Raise your hand if your company or business has a product so overwhelmingly popular that people have been known to stand in a line that strings several blocks down the street and around the corner, waiting patiently for a couple of hours for the privilege of buying your goods. Yeah. See, now that right there is why the small, but mighty, team at Transient Artisan Ales has managed to find its way onto the inaugural Moody on the Market Top 20 Best Places to Work in Michigan’s Great Southwest. It’s certainly not the only reason, but you have to respect a small team that works that hard to deliver quality goods to the consumer with increasing regularity, leading to exponential growth going forward. Read the rest of the story of what started out as a one man business in Illinois that evolved into a dream come true in the community of Bridgman along the shores of Lake Michigan.
What is the name of the business you are nominating?
Transient Artisan Ales
Who are the owner(s) and/or principals in this company?
Business Contact Information
4229 Lake Street
Bridgman, MI 49106
How many people work at the company you are nominating?
Tell us the story behind the nominated company. What does it do, and what sets them apart from other companies in the region?
Transient Artisan Ales started as a one man operation in Illinois. Chris Betts started as a gypsy brewer, selling batches of beer as he was able to make them. After visiting Southwest Michigan, he and his girlfriend Rachel Weisner loved the atmosphere, environment, and opportunity in Bridgman and opened a taproom. He has won countless awards, been invited to international festivals, and been recognized for all sorts of beer styles. He is well known for his barrel aged beer (sours included), is constantly giving back to charity, and has grown his company from two to seven.
In your own words, why do you think this company deserves to be declared to be one of the 20 Best Places to Work in Michigan’s Great Southwest?
Transient Artisan Ales is absolutely one of the top places to work in Michigan’s Great Southwest. The work ethic of Chris alone inspires and motivates me every day. I am constantly learning about beer styles, types, tastes. I feel respected and trusted. Their upcoming growth has given them the opportunity to offer other positions to the current staff which is exciting. I have traveled to Denver, Copenhagen, and Sweden representing the brewery. There is constant opportunity, growth, and hard work.
What makes workers proud to say they work there, and keeps them a part of the team?
Everyone at Transient works hard and is willing to help each other. The work environment, while challenging, is enjoyable. The beer produced is incredible and it’s amazing to have individuals drive from several hours or stand in line all morning for an opportunity to experience it. Chris, as the owner, sets a great example with his work ethic and humble personality.
Let’s pretend you’re writing a review for Yelp! or Trip Advisor. Give us your best recommendation for the nominated company that would make the rest of us wish we worked there, too.
Transient Artisan Ales has some of the best beer I’ve ever had. The taproom is unassuming but the staff is dedicated, knowledgeable, and friendly. Great service and great beer (and dogs are allowed inside)!
What three key words best describe why this company is a Best Places to Work caliber company?
- Charitable…2. Hard Working…3. Quality
As a Best Places to Work company “Super Hero,” what are the two most magical “Super Powers” this company has on a day-to-day basis? (i.e., Ability to read minds, fly, invisibility, etc) And why?
Super Power One Super strength – The power to work long days, move large equipment, and have the fortitude to produce amazing product with a good attitude
Super Power Two Flexibility – Ability to change schedules, adapt on the fly, and spontaneously make decisions
Tell us about the leadership of the nominated company and what they do to:
A] Keep spirits and motivation high? Chris frequently takes members of our team to festivals, invites us all to a collective dinner, or finds time to chat with us in a casual setting.
B] Keep innovation and fresh ideas advancing? Chris encourages input and ideas from all members of the staff, even those who don’t have as much experience as others. He is open to trying anything or experimenting with recipes, beer names, event ideas, etc.
C] Keep communications open? Chris is 24/7 available via phone to answer any questions and is always checking his e-mail. He is also at the brewery almost every day and will always check in before leaving if anyone has any questions.
Explain a specific “wow!” moment in this company’s history that is virtually “Hall of Fame” or “Best Practices” worthy, as an example to other companies in the region.
For the release of Buckley last year, Transient had hundreds of visitors from out of the area. Many stood in line for hours to get bottles of the beer, boosting the local economy. The small staff handled the crowd and line with no incidents, and also raised thousands of dollars for the Humane Society. In addition, several puppies were adopted out on that day. The event ran nearly flawlessly even with the addition of food, an outdoor area, and charity.
Best Places to Work have a reputation for not only working hard, but also for playing hard. How does the nominated company:
A] Honor or reward success? Chris meets with the members of his team to assess their current position and discuss how each member would like to be involved, compensation included.
B] Socialize as a team? Our team gathers both socially and in work settings; after releases we will often dine together, and we love to play board games.
C] Get involved in community events? Transient collaborates with other breweries and donates portions of bottle and can sales to charities.
D] Celebrate life? Transient is constantly looking for ways to collaborate with the community, be involved with charitable organizations, and be present at events.
Write a brief, but compelling, recruitment ad telling people about why they should come and work there, too.
Transient Artisan Ales is seeking hard working individuals looking to grow, learn, and travel with a fast moving company. Constant innovation and high quality product have placed Transient on the map as a top brewery destination in the country. Rapid growth is happening and we are willing to help grow your strengths as we improve ours.
What one thing is special about your nominated company that most people in the community have no idea actually happens there, but should be shouted from the rooftops because it’s that cool?
Chris does not update the public with the amounts he raises for various charities, but the amount is easily in the tens of thousands. I am so proud to work at a place that donates so much money without boasting or using it as a platform to congratulate themselves.
Give us three employee perks or benefits that you think make the company you have nominated worthy of a Best Places to Work trophy?
- Transient brings employees on trips to festivals all over the world – Sweden, Boston, Madison…2. Employees at Transient get to enjoy some of the best beer in the world and learn from one of the best…3. Being part of a company that is so small while it is growing exponentially makes it a very exciting atmosphere with lots of opportunity to learn and grow with the company.
If this is your company and you win, write the best headline ever for your company newsletter describing your successful selection to the list, and be as specific as you can about how you would celebrate the win if money were no object.
It’s Settled: It’s Awesome to Work Here!
Transient has been recognized as one of the best places to work in Southwest Michigan, and a lot of that is thanks to you. Please join us in a celebration as we travel as a group to Grand Rapids to visit our friends at Speciation, City Built, Pyramid Scheme, and Greyline!
Tell us anything else you want about this company that you suddenly realize we haven’t asked you about, but you’re sure will be the thing that puts you squarely into the winner’s circle! (Wait a minute! Can you put a square in a circle?)
Transient is honestly the best place I have ever worked. Thousands of people brew beer but there is only one brewer like Chris Betts. I am so proud to work at a place that Chris and Rachel have built up from nothing and to be with them as they expand.