17. Alaskan Brewing Company

Juneau, AK

From the Company

Outside editors excerpted this information from the Employer Questionnaire submitted to the Best Companies Group.

Alaskan Brewing Co. has been bottling the unique character of the "Last Frontier" with historic recipes, local ingredients, and glacier-fed water in Juneau, Alaska, since 1986. Our lineup has expanded to eight year-round and seasonal beers available in ten western states.

We work hard and play hard. We have regular events and activities with our crew, whether it's our annual Brew Crew Cook-Off, holiday decorating contests, crew Happy Hours, the Spring Fling, or cleaning up local beaches and watersheds with our nonprofit, Coastal Code. Everyone from the CEO down has their week of break room cleaning duty, and it's not unusual to see employees working outside their normal departments.

We try to accommodate the needs of our employees wherever possible, allowing earlier start times, or Tuesday through Saturday schedules.

During the summer we offer a lunchtime walking group, outdoor recreation program (hiking, kayaking, and biking) and sponsor Bike To Work Day. We facilitate the yearly purchase of a shared season pass at our local ski area, Eaglecrest. We usually have at least one brewery camping trip each year. We also sponsored a six-week fitness challenge this year, which involved working out at a local gym. The winner received additional paid time off added to their leave bank.

Our staff is paid to assist with non-profit fundraisers in all our markets. We pay employees to participate in beach cleanups and fundraisers as part of the Coastal Code nonprofit founded by Alaskan Brewing and funded by one percent of proceeds from Alaskan IPA. Each year, the Alaskan Brew Crew donates more than $100,000 in time, product, and monetary donations to hundreds of nonprofit groups. All of the tips collected at the brewery's tasting bar each year (more than $10,000) are donated to a crew-selected local nonprofit.

Our corrugated and chipboard case packaging materials use varying percentages of post-consumer materials. We were also the first craft-brewery in the U.S. to capture the carbon dioxide from fermentation to be reused in packaging. This prevents the release of nearly 800,000 pounds of CO2 to the environment each year, and eliminates the need to purchase fossil-fuel sourced CO2 gas for use in production. We operate in Juneau, Alaska, where all the electricity is generated by nearby hydroelectric plants.

We recognize our longer-term employees and acknowledge their contributions at our annual meeting, where they receive awards based on longevity that include customized plaques, additional paid time off, and free airline travel—a much treasured perk given the remoteness of our location. Employees also receive individualized recognition after each decade, such as a flight-seeing tour and dinner with the founders at a remote wilderness lodge. During the year of their tenth anniversary with Alaskan, employees are sent to represent us at the Great American Beer Festival in Denver, Colorado. We reward every employee with a yearly Christmas gift. We have crew parties and events on a regular basis, from Halloween-costumed bowling night, to beach crab feeds, to Nordic skiing across a glacial lake.

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