Janna
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Hey, so my husband got his lay-off notice today. He was the brewer at Mendocino Brewing Company.

Do any of you socialists know how to put together a worker's coop? Because it is absolutely ridiculous that the brewery is standing on one side of a locked door, and everyone who knows how to brew and bottle beer is on the other.

@jannamark Sad to year about your husband. I don’t know how to set up a cooperative, but Austin’s local coop brewpub probably do: blackstar.coop

@tsaiberia the part about the brewery closing, or the part me dreaming about a workers coop?

Either way, feel free. The closure will be in the news soon enough anyway

@jannamark I shared it. If you want me to take it down, I will. I don't have any experience setting up co-ops, but maybe someone else in the beersphere does?

This bites. I'm sorry.

@tsaiberia Hi, courtney. Did you ever hear anything back from your post on the other site? I'm curious because it's been days, and our local newspaper hasn't said anything. And the company hasn't released a statement. It's weird that it is so quiet

@jannamark I haven't, it's been quiet. And you're right, it is weird.

@tsaiberia Thank you for checking. I would have thought the company would have released some kind of statement by now, but maybe that's only in the movies 🤷

@jannamark So are they shuttered for good now? No hope of getting back in?

@tsaiberia I don't know, maybe. Still no official statement from the Board of Dirs of Mendocino Brewing Co

The only news we are getting seems to be from the other side of the country, where Mendocino's sister brewery has also closed.

bizjournals.com/albany/news/20

The Saratoga Brewery (another of the nation's oldest) was also owned by the BOD of Mendocino Brewing Co

bizjournals.com/albany/news/20

@jannamark I don't have any practical experience, but I sympathize. I suspect that the first step is to reach out to the other displaced workers. The second step is probably to get your own brewing equipment. Third would be to find a site for your brewery.

@starbreaker You are just too darned practical. Here I wanted to seize the means of production, and occupying the brewery!!! *picture fists waving in the air*

hmmm, maybe I should get some sleep

@jannamark I didn't want to suggest anything that could get your husband arrested or summarily executed by militarized police.

@jannamark Besides, your husband and his fellow workers are the actual means of production. They're the ones with the knowledge. The machines won't run themselves.

Not yet, anyway.

@jannamark depending on the country, the laws are very different. But a basic working manual is „think outside the boss“. Should be for free up in the interwebs.
Ps. I am working for a Softdrinks collective here in Germany.

@jannamark

I don't see anyone with social.coop in these mentions yet, so engaging in that direction seems warranted....

@jannamark How close are you guys to North Coast Brewing? In the interim, can he apply there?

@KnotKnormal Fort Bragg's about an hour drive from here, so yeah, it's possible. if they're hiring

@jannamark Check out US Federation of Worker Cooperatives, Democracy at Work Institute, and the Working World. They all probably have some helpful outreach folks who could help y'all out. Wishing you the best of luck!

@jannamark where I live, in berlin, germany, a few people founded a brewers' coop 2 years ago and they seem to be doing fine. it's a thing that needs preparation but there have been examples of workers taking over the production after strikes and the previous business owners' bancruptcy.

@jannamark read a few follow up toots.. good that you have contacts and good luck to you and your husband!

@jannamark A former friend of mine was a brewer in Colorado at some indie brewery, and got locked out by Anheiser-Busch/Inbev TWICE under similar circumstances.

I can offer no more than tea and hugs, you are welcome to both, either or neither. And, of course, my sympathy. :(

@jannamark Do you know the Sustainable Economies Law Center? They might be helpful.

@jannamark oh, and a word of unsolicited advice: Bring someone with a sense of business. A co-op that’s not profitable wont last long.

@jannamark lots of contract breweries popping up. Some eventually become their own breweries. Some go the other way and add contracts.

Now is the time to look at starting your own brewery. Craft beer has not peaked yet — not even close.
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