As we head to the July 4 weekend, it’s time to remember all of the things that make this country great. Specifically, let’s salute those companies that are starting to allow their employees to drink beer at work.
The Wall Street Journal posted a feature about a growing movement of trendy companies offering some free beer alongside the offerings of coffee and donuts in order to get those creative juices flowing and build a more convivial workplace that entices prospective employees. Craft Brewing Business, for one, is in favor of this idea, if you haven’t noticed in our weekly Thinkin’ and Drinkin’ Friday feature. Of course, not all workplaces are CBB or craft breweries, which makes the idea a little controversial for some. To quote the article:
But employment lawyers worry that encouraging drinking in the workplace can lead to driving while intoxicated, assault, sexual harassment or rape.
Plus, it may make some employees uncomfortable while excluding others, such as those who don’t drink for health or religious reasons.
Obviously, the idea might not work for all work environments and situations, but the movement does seem to have some support, at least in the WSJ’s informal web poll, that had a majority of readers (47.8 percent) wholeheartedly support the idea.
Another vocal supporter of the “hey, let’s relax and have a beer at work” movement is KegWorks, a beer-centric retailer from Buffalo, N.Y. The company actually put out a press release to specifically promote the idea as the company has been enjoying work beers for 15 years.
David Rivers, the company’s president and “minister of culture,” said that he’s been offering this perk to his people since he started the company out of his apartment back in 1998. “Back then, there were only two of us, so we didn’t have a one beer limit. And we often started drinking quite a bit earlier.”
While the company now has close to 50 employees, and the beer benefit has changed a bit, it’s still in full swing. Employees are allowed one beer every day, anytime after 4 p.m. The beer flows from a kegerator permanently stationed in their break room, and the selection constantly changes.
“From PBR to Founders Breakfast Stout, we’ve had just about everything,” Rivers said. “We want to accommodate every taste in the building. If people don’t like what we’re offering that day, week or month, they’re free to bring in a six-pack and stick it in the fridge. When the clock strikes 4, they can grab one of their own beers instead.”
“It’s all about rules,” said KegWorks content writer Caleb Houseknecht. “There’s a one beer limit, and you can’t drink until 4 p.m. It’s more about the bonding than it is about the beer. No one’s getting drunk. It’s just really nice, at the end of a long day, to get together with a few coworkers and decompress over a pint. It’s also a nice ‘thank you’ from the company.”
KegWorks is a leading provider of home and professional draft beer equipment, bartending tools, wine and cocktail supplies and novelty drink accessories.
For more on KegWorks’ work beer thoughts, check out the company’s blog.