Sam Calagione, the founder of the Dogfish Head Craft Brewery and winner of a prestigious James Beard award in 2017 (for “Outstanding Wine, Spirits, or Beer Professional”), was an English major and M.A. student who connects his literary studies to the business world’s need to tell stories. This “rock star of the beer world” (Vanity Fair), who told the Philadelphia Inquirer that if he weren’t a brewer he would be an English teacher, said, “Look at any successful entrepreneur, and you realize that branding is storytelling.” Similarly, while telling The Atlantic that he also might have become a writer of fiction, he explained, “there is no greater example of a work of fiction than a business plan. As an entrepreneur you write it, then you spend your life trying to turn it into a work of non-fiction.” And, as he explained to Vanity Fair, having an English degree has helped him communicate with his customers: “I think it’s a lot easier to have conversations about beer as a liquid art” than about making beer as a “scientific process”: “If you can make the liquid as enticing as the story, that’s the formula for success.”
Here's to English, beers and careers!