How a 175-year-old brewing company is rethinking remote work

Pabst Brewing Company is using WeWork global access to empower their team and supercharge their culture

The challenge: connecting remote employees to culture

Pabst Brewing Company is 175 years old, but they’re not looking into the past—they’re focused on the future. With more than 30 iconic beer brands—including Lone Star, Rainier, Olympia, and the eponymous Pabst Blue Ribbon—Pabst is independently owned and America’s fifth largest brewer. One major reason for their success after so many years: “We embrace change for a better tomorrow, today,” explains Matt Bruhn, general manager, Pabst Brewing Company. “As we think about our brands, we think about leaning into the changes in society and culture.”

Pabst has experimented and innovated in all areas of their business, including the employee experience. Despite having a headquarters in Los Angeles, and offices in San Antonio and Dallas, most of Pabst’s 300-plus employees are remote workers across the country—from sales professionals, to national account managers and field marketers. But while remote working can be a benefit for employees, it can also lead to disengagement. Bruhn cited that working from home and remote working has led to a distance, not just from other employees, but from customers—making it difficult for employees to stay on the pulse of what’s culturally relevant.

Bruhn is always looking for creative solutions to empower his remote workforce and help them feel more engaged. “We want to create environments and opportunities for our remote working population to connect to each other and to people in the real world,” Bruhn says. “We don’t want our employees cut off from the ever-changing world. We want them embedded in understanding what’s changing.”

The solution: a passport to workspace and culture

That’s why Bruhn reached out to WeWork. WeWork suggested Pabst explore global access, an unlimited membership pass to WeWork’s entire network of locations around the world. With WeWork global access, Pabst could give remote team members a network of spaces and community in their respective cities.

Bruhn decided to test WeWork global access with 11 remote workers in five different cities across the U.S.—Chicago, Detroit, Seattle, Denver, and Charlotte—with the goal of rolling it out to more employees if the test was successful. With WeWork global access, Bruhn would be able to measure how Pabst’s employees were using their memberships—from which locations they visited most frequently, to the number of conference rooms they booked each month, and even how many guests they checked in.

The results: happy employees and unprecedented flexibility

The results have sparked enthusiasm and excitement, with global access transforming the way Pabst employees work. WeWork has become their go-to workspace for a variety of needs from focused work to hosting team meetings.

Qualitative feedback from Pabst employees indicates that WeWork has empowered remote workers and had a positive impact on their day-to-day work. “For a field-based employee, it is nice to have a community workspace to go to. All of the WeWork spaces are super-nice and very inviting. It is awesome to be able to interact with so many different people, which helps me to stay motivated and inspired,” says Ashley Swygert, vice president of commercial strategy and field sales at Pabst.

The test has lasted just over three months and Pabst has plans to expand their relationship with WeWork. “What we are doing with WeWork is the future of how many businesses our size will look at real estate,” Bruhn says. He can see Pabst expanding their partnership with WeWork in the future.

Key highlights

  • Beautiful workspaces to empower workers in remote markets
  • Connecting remote employees to culture in their local communities
  • Access to WeWork’s vibrant community for remote employees
  • Flexibility to add WeWork global access memberships depending on business needs
  • Cost-efficient real estate solution with little to no risk

Learn more about WeWork global access and contact us if you’re considering it for your team.

From collaborative workspaces to universities—where adults are working, kids can be hands-on learning. Here’s how

Hear from TripActions’ Francis Moran, VP of finance, and Rich Liu, CRO, about their company’s rapid growth

WeWork offered the luxury bedding company flexibility to scale up, on demand, as business took off