Category: 

Do Brewery Workers Get to Drink Beer While Working?

Brewery workers have historically been allowed to drink beer during the workday. In the US, it's been a common employee perk since around the 18th Century, but this practice has been largely phased out by employers since the early 1900s. Major US, German, and UK brewers all tend to prohibit drinking beer while working but small, local breweries may continue to allow it. Brewery workers in Denmark and Australia are still widely allowed to drink free beer, but within employer-sanctioned limitations, such as lunchtime only.

More about brewery privileges:

  • This perk was often written into brewery workers' union contracts and was known as the Sternwirth privilege. Sternwirth refers to the rooms in breweries where visitors could socialize and sample the product.

  • Prohibition of drinking on the job began around the 20th century to prevent alcohol dependence and workplace accidents.

  • South Africa outlawed the practice in 1960. One of their primary concerns was that employers may otherwise have an incentive to get workers addicted to alcohol and then exploit them for cheap labor.

Follow wiseGEEK:
  twitter

More Info: wsj.com

Discuss this Article

Em4ce
Post 2

I worked at the power plant at Anheseur Busch (Saint Louis) in the late 80's or early 90's and they still had coolers in the turbine building filled with beer. There were no restrictions (except your self-imposed ones). They have since done away with it but they do give employees a couple cases of beer a month to take home.

anon322769
Post 1

It is a wise decision to not allow it since alcohol affects judgment in an individual. I cannot imagine a drunk individual accurately mixing ingredients for beer brewing.

Post your comments

Post Anonymously

Login

username
password
forgot password?

Register

username
password
confirm
email

Free Widgets for your Site/Blog

In late 19th-century London, mail was delivered to residential addresses up to twelve times each day.   more...
 
September 28 ,  1924 :  Two US military planes complete the first flights around the world.  more...