So You Want to Start a Brewery?: The Lagunitas Story
Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub
In 1993, Tony Magee, who had foundered at every job he'd ever had, decided to become the founder of a brewery. So You Want to Start a Brewery? is the thrilling first-person account of his gut-wrenching challenges and heart-warming successes. Based in Petaluma, California, the Lagunitas Brewing Company makes simple and flavorful craft beer that defies categorization. The same could be said for this book. Equal part memoir, narrative, and business story, with liberal dashes of pop culture and local color, this illuminating yet hilarious account of a one-of-a-kind made-in-America journey just happens to culminate with the success of one of the nation's most popular craft beer brands. In twenty years, Lagunitas has grown from a seat-of-the-pants one-man operation to be the fifth largest-and the fastest-growing-craft brewer in the United States. So You Want to Start a Brewery? is a look behind the curtain rather than a simple business story. It's unglamorous and full of hilarious digressions, but it's never afraid to mess with the nuts and bolts. Devoted to details but never boring, this is a must-read for all who have considered starting their own business-or have sweated blood working to get one on its feet. Told in the vibrant voice of the man closest to the process-and with the most to lose-this illuminating volume should quench the thirst of anyone who has ever tried a Lagunitas beer. Tony Magee is the founder and CEO of the Lagunitas Brewing Company. He lives in Marin County, California.
front of the brewery, the playground behind us, and then it called the county. It was the end of innocence for the brewery, and leave we did, quickly landing a lease in nearby Petaluma. I’d sunk a large fistful of piastres into getting that first little plant running, and losing that investment was a drag, but the new situation was so much better. The move and the new space were both expensive, and so (by now you know what’s coming) we would have to sell more beer. But the bigger problem was
bittersweet. Scenes that I would not repeat even in the darkest confessional to the most ribald Salvadorian priest. Scenarios and exchanges that are burned into my mind like gang brand tattoos and animal-cracker Velcro vest fasteners. I have heard sounds that make kittens purr and women give milk, and inhaled smells that inspire riches beyond the dreams of avarice. But I was not prepared for the visions that accompanied the fall from grace that led to the commencement of brewing on that dimly lit
Town twenty-two-ounce bottle labels were conventionally printed on nice shiny paper: Simpson C1S (coated on one side). This might as well have been the official paper of craft brewing, and everyone used it. All our later releases and seasonal products were all xeroxed at Kinko’s on plain uncoated paper. This was because I never knew how much we were going to make of any one brew, and even though I had spent the previous eleven years of my life handling hundreds of printing orders for millions
The septic contractor had to dig a trench to divert the rainwater from up the hill so that it wouldn’t flow through the leach field. That trench got to about ten feet deep as the pipe fell underground through the parking lot. The contractor then hit an enormous underground granite rock in the middle of the driveway. I mean, enormous. The rock was like the subterranean peak of Half Dome. The installation contract had a “rock clause” that then increased their hourly work rate threefold, and the
on my guitar. It happened to be in open G tuning—a.k.a. slack-key tuning, or Hawaiian tuning. The guy walked in, and he was a big soft-spoken Samoan guy. He told me that he grew up in Hawaii and had learned to play traditional hulas from a very old man who lived way up the mountain. So I handed him the guitar and, unbelievably, he was a master of Hawaiian slack-key. He played so easily; it was really beautiful. Well, we became instant friends, and I was an admirer, because that sound is very