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It's official: Kern River Brewing is 100 percent employee-owned

Kern River Brewing group photo

The Kern River Brewing Company announced it’s 100 percent employee-owned. The owners are looking for a long-term exit plan that keeps the award-winning company in the community and motivates long-term employees to stay on board. Under the employee stock ownership plan, at least 30 of its employees will be granted shares from the company trust.

When one thinks of an employee-owned company, a few stereotypes likely come to mind: a stuffy, artisanal shop, or a co-op grocery store that doubles as a cafe. Now, add breweries to the list.

The Kern River Brewing Company announced last week that it's now a 100 percent employee-owned business. It joins the nearly 7,000 U.S. companies — nearly 800 of which are in California — that are partially or totally owned by their employees.