In the year 1986, a centuries-old tradition came to an end for many American workers: that tradition was the lunchtime quaffing of beer by brewery workers. According to the AP, in the spring of 1985, Anheuser-Busch announced that the following year would see an official policy change barring brewery workers from imbibing beer on their lunch breaks.
But don't feel too badly for those Budweiser employees. To this day, they get at least two free cases of beer each month, according to employees sharing insights in a Reddit thread. All that free beer can help offset a work environment that is, as you'll see, highly demanding. Budweiser employees are expected to work hard—they have to put in long hours, be available many weekends, and work at a fast pace whenever on the job.
At least there's no dress code at Budweiser, so people can wear whatever attire makes them feel the best while they're scrambling to get the job done. But here are some other bizarre rules that Budweiser employees have to follow. Plus, don't miss 8 Bizarre Rules Coca-Cola Employees Have to Follow.
They must be able to life 50 pounds
If you apply to a job in a warehouse filled with kegs and cases of beer, it makes sense that heavy lifting is part of the job. But just about every Budweiser employee is expected to be able to lift a load weighing up to 50 pounds. Consider a posting for a Quality Assurance Technician whose principal job duties, according to The Muse, are "microbiology, beer chemistry, and in-process packaged beer quality." Yep, heavy lifting apparently needed. So too does a posting for a Business Development Rep call for "repetitive lifting, bending and pulling/pushing."
Budweiser workers must take an aptitude test
Thought you were done with exams when you graduated from school? Not if you want to work for Budweiser. According to Assessment Center HW, applicants must take an aptitude test that assesses their skills in logical thinking, verbal reasoning, numerical reasoning, and cultural fit.
Workers must submit hair or urine samples for drug testing
People who hope to get a job at Anheuser-Busch InBev must submit to a pre-employment drug test in which they give over a sample of hair or urine or, in some cases, both via comments shared on Indeed. This sample will then be subjected to a four-panel drug test that looks for cocaine, opiates, amphetamines, and phencyclidine (or PCP). Randomized drug tests may be conducted after their hiring, as well, but marijuana is no longer tested for except in the event of a workplace accident.
You must be a legal adult to work there, but not drinking age
According to Indeed, Anheuser-Busch employees must be 18 years of age or older to be hired to work at a Budweiser facility. This means that someone could be hired and work at a Budweiser brewery for three entire years before he or she was legally old enough to even consume the product that their work was helping to create, market, and distribute.
You are expected to work at a very fast pace
Dozens of past and current Budweiser employees have shared on Indeed and other employment-related sites that the company demands fast-paced work without so much as stops to clean up spilled beer and shattered bottles. One former employee was shocked to find himself regularly "Working along broken cases of beer throughout the shift" adding: "Nobody picks up after themselves and they just leave it until all the orders are pulled or the day ends. Another said the work environment is: "Fast paced as fast as you can go," and also said: "They will have talks with you if they feel you are working too slow."
Workers cannot be intoxicated at work…
…but some level of drinking while on the clock is often okay, actually. According to the company's Code of Business Conduct, shared by the SEC: "No level of impairment due to alcohol during working hours is tolerated. Under no circumstances shall an employee be intoxicated over the legal limit while conducting Company business, or while on Company premises." What that does not say is that drinking isn't allowed, just that drinking past the legal limit isn't permitted.
Overtime work is always expected
Read through dozens of postings on sites like Glassdoor and Indeed left by current and former AB InBev employees and you'll begin to see an almost universal thread: the hours the company expects workers to put in can be savagely long. Warehouse workers report frequently being obliged to work 12- or even 14-hour days, while people in other departments, like sales, often had to work on weekends and holidays. Overtime pay is of course proffered, but those unwilling to put in the long hours will find themselves put out of a job.
A previous version of this article was originally published on May 23, 2022.
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