Developing Guidelines for Drinking Liabilities

​Responsible consumption for craft brewery employees can be a tough task in risk management ​to protect your facility and staff.

Jeremiah Johnson Brewing has developed a list of guidelines with its commercial insurance provider along with an attorney to make sure the business is protected along with having a guideline for its staff to follow.

“No drinking on the job. It’s zero tolerance,” said owner Jeremiah Johnson. “At brewfests, if you drink then you are responsible for your transportation — we offer paid rides for our employees at any time.

“We do not encourage drinking while working although at times it’s simply a part of it. We utilize responsible employees in these situations.”

​The brewery has a ​’​write-up​’​ system for violations such as tardiness​ and other breaches of conduct​.

When it comes to a major violation​​ such as someone getting inebriated on the job​,​ there is zero-tolerance​ Johnson explained​.

​”​That would end in dismissal​,” he said,​” although that has yet to happen.​”​

Cheboygan Brewing has strict written policies for alcohol consumption by employees. Brewmaster Brian Lindsay laid out the rules, 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.”

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