One new way to retain talent: let brewers start their own brewery within your brewery

Perennial Artisan Ales

(St. Louis, MO) – You have probably read lots of stories in recent months about brewers leaving their nest and branching off to start their own breweries. As new breweries crop up, it seems like retaining talent has become a problem for incumbent breweries in the same way that hiring talent has.

Perennial Artisan Ales’ Phil Wymore was one of those brewery founders who knew he had a special (and entrepreneurial) talent in Cory King and feared that he may leave. So he did something out of the ordinary.

Wymore, who cut his teeth at Goose Island and Half Acre before leaving to start Perennial, let King start his own brewery…

…inside Perennial Artisan Ales.

King and Wymore announced the news on StewedSTL earlier this week.

The new operation is tentatively called Side Project Brewing. And yes, since we will get a lot of comments on this, Terrapin Beer Co. has a series of beers dubbed, “Side Project,” but has never filed an application to register it as a mark.

Side Project focuses on barrels, owning about a quarter of Perennial’s stock of 80 or so. King jokes that Side Project may be among the largest barrel-aging programs in the area. Look for beer in about nine months.

This is effectively an alternating proprietorship in which King brews on Perennial’s equipment. One of the key benefits to Perennial is that, as you can guess, they will keep King working at the brewery as usual. And for King, it sounds as though he owns 100% of his project.

At some breweries like Firestone Walker and The Brooklyn Brewery, brewmasters are actually made partners, so retaining talent can be achieved any number of ways though this one is particularly unique.


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7 thoughts on “One new way to retain talent: let brewers start their own brewery within your brewery

  1. I think it can work in ideal circumstances. In others, I could see an issue of ‘but why does [he or her] get start their own brewery but I don’t?’

  2. Pingback: Perennial Artisan Ales announces plans to can beer, new BA beer coming | BeerPulse

  3. Yeah the alternating proprietorship / brewery within a brewery model in itself has been done a lot before. But letting someone from your own staff ‘branch out’ so to speak is the cool part of this story.

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