A Different Way to Set a Workplace Culture Up for Success

With three employees still there from the start and almost never having an employee decide to leave, Jen Kimmich of Vermont’s The Alchemist said that workplace culture plays an important role in the ongoing success of the brewery.

“Our strongest asset is our staff,” Kimmich said of the 48 individuals employed between the two breweries and distribution company. “[Husband and co-founder] John and I have made strong investments in our staff, and in turn, they are the most loyal, dedicated and happy group of employees we could ask for.”

Whenever possible, Kimmich said they hire and/or promote from within.

“John and I believe that if someone has the ability and desire to learn skills, than any position should be made possible to them. We have always been able to think outside the box when filling positions,” noting that the hiring practices at The Alchemist are also unconventional in that for the most part locals with no experience in the brewing community have been hired (“We look for people who already live in our community, are committed to staying in Vermont, but simply can’t find a good job,” notes Kimmich).

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She added that the brewery has never been afraid to hire friends or family.

“We have a long history of hiring spouses, children and parents (including four married couples that work there as well as a father and his two children).”

Although pay isn’t as much as they would want, everyone, regardless of position, gets paid a livable salary Kimmich said. Everyone at the brewery also has access to full health insurance, 401K matches, wellness programs and maternity/paternity leave.

“Our employees don’t worry about missing a day of wages if he or she is sick. Everyone takes paid-vacation leave,” Kimmich noted.

Although these benefits cost money, she said it’s worth the cost.

“We know, that these investments are good for our employees and their families, good for our workplace culture and good for our bottom line,” she said.

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