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Amidst Affordable Housing Crisis, Some Breweries Become Landlords

As rentals have become unavailable or unaffordable in towns where workers live, breweries weigh a novel solution: providing housing for employees.

Kate Bernot Jun 6, 2022 - 12 min read

Amidst Affordable Housing Crisis, Some Breweries Become Landlords Primary Image

Short’s Brewing in Michigan recently bought a nearby hotel, largely so it could attract new hires with subsidized rent. Photo: Courtesy Short’s Brewing.

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For Short’s Brewing in Bellaire, Michigan, the breaking point came last year. It happened when leadership became aware that one of the brewery’s employees—unable to find any available rentals in the touristy lakeside town—was living out of a car. Two other employees had recently quit, citing the need to move back in with their families in other towns or states.

Scott Newman-Bale, the brewery’s CEO, says this was the final straw that convinced the company it needed to find a fast solution to the lack of worker housing. “It was pretty clear that there was a massive need,” he says. “People were just trying to survive.”

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