By Ryan Farrell
At the conclusion of a recent all-staff meeting, Brewers Association staff members played three rounds of “The Price is Right.” Employees were asked to “come on down” to the stage, where we presented them with a beer from one of our small and independent brewery members and asked them to guess the price. In two of the three rounds, the winner guessed the exact price down to the cent! Clearly, the Brewers Association is one of the Best Places to be a Beer Nerd in 2016.
Unfortunately, they don’t have an award for that. But Outside magazine does have an annual list of its Best Places to Work, and for the second consecutive year, the BA has been honored with a spot on that list. Companies are judged on a number of different criteria including corporate culture and overall employee engagement.
Corporate culture can be difficult to define, but our 58 full-time employees don’t need to look far for inspiration. We take a great deal of pride in mimicking the scrappy, hard-working culture we see in so many of our brewery members. We take an all-hands-on-deck approach to our annual Craft Brewers Conference, Homebrew Con, and Great American Beer Festival® with many staff members stepping outside of their conventional roles to contribute to a successful event. When we’re pursuing a company-wide goal, many employees will switch hats and do whatever it takes to move us closer to success. And at the end of the day, we savor the opportunity to unwind and connect over a beer; we seek the perfect balance of work, life, hops, and malt.
Employee engagement is the often hard-to-define subject of much research and debate in corporate circles. Perhaps the most important factor is a shared sense of purpose. And again, for the Brewers Association, this comes from our members. We want to work hard every day on their behalf because we are personally invested in doing everything we can to help our members succeed. We believe in the future of craft beer. When BA employees are having a long week, working on a difficult project, or pushing up against a deadline, it can be that sense of shared purpose that keeps us going. We know why we’re here—and I believe that keeps us sharp.
So, while I’m excited and honored that the Brewers Association received this award, what I really want to say is thank you to our members. Thank you for inspiring us with your hard work and creativity, your blended sense of community, and independent spirit. We rally around your success, and we come to work every day to do what we can to ensure a positive future for all of America’s small and independent brewers. You give us purpose, and in many ways, you are what makes the Brewers Association a great place to work.