CBB: Tell me about the social side of sustainability. What are you doing for your employees and the community?
Utz: For our employees, we have a tradition called Wednesday Lunches where, at least once a week, everyone that works for John (the founder) gets a good meal for free. John has partnered with a local individual that makes it for us every Wednesday, which gives us all a chance to connect over food. You get to have a beer after work. We also do different anniversary honors. When you’ve been here for a year, you get a Boulevard jacket; 5 years, beautiful hand-made beer glasses; and after 10 years, you get a trip to any beer producing country in the world.
When we became part of the Duvel Moortgat, John negotiated to keep these elements.
In the community, we host a lot of people for tours, and sustainability is a part of that discussion. I’m in front of groups all the time explaining what we are doing and sharing our story. We just got an environmental leadership award for community outreach on how to do better.
We host events here – there is something going on every night of the week – and those events also have to comply with our 100% avoided landfill policy – caterers have to bring in things that are recyclable or compostable.
CBB: How has the Duvel Moortgat ownership affected the company?
Utz: It brings a new set of resources — the merged sales resources, for example. They’ve been brewing beer for over 140 years, so there’s a lot of knowledge they have shared with us, but they have not changed our management or our market choices at all. The interaction with them has been “What are you doing, how can we help you?” They continue to invest in expanding the brewery in K.C.’
Thanks to Sara H. Harper, Director of Sustainability Solutions at K•Coe Isom for contributing this feature.