There’s a tradition at Cleveland’s Great Lakes Brewing Company. Each day around 4 o’clock, employees gather in the brewpub for a complimentary “shift beer.” It’s a chance to celebrate the fruits of their labor. Soon though, the employees at the 30-year-old company will be getting a new perk, probably worth a lot more than a free drink.
By the end of this year, it’ll be one of the latest companies to form an Employee Stock Ownership Plan, or ESOP. Basically, it goes like this: work at a company for a while and eventually own it. Or at least a nice chunk of it.