Switchback Brewing, with a thirty thousand barrel production capacity and 30 employees now joins half a dozen other breweries around the country that have established ESOPs – or Employee Stock Ownership Plans. More than six thousand other U.S. firms are now ESOPs, with a total employment of more than fourteen million workers.
There are perhaps 30 ESOPs in Vermont alone – including Carris Reels, PC Construction, Gardeners Supply, and King Arthur Flour.
Current Switchback owner Bill Cherry will remain with the company as brew master and president.
Forty years ago, many businesses were plagued by worker alienation, and sought to engage those workers through improved quality of work life, greater workplace participation and two principal ownership mechanisms, cooperatives and ESOP’s.