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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“There has been much I’ve learned through STEPUP that has been immediately useful—understanding distillery processes helped me to onboard/get through training faster. Now as I’ve become more comfortable in my role, I can also contribute to FEW (Spirits) using the knowledge I’ve gained through STEPUP.” – Erin Lee, 2022 STEPUP Alumni, Distiller at FEW Spirits

APPLICATIONS for 2025 are now OPEN!

Please check back in December for the announcement
of our 2024 Participants!

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.

Yakntoro “Yaki” Udoumoh, 2022 STEPUP Alumni, Distiller at Sagamore Spirits

2024 IMPACT REPORT is out now!

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Washington, DC (December 21, 2023)The American Craft Spirits Association (ACSA) and The Spirits Training Entrepreneurship Program for Underrepresented Professionals (STEPUP Foundation) are proud to announce the third class of interns, mentors, and participating distilleries, along with several new funding partners for the upcoming 2024 class.

2022 Power of Associations Silver Award Winner

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WHO WE ARE

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.

Applications

Application under development.

Selection

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

Good Deeds Malt Whiskey Now Available.

Good Deeds Spirits are limited edition spirits, conceptualized by a group of friends, and passionate distillers, founded with a mission of raising funds to increase inclusion and diversity within the distilling industry.  Each of the Good Deeds releases will benefit a cause, with 100% of revenues going directly back to each beneficiary. 
 
Proceeds from the purchase of the Good Deeds Malt Whiskey in 2023 & 2024 will go directly to the STEPUP Foundation program. 

Purchase Here
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