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Dogfish Head forges its own corporate path in "Off-Centered Leadership"

Courtesy of Dogfish Head


Dogfish Head Brewery has long been known as a pioneer among craft brewers, pumping out innovative drinks for more than 20 years.


But the company has since grown out of its original Rehoboth brewpub location, expanded its Milton headquarters and built an employee base of more than 200 people.


And that’s what led Sam Calagione, founder, president and go-to recipe guru of Dogfish Head to hesitantly embrace some traditional corporate planning ideas while still using the company’s off-centered touch to focus on collaboration and give his co-workers a voice.


It's chronicled in Calagione's newest book "Off-Centered Leadership". In it, he delves into his anxiety around shifting his business model from a mostly spontaneous environment to building solid guideposts to follow for the next few years.


Collaboration – with your own workers or with other businesses – is essential to gain perspective, he says.


“It’s so easy to get mired down into your own journey at a company and you’ve got budgets and you’ve got monthly goals and you get into sort of a treadmill approach and it’s just great to shock your company’s system to step outside of your comfort zone and engage with another company.”

He credits projects with other brewers, scientists and record labels, among others, as ways he’s been able to grow his brand while also making him more open to internal suggestions from co-workers.
Calagione also revealed that he would be loosening his control on many aspects of the business and letting the rest of his team contribute more significantly to Dogfish Head.

“Certainly, I still love innovation, coming up with new recipes – new products, new projects, new events – is what I love to do and other people who are better people managers or managers of our community or managers of our philanthropic efforts, they get to focus and go deep at what they’re good at," he said.

"Off-Centered Leadership" is available now.

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