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Anheuser-Busch's New York Office is Home to the Workplace Brewery of Your Dreams

The casual workplace culture keeps the beer giant's staff happy and collaborative.

This story appears in the December 2018 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Anheuser-Busch occupies an interesting space in beer. The maker of Budweiser was once America’s dominant beer producer, known for its St. Louis roots. Then it became a subsidiary of the Belgium-based AB InBev, the world’s largest beer company. As the beer industry shifts -- with craft makers on the rise, and more drinkers moving to wine and spirits -- it’s been experimenting with its own brands and buying up others (like Goose Island). And its new, eight-story commercial strategy office in New York City’s Chelsea neighborhood signals the company’s desire to stay nimble despite its size. The space is designed by TPG Architecture and contains many features straight out of the tech-startup design playbook: a central staircase meant as much for congregating as traveling, and many carved-out spaces for staffers to quickly discuss everything from liquid innovation to new marketing campaigns. Of course, beer is served fresh from its in-house brewery, called 24th St. Hops. 

Adam Friedberg

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Victoria O’Connor / Senior tax counsel

“On the sales floors, every day they have a target. If they achieve that target, they ring a bell. Because of the open center staircase that connects all our floors, people will start clapping -- not only on their floor, but on all floors above as well. It’s a joint celebration.”

David McKenzie / Director, corporate social responsibility

“The first floor has a number of large meeting spaces next to an in-house brewery, and we hold our large, office-wide meetings in the bleachers on the first floor, which is a really great atmosphere. It doesn’t feel like a stuffy auditorium. It captures the personality of our company and the creativity of our colleagues who work here.”

Brian Meli / Associate general counsel

“At a lot of companies, there’s a hesitation or resistance to come to legal early and often, but I have an open-door policy just by virtue of the fact that I don’t have a door. In the physical environment here, we sit with our business clients and they know where to find us -- we’re not sequestered.”

Related: Evernote's Silicon Valley Headquarters Offer Company-Wide Collaboration (and Lego-Building Classes)

Gaurav Rajput / Director of IT

“Where I sit, I can see the senior management team. You watch and learn, just like a kid does from his parents. One day, our former president had a can in his hand, and he was rushing to a meeting, but he wanted to dispose of it. He could’ve just thrown it in the trash, but he took the time to find the recycling can. It’s the small things that matter -- they cascade down.” 

Aimee Vargas / Senior director, U.S. corporate communications

“This company is flexible with our work environment and with our lifestyles. I have two kids. I have to go to soccer games and put them on the bus. Our leadership team is supportive and understands that we’re all professionals who love this company and want to make it successful. That’s a blessing, and it allows us to work harder and more effectively.”

Related: Rent the Runway's New Office Space Reminds Employees 'Everyone Deserves a Cinderella Experience'

Ashley O’Neil / Senior executive coordinator, marketing

“My favorite thing about the office is the beer! It’s the best part of the company. One of my favorite times was when Clydesdales came to the city and walked down West 24th Street to celebrate the grand opening of this office.” 

Alexis Unwalla / Corporate brand manager

“My former classmates work in banking. Every day, they go to work in a two-piece suit or a blazer and skirt. It’s very empowering to me that I can wear what I want to express my authentic self in this office. Whether you come in wearing jeans and a branded beer polo shirt or repping your own unique style, it’s a great way to break down barriers.”

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Image Credit: Adam Friedberg
Lydia Belanger

Written By

Lydia Belanger is a former associate editor at Entrepreneur. Follow her on Twitter: @LydiaBelanger.