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Triple Bottom Brewing Emphasizes Hiring of Returning Citizens

Business for Good: Triple Bottom Brewing

Jill Harkins - August 13, 2019

"When Triple Bottom Brewing opens in the old Reading Railroad offices at 915 Spring Garden, it will hold more than just beer fermentation tanks—there will also be a washing machine.

You’ll have to find somewhere else to do your laundry on days you stop by for a beer, though; the washing machine, along with a dryer and a shower, will be in the staff room, an effort to support employees who may not have that luxury at home. It’s just one of the many ways the fledgling beer company is living up to its name.

The “Triple Bottom” indicates that Tess Hart and Bill Popwell put themselves squarely in the triple bottom line movement for their business—putting people, planet, and profit on an equal footing. “We want to figure out how a business can be profitable, but also be good,” says Hart. And what better way to do that, than with something they love: Beer.

Triple Bottom recognizes itself as a fair chance business, in line with its first bottom line: people. This label is used widely by businesses that hire returning citizens, in recognition of the often insurmountable barriers to finding a job that having a criminal record can pose. Hart says that for Triple Bottom, being a fair chance business means that “our team comes from an incredible variety of life and professional experiences,” and leveraging that variety for Triple Bottom’s and its employees’ success.

“Philadelphia has the fastest growing millennial population of any US city. At the same time, it has the highest poverty rate of the 10 largest U.S. cities,” notes Hart. “We want to speak to both of those groups who come from a diverging place and bring people together in a way that everyone feels welcome. We want to build some empathy and understanding across those groups.” This, combined with Hart’s connection to the city and the growing craft beer scene, led to Hart and Popwell’s easy choice for the first home for Triple Bottom."

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