What’s Brewing with ESOPs? Modern Times Brewery Implements ESOP

Jul 24, 2017 | Timothy L. Stewart

Modern Times Beer Co. has implemented an ESOP to own 30% of the Company. reports that the 4-year-old beer company is the first employee-owned brewery in the state of California.

Modern Times founder and majority shareholder Jacob McKean was looking for a way to bring a return to its investors and to set up a model for high employee engagement, saying:

“So we’re coming out of this deal with happy employees, happy investors and a greatly expanded war chest of capital. Selling to a strategic buyer or private equity firm was not only completely unnecessary for growth, it didn’t offer half as good of a deal by comparison.”

He added that he would like eventually to become 100%-employee-owned, like fellow craft brewers New Belgium Brewing, Deschutes Brewery and many others.

Interestingly, Mr. McKeon expressed some disappointment that there were not more employee-owned craft breweries.