San Diego Brewers Discuss Labor, Wages, and Valuing Employees

I attended this awesome discussion put together by Omar when it happened during Start Up Week. I truly enjoy these type of industry discussion panels and with SD BeerTalk we hope to foster some of our own in the future. Information is powerful; hearing what motivates these amazing brewery owners only deepens my appreciation and admiration for the visionary efforts put forth. There were several accounts of the discussion when it happened, but now you get to see it for yourself!

Here is the official press release:

– The San Diego region is home to over 120 professional brewhouses – the most for any county in the nation. According to the Brewers Association, California craft brewers had a net economic impact of $6.9 Billion in 2014.  In San Diego, a 2016 National University Institute for Policy Research study revealed more than 4,500 jobs have been created by San Diego brewers. With many changes in the labor market, four San Diego brewers came together to offer insights into their thinking about labor, wages, and valuing employees in the context of independent craft breweries.

“I noticed that San Diego craft brewers weren’t just leading in beer innovation, but also in how they thought about valuing the workforce,” said Omar Passons, a local economic development professional and craft beer enthusiast who organized the panel. “This panel was first and foremost about sharing ways that craft breweries across the country can build profitable businesses while valuing their employees, respecting the dignity of their work and offering self-sustaining wages.”

Panelists included veteran brewer and scientist Jim Crute of Lightning Brewery, former investment banker turned brewer and owner Douglas Constantiner of Societe Brewing Company, one of San Diego’s newest breweries, Second Chance Beer Co. represented by its Chief Operating Officer Curtis Hawes, and former Stone Brewing Company employee and current Modern Times Beer CEO Jacob McKean. “I’m excited to share the philosophy behind our humane business model, which has given us the benefit of minimal turn-over, high productivity, and deep commitment from staff,”  said Jacob McKean of his reasons for participating in this panel.

The panel, co-sponsored by San Diego State University’s Business of Craft Beer Certificate program, has helped highlight the importance of the business side of the nation’s craft beer craze.  “We created the Business of Beer Certificate with local craft beer industry experts so that we could help elevate quality and education in the industry, and to support this important part of growth in the San Diego region,” said Giana Rodriguez, program director. “SDSU is proud to foster entrepreneurism and innovation through hands-on learning for craft beer enthusiasts, hospitality employees, and future brewery owners. San Diego’s craft breweries are leading the way as forward-thinking businesses, and our students reap the rewards of learning from the best in the business.” –



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