additional comments?

    They talked about start to finish without many side stories. Everything seemed to be in a well thought out time line.

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    • Two-Shy
    • ROSEBURG, OR, United States
    • 05-05-12

    Considering starting a Brewery?

    This is a great very technically detailed synopsis of how the Brooklyn brewery was conceived and the challenges faced during that time in New York Craft Brewing History. I have a great deal of appreciation For Tom and Steve for narrating their own book.... Although at times I wished they had not. Overall I give the narration a C+. Although fascinating Due to My personal dreams of Building a Craft brewery.

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    • Kevin
    • Richmond BC, British Columbia, Canada
    • 09-25-11

    Great Story

    This book I would recommend for any home brewer who has dreamed of opening their own brewery. Great stories of their successes an failures at the Brooklyn brewery. It does NOT have any home brewing tips or discussion about brewing itself ,but rather about the business of a brewery start up.

    • Overall

    Good Nuts and Bolts

    This was a fun listen performed by the owners and operators of the Brooklyn Brewery.

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    • Matt
    • Bakersfield, CA, United States
    • 06-02-10


    I mostly enjoyed this book. It was especially interesting to hear about the earlier startup stuff. Steve, however, is a HORRIBLE reader, which is surprising considering his background as a reporter. His reading was very stiff and awkward and sometimes sounded like he didn't understand the words he was reading. He should have done more takes to get it right. Tom, on the other hand did a much better reading. They both seem like decent enough guys and the book is fairly interesting. Worth checking out.

    • Overall
    • Kaydin
    • Santa Cruz, CA, USA
    • 09-14-09

    Great Listen!!!

    I really enjoyed the story, Steve's voice was a little hard to get used to at the beginning but he grows on you. Tom is very collected and well spoken.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful