Since it was founded eight years ago, WeWork Cos. has offered tenants in its locations kegs of free beer, as part of the hip vibe the fast-growing shared office startup has been selling.
Now it’s paring back—a little.
This week the company started limiting its beer to four 12-ounce glasses per person a day. Those caps apply to just three New York City locations at first, but WeWork told tenants in an email that it plans implement the policy citywide. New York is WeWork’s largest market by far, where it recently surpassed JPMorgan Chase & Co. as the largest private occupant of office space.
The change represents “an innovative, software-driven mechanism to help manage the provision of alcohol in our spaces,” a WeWork spokeswoman said.
She declined to comment on whether the citywide limits would also apply to WeWork’s headquarters, also based in New York, or is just aimed at tenants, which the company calls members.
Valued in a fundraising round last year at $20 billion, WeWork leases large chunks of office space from landlords, then subleases smaller offices short-term to startups and divisions of large companies.
The company says part of its appeal is the culture it creates. And since early days, beer has been a key part of that culture. Chief executive Adam Neumann used to highlight the taps to guests, and early versions of WeWork’s website listed “craft beer” on its “services” page, alongside fast Wi-Fi and health insurance.