Am I Next? Lagunitas Brewing Layoffs.

Heineken-owned Lagunitas Brewing Company, in Petaluma, California announced that it would be laying off 12 percent of its workforce, an estimated 100+ employees.

The reasoning behind the decision was given by Lagunitas CEO Maria Stipp who wrote…

“I wanted to write a letter about the layoffs that occurred in our company today.

The craft beer market is rapidly evolving and, in many ways, more challenging. More breweries, more choices…very much like the late 90’s when the craft beer segment had similar pressure. At that time, it took nearly seven years to rebound and our company weathered that storm very well. Here we are again a few years into it, history repeating itself. We are dedicated to weathering the storm, to continue to be successful both in the U.S. and globally. In order to do that, we took difficult but necessary actions.

We are reducing employee headcount by 12%, which impacts all departments across the country. We do not take this lightly and are making every effort to do it in the right way, as these actions impact our valued co-workers, friends and community who have contributed to our tribe story.

We are taking steps to drive our flagship IPA, loved by beer drinkers who are craft fans or otherwise. Despite over 7,000 breweries in the U.S., all of which make 3-4 IPA’s, maintaining this spot isn’t easy.

Lagunitas has been built on our determination to look to the future for the good of our people and consumers alike. We believe these changes put us in a position to meet the future head-on, with a team that is well-suited to get us there.”

Best, Maria Stipp, CEO

It appears that the company, which had always had a marijuana-vibe, is responding to the increasing competition in the craft brew market by developing and marketing a brewed drink infused with the psychoactive ingredient (THC) of marijuana to produce “higher” consumption and profits. Unfortunately, California Governor Jerry Brown signed Assembly Bill A.B. 2914 which would “prohibit a licensee from selling, offering, or providing a cannabis product that is an alcoholic beverage, including, but not limited to, an infusion of cannabis or cannabinoids derived from industrial hemp into an alcoholic beverage..”

With the disruption and downsizing of its major competitors, the layoffs should have come as no surprise to employees, especially those working in areas that can be easily be re-filled from community resources.

Are you wondering, Am I Next?