Check Out These 5 Employee Owned Craft Breweries -- New Times

Labor Day. The holiday we tip our hats to the many people before us who fought for our right to a shorter 40-hour workweek, the establishment of the weekend, and for basic safe working conditions for every worker in this great nation. As the Department of Labor puts it, the day “is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers.”

Whether you toil in an office, on a farm, or in a factory or warehouse, we hope you enjoyed your Monday off. Except for those emergency-room nurses and retail employees who kept their fellow Americans alive and shopping (hopefully, at time-and-a-half rate).

But as long as we’re celebrating the American worker, let’s take a look at some American craft breweries (this is a food blog, after all) that have gone down the unique path of employee ownership: the organizational structure that allows every employee in a company the opportunity to directly own portions of it and reap the benefits of their own labor in a unique way that simple wages do not allow.

Harpoon Brewery – Boston, Massachusetts 

August 1, 2014, is the date on which Boston’s Harpoon Brewery transitioned into an employee-owned company. The brewery, famous for its IPA and UFO White, made headlines when it changed over after 28 years.

“Last night, we all gathered in the Beer Hall at our Boston brewery to toast each other as the new owners of the Harpoon Brewery,” Dan Kenary, cofounder and CEO of Harpoon told his employees. “It was a fantastic moment… This reflects the outstanding people we have here at Harpoon and our commitment to each other and our beer. It also reflects the enormous support you have given us. Thank you!”

Forty-eight percent of Harpoon’s shares went to form the employee stock ownership plan, or ESOP.

To read the article by Doug Fairall in its entitreity, we encourage you to visit the New Times website.