2. New Belgium Brewing

Fort Collins, CO

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From the Company

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

New Belgium Brewing brews eight year-round beers, four seasonal releases, and a host of organic and more esoteric offerings. Fat Tire Amber Ale is our flagship brand. We are based out of Fort Collins, Colorado, with distribution in 26 states.

At New Belgium, we are encouraged to be our best selves every day. We create world-class beer, care about our impact on the planet, and have fun while trying to spread a little joy and thoughtfulness in the world. New Belgium was founded by a social worker and an electrical engineer and those two disciplines greatly inform our culture and who we are. On the engineering side we have always worked to produce world-class beers in an environmentally friendly fashion. That element—of always seeking to do things in a more efficient manner—gives each of us a greater sense of purpose in our day-to-day workflow. We feel that not only are we making something good that enhances people’s lives, but we are doing so in a fashion that might help show other businesses a more elegant way of going about their business.

For non-shift workers, we allow flextime to compress hours into four-day weeks or slide hours to allow for exercise. Shift workers have rotating schedules so that everyone gets options between day and night.

We have showers and lockers for runners and bike commuters. We have on-site yoga classes, two volleyball courts, a climbing wall, and an outdoor cross bike track.We have an advisory committee that supports and steers the wellness program. We offer a smoking cessation program, six health club memberships and sports scholarships (i.e. entry fees to races/events). Other benefits include sponsorship of a cross bike race series for community and families on site, entry fees paid for co-worker runners/riders through our wellness program, an annual health fair for employees and their families with screenings and flu shot availability, and passes to a local gym.

We give one hour paid time off for every two hours volunteered to community service. In 2009, New Belgium co-workers contributed more than 1,600 hours of community service. As a company, we give more than $1 million annually in philanthropy through 1% for the Planet. We partner locally with Wish for Wheels, building and donating 500 bikes over the last two years to kids from low-income families.

We’re the first brewery in the U.S. to commit to wind energy; 15 percent of our on-site electrical power is generated from the capture of methane from our process-water treatment facility; we have the largest private solar array in Colorado; brew an organic beer, Mothership Wit; and we have a steam-recovery system in our brewing process that creates a closed heat loop. Employees are given a cruiser bicycle at one year’s employment and encouraged to bike commute. We offer covered bike parking, showers, and are working on a reimbursement program for tubes, tires, and other bike materials, as well as prize incentives.

At New Belgium we try to recognize each other’s contributions every day. We have online and hard copy “kudo” boards where any co-worker can give thanks for another individual’s achievements. At one year’s employment, co-workers are enrolled in our employee ESOP program, thereby becoming owners of New Belgium. We practice open-book management so that everyone gets full fiscal transparency, which allows people to take an active role in decision-making. Perks also include a shift beer at the end of every day, a take-home 12-pack a week, and an all-expenses paid trip to Belgium at five years employment with your colleagues hired the same year. At seven years employment you are fully vested as an owner. At ten years, New Belgium plants a fruit tree in your honor in our orchard on site. But most of all, we try to recognize each other in small ways all the time. If a project goes well, you take the team to the tasting room and raise a glass.

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