It’s Time To STEPUP

The STEPUP Foundation, a 501(c)(3) charitable foundation, provides underserved and underrepresented individuals with training, encouragement, and opportunities to enter the craft spirits community through a comprehensive internship program.

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Focused on the Future of our Craft.

The American Craft Spirits Association (ACSA) recognized a lack of diversity in the alcoholic beverage sector long before it catapulted to media headlines in 2020. Social justice issues pervaded our airwaves. Unless you live under a rock, most Americans now understand a diverse workplace contributes to higher performance, innovation, creativity, and overall growth for businesses throughout America.

STEPUP Foundation was launched in August 2020 to bridge the gap between an interest in and acquiring skills to succeed in a segment of the alcohol beverage community.



STEPUP is seeking Interns, Mentors, DSPs, and Wholesalers to participate in the STEPUP Foundation Internship program for the 2023 year!

Eligibility, requirements, and applications can all be found on the STEPUP ‘About’ page. 
For additional inquiries, please email us at:,,, or 
Apply Now

There are internships. And then there are journeys. Why get lost in a sea of cubicles, pouring coffee for the powers that be while you pay your dues, when you can embark on the professional adventure of a lifetime where no two days are exactly the same? The latter is the sort of experience successful candidates can expect when they’re accepted into the STEPUP Foundation’s internship program. STEPUP—Spirits Training Entrepreneurship Program for Underrepresented Professionals—is now accepting applications for the 2023 edition of its award-winning, first-of-its-kind internship.

The program is designed to provide underserved and underrepresented individuals with hands-on training and education, encouragement and opportunities to enter the spirits community. STEPUP offers interns truly holistic engagement in multiple facets of the spirits business, from fermentation, distillation, blending and maturation, to marketing, finance, sales and distribution. Through the up-to-a-yearlong internship, the enterprising participants learn and hone their skills at a series of distilleries across the country and gain exposure to the wholesaler side of the business at one of America’s top spirits distributorships. Interns receive a generous living stipend, lodging and transportation. 


About the StepUp Foundation

The alcoholic beverage section captures the best of what Americans offer within a manufacturing community: passion, innovation, creativity, collaboration, independence, marriage of skills and disciplines, and outreach among multiple sectors from agriculture, to hospitality and tourism, to marketing and sales to industrial processes.  

The pipeline to recruit qualified candidates is narrow, however, and underrepresented communities may lack knowledge or training to access this beverage sector.

The purpose of STEPUP is to increase talent through facilitation of workplace diversity. Specifically, STEPUP, working with distilleries and suppliers throughout the United States, will provide a comprehensive training program and provide job exposure for those of different races, genders, disabilities, and sexual orientations.

Successful scholarship interns will bring passion, motivation, and an ability to immerse in an up to year long program which will expose candidates to all facets of owning and operating a distillery.

What is the STEPUP Internship Program?

Eligibility for Interns

Applicant criteria under development.

Eligibility for Distilled Spirits Producers

DSP criteria to host interns under development.

Eligibility for Other Alcoholic Beverage Sector Businesses

Wholesaler and Supplier criteria to host interns under development.


Application under development.


Applications will be reviewed and selected by the STEPUP Board of Directors. The timeline is currently under development.

Awards & Reporting

Initially, two applicants per year will matriculate through the program. Growing the number of placements per year will be contingent on donor funding.

Our Board

Margie A.S. Lehrman
Board Member
Rebecca L. Harris
Board Member
Ingrid Wetzell
Board Member
Chris Montana
Board Member
Julie Kinch
Board Member
David Cid
Board Member
Chris Montana
Board Member
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