Two Words: Free Beer!
By Matthew Maier

(Business 2.0) – What makes happy hour extra happy? When the boss buys all the drinks. As part of its quest to become the new king of beers, Miller Brewing opened a 2,700-square-foot bar at its Milwaukee headquarters in 2004. Named for company founder Frederick Miller, Fred's Pub offers seven beers on tap and 13 varieties of bottled brew--from Miller High Life to limited-edition seasonal recipes--and company employees always drink for free. By fostering what Miller executives call a "culture of beer," the complimentary suds encourage employees to remember why customers buy Miller products. Yet the frothy perk also serves a practical purpose: The brainchild of Miller chief executive (and regular patron) Norman Adami, Fred's has become a place where rank-and-file workers can tilt a glass with the company's top brass. "You have to be prepared to know your part of the business," says Jason Pellegrini, a senior brand manager. "A lot of big decisions are made at Fred's." Drinking on the job has certainly helped to reenergize the company. Sales of Miller beer, including Miller Lite, increased in 2005 for the first time in six years. Tastes great, indeed.