​Cover Story Notebook: Developing Longtime Employees​

In an ongoing series, Brewer will take a small note from interviews of some of the cover stories it has run and given a small tidbit that didn’t make the issue but is still worth diving into.


Jen​ Kimmich admits that she and husband​ John ​Kimmich have always said they have had a lot of crappy jobs.

​”​We know what it’s like to have a crappy employer​,” the co-founder of The Alchemist Brewery said during the interview for the November/December 2019 ​​issue of Brewer​. ​”​We know what it’s like to not have health insurance and to live paycheck to paycheck. So we really care.

​”​But beyond that, it’s a good business decision to take care of your employees. They are the best asset you have. We have insurance for our business. We need to have health insurance for our employees. We need to give them the support they need to take care of their families and be happy and functioning and just good productive employees.​”

That sort of mentality has fostered what John said is a happy environment of employees. Many have never left after starting.​

​”But that is a tremendous amount of work on behalf of Jen and I,” he said. “It’s a labor of love because we wouldn’t have it any other way. That’s the kind of business we want to run and there’s not really any other option to do anything different.

“We’re trying to step up for everybody involved. It’s that big picture of our influence and who has come into our orbit. We have a responsibility to them to take care of them as well as we can. I mean, they’re committing their time and their lives to be a part of what we do.”

Through all the years since ​the two met ​and conceived ​the acclaimed brewery, their business ​thoughts developed because of what they learned not to do.

​​”You learn what good bosses are and what bad bosses are​,” John said​. ​”We promised ourselves a long time ago that we were gonna emulate our good bosses and we’re not going to be that kind to that kind of employer that takes all the shortcuts and takes advantage and churns through employees because they just use them up. And that’s just not our bag. By any means.​”

Even as they have grown the company the Kimmiches still run the show and rely on their past experiences to guide the direction of the brewery.

​”This business emulates both of us to the nth degree. There are certain things that ​we’ll never let go of​,” John said​. ​”​Do we have excellent support staff​?​ Hell yeah. ​We have an amazing staff. But we try not to identify and label the structure. The structure is we make the decisions and everybody helps us, but the final decision is ours.

​”​It works nicely that way because nobody needs to feel like they have somebody else telling them what to do. It’s very easy to respect that the two people that started it are in charge. But to be asked to have somebody else all of a sudden be superior and stuff like that … that shit never sat well with us. Come on we’re all trying to accomplish the same thing. You each have a role, and it all feeds up to us because then you take out any kind of tension, any of that weird shit that might ever become ​awkward.​”​

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.