Group of friends cheersing with glasses of beer.

To B, or Not to B: Redemption Rock Becomes the 1st Massachusetts Certified B Corp Brewery

Although Redemption Rock Brewing Co. in Worcester has demonstrated an unwavering dedication to producing first-rate beers and a top-flight taproom experience, it recently announced that it was willing to settle for a B.  After receiving more than a passing grade for its dedication to the environment and its community, the brewery was approved as a Certified Benefit Corporation (“B Corp”), and it now holds the honor of being the first business in Worcester to achieve that mark, and the first Massachusetts brewery to do so.

The B Corp designation is offered and assessed by B Lab, a non-profit organization that has crafted a set of criteria to recognize those companies that look beyond their own profit margins to effect a positive change on society.  Achieving a status as a Certified B Corp is a signal to consumers and the industry at large that a company is a force for good and that its values transcend its own personal economic viability.

The B Corp certification measures a company’s entire social and environmental performance by assessing and scoring them on five Impact Areas, including Governance, Workers, Community, Environment, and Customers.  In order to be certified, prospective companies must attain a minimum Impact Score of 80.  Redemption Rock easily surpassed that threshold, earning an impressive score of 96.8.  Its highest score came in the Community category, where it received a 33.6.  The brewery attributes this high score to its practice of hiring from within the local community, sourcing from local and independent organizations whenever possible, keeping its sales footprint in Massachusetts, and contributing the equivalent of at least 1% of its annual revenue to nonprofit organizations.  Perhaps most notably, Redemption Rock donates all of its cash tips to local nonprofits, regularly presenting worthy recipients with an aptly named “big check,” which is both physically oversized and monetarily substantial.

Speaking as both a member of the Worcester community and a frequent patron, I certainly will not be making any headlines by saying that Worcester is proud to be home to Redemption Rock.  It not only offers a warm, welcoming taproom filled with artwork and activities—not to mention its wide array of beer styles and food options—but it has followed through on its promise to become part of the fabric of this community.  Although it has only earned a “B” for its accomplishments, this author would not hesitate to give Redemption Rock an A+.

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