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Strange brew
Strange brew
New Belgium Brewing
Fort Collins, Colo.

New Belgium Brewing Co. likes to do things differently.

After one year of work, each employee receives an ownership stake in the company and a free custom bicycle. After five years every employee enjoys an all-expenses-paid trip to Belgium -- the country whose centuries-old beer tradition serves as a model for the Fort Collins, Colo., brewery. Oh yeah, and employees get two free six-packs of beer a week.

"There's something wrong if making beer can't be fun," says CEO Kim Jordan.

The perks aren't just for fun, though. Each one is an expression of the company's ethos. The free bikes help the environment. The trips to Belgium commemorate co-founder Jeff Lebesch's bicycle tour of that country's breweries in 1989 -- the original inspiration for the company, now the third largest craft brewery and the eighth largest overall in the U.S.

"Operating a business in a way that is consistent with your values is particularly pleasing," says Jordan.

Those values include employee ownership. Workers own 33% of New Belgium, which has 320 employees and posted $93 million in revenue last year. A large proportion of the staff participates in strategic planning and budgeting.

Read more about "the hardest part" of adjusting to New Belgium's culture.

NEXT: A family affair

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LAST UPDATE: Jun 08 2009 | 1:39 PM ET
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