​Risk Management: Employee Consumption

It’s the beer industry folks. Alcohol is consumed. Which of course means it opens up a plethora of potential risk factors when it comes to being a liability.

Yet, employees sometimes do have to consume the products while on the clock, and even after work, sticking around for a shift beer is the norm. How do breweries protect themselves from problems? Making rules, of course.

Cheboygan Brewing has strict written policies for alcohol consumption by employees. Brewmaster Brian Lindsay laid out the rules to Brewer, noting that employees are allowed up to two shift beers after they clock out for the day.

Legal Draft Beer co-founder Greg McCarthy said the policy is that brewery personnel may not consume alcohol during work hours, and they receive one shift beer per day.

“Our taproom personnel taste beer, but [they] are not allowed to drink while on shift,” he noted. “They are allowed a shift beer after work hours. Intoxication on our premises is not tolerated.”

Cheboygan employees are required to perform sensory evaluations during their shifts as well. Tasting is performed by multiple employees allowing input from several different perceptions and taking the burden off a single tester.

“We use small seven-ounce glasses and never taste more than three ounces at a time,” Lindsay said. “We want to limit consumption and prevent taste bud fatigue as much as possible.”

​Should an incident arise where an employee is drunk at work, McCarthy said that ownership would work with management of the brewery or taproom to assess the situation, discipline employees, and document the discipline.​

​Checking with your ​insurance carrier and obtaining legal counsel can help any brewery get provided the best input to create policies.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.