San Diego’s Modern Times Beer announced a big move Friday: the company is now partially owned by its employees.
The 4-year-old, Point Loma-based craft brewery, known for its beers as well as coffee, said that through “repurchase of shares held by outside investors,” 30 percent of the company is now held in an employee stock ownership plan. The company says this makes it the first employee-owned brewery in California; the deal was facilitated by Ambrose Advisors.
In a press release, the company said the ultimate goal is to one day become 100 percent owned by employees.
Modern Times majority owner Jacob McKean called this his “single proudest achievement” and said dedicated employees deserve to benefit from the company’s success in this way.
“This is as it should be,” McKean said in a prepared statement. “Making Modern Times an employee-owned company gives me a sense of satisfaction that is somewhere beyond joy."
McKean said he hopes this move will set the tone for other businesses in the craft beer industry to do the same.
“Modern Times is proof that a start-up brewery can compete and win in the craft beer market without selling out, all the while taking outstanding care of our employees and rewarding our investors,” he added.
Modern Times, which opened in July 2013, is a 30-barrel production brewery headquartered in the Lomaland Fermentorium at 3725 Greenwood St. Today, it employs 118 people – 98 full-time. The company also operates out of the North Park Flavordome at 3000 Upas St.
The brewery currently distributes its products in California, Arizona, Nevada, Oregon, Washington, Maui and in select international markets. Last year, Modern Times brewed 40,500 barrels. Some of its core beers include the Lomaland Saison, Blazing World Amber, and Fortunate Islands Wheat.
The company is in the midst of a Southern California expansion that includes plans to open the Dankness Dojo, a brewery, restaurant and café in downtown Los Angeles later this year. Either this year or in 2018, Modern Times hopes to open The Far West Lounge, a tasting room in Encinitas, as well as Leisuretown, a brewery, eatery, beer garden and pool in downtown Anaheim, California.