What’s the Big Idea?
New Helvetia Brewing Co. has always been a community-focused brewery with a deep love for Sacramento. As the craft beer market and overall hospitality industry has become increasingly difficult, we have decided to take on a completely unique and bold transformation into an employee and community-owned CO-OP. Introducing NEW HELVETIA BREWERY COOPERATIVE!
We have been publicly vocal about the challenges we face, and we acknowledge that we are not unique in facing those challenges. Hospitality businesses like breweries, restaurants, bars and brick-and-mortar small retail businesses are all facing the same challenges. We have determined that we must evolve or die. The CO-OP model allows us to continue brewing great beer and preserving a vital anchor space on Broadway, but also stabilizes our finances via community investment in the form of membership and ensures the long-term viability of New Helvetia. We will transform into a true community-owned brewery, and YOU will be the new owner.
What is New Helvetia Brewery Cooperative?
If you are familiar with the Sacramento Natural Foods Co-op or REI, this is similar. It’s a for-profit company that aims to benefit its members and enhance the local community. Most CO-OPs form first and then start operating their business. We are doing it in a different order; New Helvetia Brewery Cooperative will take over an existing 11-year-old business, New Helvetia Brewing Company.
Why a Co-op?
Do you love beer and community? What if you could ensure that the neighborhood brewery could stay indefinitely and provide great beer and maintain its local presence? Would you risk $300 on that? A CO-OP allows the community to ensure that beloved local businesses continue to operate and provide jobs, training, education and community space. In a CO-OP model, a large number of members contribute a small amount of capital to spread the risk.
How does it work?
You reserve your CO-OP membership by completing the form below. When the CO-OP entity is complete, we will send you an official membership application and payment link. Pay the $300 membership and we will issue your official membership share in the CO-OP. CO-OP members get 1 vote, no matter how many shares or memberships they own. Members vote on the directors, who oversee compliance with laws and by-laws. Additionally, the workers form a Workers Assembly that is responsible for day-to-day decisions on operating the business, while larger fiscal decisions are voted on by the full membership.
What do Co-op members get?
Ahhh, the perks. Members (member-owners) will ultimately determine what those perks are. Likely, member-owners will get discounts of 20% off pints and food in the Tap Room, 10-25% off merchandise and 4-pack purchases depending on the beer style. Additionally, we will host annual Members Only beer releases, and first-in-line privileges for special beer releases. Members will get Member’s Only merchandise, priority access to special events, pairing dinners, educational sessions, beer fest volunteer opportunities, tastings and judging panels. Member-owners can run for the Board of Directors and officer positions within the CO-OP. As a CO-OP, you will also get to vote on what community causes, non-profits and community events we will host or support. You get to help make your community a better place.
How do I become a Co-op member?
There are some basic eligibility requirements like being a California resident (with proof of residency) and being over 21 years old. Complete the CO-OP Reservation form below and click "Submit Now". Once we have finalized the CO-OP company formation, we will send you an official membership application and payment link. Pay the $300 membership and we will issue your official membership share in the CO-OP. Right now we’re just taking reservations for future CO-OP Memberships.
How is a Co-op different from the Membership Clubs of other breweries?
The primary difference is ownership. CO-OP members are legal owners called “member-owners”, not just “customer-members”. Member-owners vote on major fiscal decisions, elect officers and board members, and adopt bylaws or changes to bylaws. The Board of Directors oversee operations and finance, the hiring and oversight of general manager, adherence to bylaws, laws and the mission of the CO-OP. Worker-owners form a Workers Assembly and are in control of the daily operations of the brewery and provide policy feedback to the Board of Directors. Perhaps the most impactful difference is that we can demonstrate an alternative method to keep treasured local businesses open and prove a pathway to success under the CO-OP conversion model.