Many forward-thinking companies offer eye-popping benefits like massages, gourmet snacks, and places to take naps during the day. BrewDog, a Scottish brewery, is now joining the ranks of companies with great benefits by offering “paw-ternity leave.” The company recently announced that it will offer its nearly 1,000 employees paid time off to spend with new puppies or rescue dogs.
Interestingly, BrewDog is not the first company in the U.K. to offer such a benefit, but they are the first brewery to do so. And now that the company opened a Columbus, Ohio, location, they are the first American company to offer puppy parental leave.
If this seems like a lavish benefit for a small company to bestow, then you must not be familiar with BrewDog. They delight in doing things differently, and one thing is certain: They love their dogs (along with their beer and their employees).
Their home office in Aberdeenshire, Scotland, has 50 office dogs that come to work with their owners. Given that they encourage employees to bring their dogs to work, it makes sense that they’d offer leave time to train and comfort new dogs. Starting in February, employees who have new dogs are granted seven paid leave days.
Company co-founder James Watt told WUSA 9, “It’s not easy trying to juggle work and settle a new dog into your life, and many members of our crew have four-legged friends at home. We wanted to take the stress out of the situation and let our teams take the time they need to welcome their new puppy or dog into their family.”
Watts continued, “We always want to raise the bar when it comes to offering our staff the best possible benefits. We care about two things above all else. People and beer. We also just really like dogs.”
The company hopes to foster a love for making small batches of beer by providing fans with more than a little help. Watt told Scottish Business News, “Many of the classic BrewDog beers were developed during our home-brewing days, and we still use a home-brewing 50 L system to develop new beers and recipes. Home brewing is ingrained in our DNA, and is a cornerstone of the craft beer industry.”
“We have always loved the sharing of knowledge, expertise, and passion in the craft beer community and we wanted to take that spirit of collaboration to the next level with DIY Dog. The more people that home brew, the more craft breweries will pop up and help us in the fight against global mega beer corporations, making the future brighter for craft beer.”
The company is wading into interesting waters as they expand their brand around the world while railing against big corporations. They seem to be doing all they can to remain good-hearted and accommodating while also attaining a global reach. The company has opened bars throughout the U.K., as well as in Brazil, Italy, Sweden, Finland, and now Columbus, Ohio.
In addition to their generosity, BrewDog routinely grabs headlines with the extremely high alcohol content of their beers. In 2009, their “Tactical Nuclear Penguin” beer snagged a world record for having 32% ABV. A rival company later took the title of strongest beer, but BrewDog reclaimed it in 2010 with “Sink the Bismark,” which was a staggering 41% ABV.
BrewDog seems to know exactly how to generate good press. Make strong beer, give away the recipe, and allow employees to spend as much time with their dogs as possible. The strategy has worked well in the U.K., and the company will soon find out how it flies in the U.S. Given how much Americans love dogs, beer, and DIY projects, we’re guessing BrewDog will be around for a long time to come.