The Harpoon Brewery is now an employee-owned company after a shareholder group transferred 48 percent of Harpoon’s shares to an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP).
The company currently has 187 full-time employees between its Boston, MA, and Windsor, VT, breweries.
“Employee ownership is the embodiment of what Harpoon stands for,” said Harpoon co-founder Dan Kenary in a press statement. “Our success as an independent craft brewer is attributed to our outstanding employees and the wonderful culture we have at the brewery. The ESOP strengthens our commitment to our employees, our culture, and to making and sharing great beer.”
Rich Doyle, who co-founded Harpoon with Kenary in 1986, will also step down as CEO but will remain part-time at the brewery, focusing on marketing and sales initiatives and new business development. Kenary will take over as CEO.
Several other breweries have made the transition to employee ownership in recent years. Oregon’s Full Sail Brewing became fully employee-owned in 1999, and Colorado’s New Belgium Brewing Co. announced that it was 100 percent employee-owned in 2013 after owner Kim Jordan and her family sold their remaining stake.