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Hanging Up the Suit for A Plaid Shirt: Working at Muskoka Brewery

Hanging Up the Suit for A Plaid Shirt: Working at Muskoka Brewery

Walking into work at Muskoka Brewery is a little different than your average office. With your coffee in one hand and a plaid backpack in the other, you’ll pet four dogs, say thirty hellos, and stop by the brewer’s office for a quick joke, all before getting to your desk. When you work at Muskoka, you hang up the three-piece suit for a red and black plaid. We may do things a little differently, but it makes all the difference: back in 2016, we were named one of Canada’s 10 Most Admired Corporate Cultures™. And just like the taste of our award-winning beer, our team’s attitude speaks for itself. At Muskoka, we’ve got some pretty awesome things to celebrate, so we’ve put together a short list of things we love about working at Muskoka Brewery.

 

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  1. Living Wage Employer

In 2016, Muskoka Brewery became Canada’s first Living Wage-certified brewery. Different from the minimum wage, living wage is based on the principle that full-time work should provide families with a basic level of economic security above the poverty line; to be able to live healthier lives and be active in the community. When you break it down, it means employees at the Brewery can eat healthier options, their children can participate in local activities and go on school trips, and that younger employees can pay off student debt.

 

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  1. Friday Pints with the Team

Do you rush out of your office Friday afternoon to start the weekend? At the Brewery, we start it off as a team. Around 4:25 p.m., you’ll start seeing heads poke out of office doors prepared to welcome those magical words— “let’s grab a beer.” You can usually count on our Sales Support team to lead the charge. At 4:30 p.m., the first pint is poured, and the team sits back in our Muskoka chairs to enjoy live music on our patio.

 

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  1. Hop to Health

If you’re going to work at the Brewery, be sure to bring three pairs of shoes! Steel-toe boots for the Brewery, sandals for the patio, and running shoes for our Hop to Health fitness program. The program started back in January when every team member received a Fitbit as a challenge to become more active. In teams of four, we exercise together, challenge each other, and motivate each other to see which group has the most steps at the end of the year; the team with the most points wins the grand prize, and bragging rights, of course. (We should mention you can’t attach your Fitbit to one of the dogs at the Brewery. We tried; it didn’t work.)

 

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  1. Employer Contributed RRSP Program

When you turn 65, it’s time to turn that brewing job into a hobby! Saving for retirement is very important to us at Muskoka Brewery. According to the Broadbent Institute, “Half of Canadians aged 55 to 64 who don’t have an employer pension have less than $3,000 saved up for retirement.” Luckily, Muskoka Brewery has an employer-contributed retirement savings plan aimed to make those golden years the most enjoyable. The Brewery matches every dollar you contribute, up to 3% of your salary! It feels good to work for a company invested in your future.

 

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  1. Moonlight Kettle Series

Have you ever wondered where we got the crazy idea to put cucumbers in beer? You can thank the Moonlight Kettle Series! When we created the series back in 2015, we vowed to venture off the beaten path with every beer we brewed. Each month we release a new beer developed entirely by a trio of Muskoka Brewery staff. We pair one of our expert brewers with two employees from any department, and together, they choose a unique beer style and name. You know a team is onto something good when you witness a team member running to the brewer’s office with a smile on their face and a recipe idea scribbled on a sticky note. Visit the Brewery to pick up our monthly releases, or join our Moonlight Kettle Beer Club to make sure you never miss a beer!

 

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  1. Encouraging a Beer Journey

From a crisp kolsch to a double IPA, we have a beer style for everyone’s palate, and these styles are all on the final exam! The Brewery provides, and pays for, employees to receive their Prud’homme beer certification, Canada’s first beer certification program that consists of four levels of varying beer knowledge. Who knew going back to school could be so fun? Getting your Prud’homme certification comes in handy every morning at our daily sensory panel. Employees stroll into the boardroom from different departments and test each batch of beer for colour, aroma, and flavour. With proper education and daily panels, we’re all committed to making the best beer we can.

 

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  1. Open Door Policy

Whether it’s the brewer’s office, or even the president’s office, Muskoka Brewery’s door is always open. You can’t make it five feet down the hallway without someone asking you about your weekend or your opinion on a project they’re working on. If you’re having a rough day, jump on the packaging line with our Ops team. Their sense of humour and smiles will cheer you up in no time! When you’re in our Tap Room, the same rules apply; you never who’s going to share a pint with you – our brewers, the Ops team, even Todd! If you do see a closed door at the Brewery, it’s usually a safe bet someone brought their dog to work and the pup needed a nap. When it comes to being approachable, our team is always going out of their way to help.

 

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  1. Brewery Bucks

Pay day is great at every job, but at Muskoka, there’s something extra special about opening your pay stub. That’s because our pal from finance, Ron, slips twenty Brewery Bucks into your envelope. Brewery Bucks are staff currency that allow us to purchase items from our Tap Room. These special dollars can be used for glassware, a new sweater, and, most importantly, for beer. Kwaku, our GTA Delivery Driver, has been saving his Brewery Bucks for years; he plans to save up enough to buy the entire Brewery. Brewery Bucks are sacred, and yet we’ve all saved up enough to make it rain before a big holiday purchase for family and friends.

 

Here at Muskoka Brewery, we’re proud of our beer, and our staff. If you’ve got a passion for great beer and down-to-earth corporate culture, be sure to check out our careers page. Check us out on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to find out the latest Brewery news.

Danielle Smith
danielle.smith@muskokabrewery.com


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