Sacramento brewery is fighting for survival. Its employees have an idea to save it

A Sacramento brewery is fighting for its survival. Employees want to step in to save it.

But it means a complete business remodel and a lot of trust in the community.

New Helvetia Brewing Company, at 1730 Broadway in Land Park, will transition into a cooperative or “co-op” for short. Those who pay a one-time $300 membership fee become lifetime legal member-owners with perks like naming new beers, discounts on food, drinks and merchandise, and priority access to events.

“We have determined that we must evolve or die,” the 11-year-old brewery states on its website.

In August, the longtime craft beer company took to its Instagram to reveal it was on the brink of eviction and closure after falling behind on rent payments because of the pandemic. Behind the scenes, employees were working on a way to stay open.

The group eventually decided on a co-op model.

Organic mandarins from Rio Linda help flavor the seasonal Owari Satsuma IPA from New Helvetia Brewing.
Organic mandarins from Rio Linda help flavor the seasonal Owari Satsuma IPA from New Helvetia Brewing.

“As employees, we don’t have the money to purchase this place,” said Operations Manager Daniel Yambor with New Helvetia Brewing Company. “In order to save this place and get capital .... we can transition this place into something where we can still thrive.”

More than 200 people have signed up to join the co-op using an online form posted to the brewery’s website earlier this week. Yambor said the goal is 1,000 and the company is “going to work like hell to make this work.”

Those who signed up will be emailed a payment link and an official membership application. They’ll also receive information about Q&A events to discuss the transition. Updates will be blasted on the website and social media pages as well.

Dave Gull, the owner and founder of the brewery, directed questions about the transition to Yambor, as employees are leading the charge.

“We didn’t want to see this place go away,” Yambor said.

I signed up to join, now what?

You’re not a member yet, you’ve only reserved your spot to join the co-op.

Yambor said not all the details are hashed out yet but when New Helvetia Brewery Co-op is established — maybe by the end of the year — a board of member-owners and employee-members will be created to oversee the business.

Members get one vote on important fiscal decisions, elections and bylaws, regardless of how many shares or memberships they own.

You will not have a say in the day-to-day decisions of the brewery, New Helvetia states.

To join the co-op, you must show proof of California residency and be over 21.

New Helvetia Brewing Company in Sacramento is turning in a co-op

Address: 1730 Broadway, Sacramento

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