By: Mark Fields, Harpoon Forklift Driver Published:
Last October, our friends at Web Industries, a fellow ESOP company, invited a group of Harpooners to come to their facility in Dayville, CT to attend their annual Ownership Month celebration and activities. Their “Ideas System,” a program for harnessing ideas for improving company performance from each and every employee, made a huge impact on us. The reason behind the Ideas System made a lot of sense: every employee naturally has ideas every day about how to make his or her job easier, better, more efficient.
When we saw the Ideas system in action, we saw employees who were engaged, excited, and enthusiastic. It was obvious from these meetings just how much power there is in having every employee in the company striving for its improvement. And we knew then that this program was something we had to do at Harpoon.
At Harpoon, work teams have always met frequently and shared ideas for improving performance and making employees’ jobs easier, better, more streamlined. Since becoming employee-owned, we formalized this system to make the most of those ideas and celebrate the contributions of our fellow owners. Ideas that get put into practice are showcased on the Ideas Wall in the brewery. This month's employee owner feature comes from our brewery in Windsor, VT where Forklift Driver, Mark Fields, made a small suggestion with huge benefits…
Name: Mark Fields
Title and Department: Forklift Driver, Bottling Warehouse, Windsor, VT
Idea: Pallets we use for packaging beer are 40”x48” but some of the pallets we get from our bottling supplier have a 4” extension (so they are 40”x52”). Because the fork lift is sized for the standard pallet size of 40”x48, they are not re-useable because of the extra 4” extension. So I decided to cut the extension off with a electric sawsall so we can use them back on the bottling packaging line. It doesn’t cost much to do and we end up saving anywhere from 40 to 50 pallets a month.
Benefit: To help understand the cost savings, we get charged $5.148 for pallets from our supplier. So by cutting off the 4” extension and making the pallets re-usable, we now save approx. $200 To $250 a month or $2400 to $3000 a year. The 4” extensions that are cut off are also put to great use. Our next door neighbors, Great River Outfitters, uses the scraps for firewood!
Favorite Beer: UFO White
By: Merrimack Valley Distributing Company Published:
With the arrival of the holidays, we thought something sweet was in order. This simple banana gingerbread recipe combines the best of both ingredients to make your kitchen smell wonderful. It's perfect with your morning coffee, before the day gets busy, and will keep guests happy 'til the main meal is ready. We hope you enjoy it!
UFO Gingerland Banana Bread
Adapted from Beer And Baking.com
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 1 tablespoon corn syrup
- ¼ cup UFO Gingerland
- 1 ¾ cup all-purpose flour
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- 1 ¼ teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ cup chopped walnuts (optional)
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- 2 large eggs
- 2 medium ripe bananas, mashed
- 1/3 cup melted unsalted butter
- ¼ cup of UFO Gingerland
- Preheat oven to 350. Make sure rack is in the middle of oven. Grease a bread pan with unsalted butter, making sure it’s fully covered so bread doesn’t stick. You can also use baking spray.
- Whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, sugar and cinnamon. In a separate bowl whisk eggs until frothy. Add banana, melted butter and UFO Gingerland beer. Mix so there are no big chunks of banana; then start adding the dry mix. Mix until incorporated and do not over-mix.
- Fold in walnuts with a spatula and then scrape mixture into prepared bread pan.
- Bake for 50-55 minutes. Be sure to rotate bread about halfway through so it bakes evenly. Check the bread using a toothpick. It should be slightly on the moist side. Allow to cool on wire rack for at least 30 minutes. After the bread has cooled it should slide right out the pan. Allow to cool completely before frosting.
- Whisk together the powdered sugar, corn syrup and UFO Gingerland beer. If the mixture looks too loose then add more powdered sugar. If it’s too thick, add a little more beer.
- Pour the frosting over the bread and allow it to drip down. We placed the bread on a wire rack on top of a cookie sheet so the frosting would not drip everywhere. Enjoy!