When my husband and I booked a trip to visit my sister in the Pacific Northwest in September, I planned on visiting numerous wineries in the region. By working with the New Hampshire Liquor Commission at EVR, I learned that the area is known for its Chardonnays and Pinot Noirs.

However, those plans quickly changed as we started to explore the area and unearthed a unique microbrew community from Portland, Oregon to Seattle, Washington. Widmer Brothers, McMenamins, Full Sail Brewing, Double Mountain Brewery, Pike, Rogue, and Deschutes not only have great beer – they are also representative of a number of breweries who cultivate community within their organizations and act as civic leaders in their respective states.

At many breweries, employers offer benefits that help build a sense of pride among employees. For example, some employees I meet receive incentives that can be shared with friends and family, including:

  • A case of beer with each paycheck
  • Dollars that can be spent in the company store to buy merchandise
  • A company discount at the brewery’s pub or restaurant
  • Free tickets to company events

In addition, several breweries also give back to the community in various ways, for example:

  • Widmer Brother’s donates kegs to various fundraisers throughout the year. Therefore, nonprofit organizations can charge guests for drinks and keep the profits.
  •  McMenamins Pubs & Breweries’ slogan is “a place for family and friends.” So it is fitting that the organization purchases and renovates old movie theatres, schools, funeral homes, churches, and hotels across Oregon and Washington and transforms them into community gathering spots.

Since I have gotten back from the Pacific Northwest, my husband and I have been exploring the Northeast for similar breweries. We look forward to attending a selection of upcoming events and learning how they give back – both to their employees and to the community as a whole.