Book Review: A Brewer’s Guide to Opening a Nano Brewery

December 9, 2012 at 8:48 pm

I recently purchased “A Brewer’s Guide to Opening a Nano Brewery” written by Dan Woodske, owner and operator of Beaver County Brewing Company, a nano brewery outside of Pittsburgh. Throughout the book the author chronicles his experiences on his way to opening a nano brewery. He covers topics ranging from licensing and distribution, time and space considerations, equipment, all the way through to marketing and promotion. He also provides his thoughts and sometimes his approach to handling nano related topics such as taxes and accounting for example.

Throughout the book he also is constantly asking you questions and giving you things to think about that may have never crossed your mind while you were dreaming of opening your very own nano brewery. Unfortunately for me, this coupled with a smattering of other informational tidbits relating to the nano brewery start up process, were the only real valuable take aways from this book. The fact that the book is littered with typo’s and in my opinion overly optimistic and often times simplistic assumptions about starting a business lead me to question the author’s credibility to some degree.

In his defense, Mr. Woodske often makes light of his writing style and some of the alternative ideas in the book by saying that they are not for everyone and that there is not a one size fits all approach to starting a nano. With that being said to charge $15 dollars for this book, when there are many more informative and well written brewing related books available for less, albeit not nano related, left me somewhat disappointed with my decision to purchase this publication.

I do not mean to come down so hard on the author and sound like a hater, in fact from all accounts it sounds like Mr. Woodske is running a successful nano brewery that is in the midst of expanding which is great for him, however with some cursory research on the internet I believe many of the information he provides in his book could be found for free, and in fact might be more up to date and realistic. In summary I feel the book has some value in that it got me thinking about the bigger picture of starting a nano brewery, however this wasn’t enough for me to justify spending $15 dollars for a book that I read in two hours and left me wondering if anything I just read was really a viable option in starting a successful nano brewery.