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Friday 26 November 2021

Craft brewery gifts shares to its employees

It sounds like the perfect job scheme.

Work at a brewery and then get made a shareholder. 

Bridge Road Brewers in north-east Victoria has announced its first step towards employee ownership with its own Employee Share Scheme (ESS). 

The Bridge Road ESS has been almost three years in the making, with initial modelling halted as the business navigated the impacts of Covid-19 in 2020. 

"The scheme has been designed to reward and empower BRB employees and drive the culture at the heart of the business and its long term success", said founder Ben Kraus (above). 

In the initial share release, BRB will be gifting employees with a minimum two-year employment period an initial share as an introduction to the program. 

This first step will equate to almost 5% of the company being shared with the BRB team. 

Employees will then be provided ongoing access to shares through incentives and employment anniversaries. 

"The goal of the share program over the first five to 10 years is to transition the business to be between 20 to 30% employee-owned." 

The public announcement of the share scheme comes after consultation with accounting firm Findex in developing a program that is truly meaningful for employees. 

"We'll continue to foster a culture with a common goal of making and sharing beer to believe in," says Kraus. 

Family-owned Bridge Road Brewers, based in Beechworth, has also announced the establishment of a Melbourne brewery and dining hall at East Brunswick Village. 


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