Sips: KAYAK treats staff to beer, and Drizly helps

Every Thursday around 4:30 p.m., the Cambridge staff of the travel company Kayak gathers to unwind a little.

It’s a scene not unlike many others in offices around the region, with employees networking (or gossiping) over a beer or a glass of wine.

“We’ve built what resembles kind of a little pub,” says Ko Baryiames, Kayak’s chief information officer. “When you’re in a high-tech environment you’re staring into a computer screen. This gets the people who don’t see each other all that regularly to intermingle and get to know each other.”

The beer at these happy hours (they call them “beer 30s” now) has gotten better, in part because it’s easier for companies like Kayak to bring in more novel brews. On a recent Wednesday afternoon, the Boston-based Drizly service offered 75 kegs for next-day delivery in the Boston area, including Grey Lady, a wheat beer from Nantucket’s Cisco Brewery, and
Little Brett, a funky, pineapple-y brew from Portland’s Allagash Brewing Co.


“When we first launched Drizly we were sort of shocked at the number of businesses using us,” says Drizly cofounder Justin Robinson, who says corporate customers are now a significant part of the business.

Drizly gets its kegs from retailers, whose access to distributors makes hundreds of beer varieties available. For Baryiames and Kayak, that means matching pumpkin beers to Halloween and Marzens to Oktoberfest.

“We do it pretty much every week,” says Baryiames. “It’s definitely a perk.”

Gary Dzen can be reached at gary.dzen@globe.com.