Creating a positive work environment

By - Last modified: August 26, 2014 at 2:25 PM

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Dan Weirback, president of Weyerbacher Brewing Co. Inc., stands at the bar in the company's visitor center in Easton.
Dan Weirback, president of Weyerbacher Brewing Co. Inc., stands at the bar in the company's visitor center in Easton. - (Photo By Betty Cauler)

Crafting high quality, innovative brews with great customer appeal is the aim of Dan Weirback, president of Weyerbacher Brewing Co. Inc. in Easton.

And cultivating a team to help Weirback achieve his goal to create “innovative, bold and artisanal beers of the highest quality possible,” means listening, explaining and training staff in a “positive work environment where all can contribute,” he said.

Brian O’Reilly, brewmaster of Sly Fox Brewing Co. in Pottstown, said his crew “works hard and plays hard,” but takes the beer, not themselves, seriously.

“Brewery work is hard work,” O’Reilly said. “We look for people that understand that and have had some type of experience that applies.”

SLY FOX BREWING CO.

BRIAN O’REILLY, BREWMASTER

POTTSTOWN

• What is your team philosophy?

Work hard. Play hard. We take our beer seriously but not ourselves.

• What are the keys to being a great coach?

Listening to what people are trying to say is extremely important. Trying your best to understand what their motivations are and how you can help.

Sometimes it’s supplying new tools, alleviating some over-scheduling or just refocusing.

• How do you encourage team members through tough times?

In the brewery, tough times often mean that someone stays late to finish something up because of a mechanical issue. I try to acknowledge their willingness to stay and offer to make it up to them in some way.

Obviously, if I am in the building at the time, I try to physically help – but I think a quick thank you and acknowledgement that they are going above and beyond go a long way to [employees] not feeling taken advantage of.

• What do you look for in hiring team members?

Brewery work is hard work. We look for people that understand that and have had some type of experience that applies.

We do like to get a feel that they will have a similar pace to the other team members.

• How do you define success for your team?

For us, it’s making more quality beer. We don’t always have a distinct volume goal.

I guess in an industry with a new, almost standard double-digit growth, you could really rest on your laurels and look incredibly successful.

We know when things are running smooth, the beers are tasting great and we are getting more done.

WEYERBACHER BREWING CO. INC.

DAN WEIRBACK, PRESIDENT

EASTON

• What is your team philosophy?

To make innovative, bold and artisanal beers of the highest quality possible.

• What are the keys to being a great coach?

Listening well, explaining and training carefully and thoroughly, and encouraging a positive work environment where all can contribute.

• How do you encourage team members through tough times?

By thanking them for their efforts and reminding them that we’ve had tough times before, we’ll have ’em again, but they always pass, sooner or later.

• What do you look for in hiring team members?

Passion for beer, good work ethics, good communication skills and ability to be a team player.

• How do you define success for your team?

By always moving forward on quality of the beer, continuing improvement of working conditions and a friendly and happy culture within the company.

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