Dogfish’s head talks about his many hats [audio]

 Sam Calagione raises a glass during a book event at Tria Taproom in Rittenhouse Square (Emma Lee/WHYY)

Sam Calagione raises a glass during a book event at Tria Taproom in Rittenhouse Square (Emma Lee/WHYY)

Did you miss Sam Calagione, the owner of Dogfish Head in Philly at Fergies on Tuesday?

Well, worry not! The Delaware brewer, businessman, and author sat down with WHYY/NewsWorks for a brief interview to talk about the world of Dogfish, particularly, his new book, “Off-centered Leadership: The Dogfish Head Guide to Motivation, Collaboration & Smart Growth.”

During a press event Tuesday afternoon at Tria Tap Room in Rittenhouse, Calagione remarked on the experience of growing Dogfish Head from a small, hobbyist operation to a mid-sized company with more than 260 “co-workers”, as he calls them — never employees.

Calagione spoke poignantly about business ownership and growth, acknowledging the difficulty of letting go as his firm grew.

“It’s never a comfortable process,” he said. “I imagine it’s like when your kid goes off to college. You know it’s the right thing but it creates a different dynamic in the household.

“And within our company it wasn’t easy, but what made it easy was we were able to attract many leaders to our company who had skills very different to Mariah and myself’s.”

He said that meant that as the company grew “we could keep the hats that fit us well…and we could get rid of the hats that didn’t fit us well.”

Listen to the interview here!

In addition to the brewery and tasting room, Calagione and his wife Mariah have expanded their once Mom-and-Pop organization to include Chesapeake & Maine, a “geographically enamored” seafood restaurant; The Dogfish Inn, a beer themed hotel; Dogfish Head Brewings & Eats in Rehoboth Beach; and a trio of alehouses in Virginia and Maryland.

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