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ACSA Unveils New DEI Initiative

After more than 18 months of planning, the American Craft Spirits Association (ACSA) is proud to launch the Spirits Training Entrepreneurship Program for Underrepresented Professionals (STEPUP Foundation), a diversity initiative that aims to provide underserved and underrepresented individuals with training, encouragement, and opportunities to enter the craft spirits community through a comprehensive year long, immersive internship program. ACSA has long recognized a lack of diversity in the alcoholic beverage industry and has been working behind the scenes for some time now to develop a comprehensive program aimed at increasing talent through facilitation of workplace diversity. STEPUP will engage diverse applicants with an interest in the beverage sector and help those of different races, color, national origins, genders and sexual orientations to acquire the skills and experience they need to succeed in the industry.

Together with an Advisory Board, the Board of Directors have created an immersive internship program for underrepresented individuals in the alcoholic beverage industry. Margie A.S. Lehrman (CEO, ACSA) will serve as the organization’s president, working together with Secretary Rebecca Harris (Head Distiller and Co-founder, Catoctin Creek Distilling Co. and President, ACSA) and Treasurer Julie Kinch (CEO/Founder, JK Leadership Advisors, LLC). They are joined by a seasoned Board of Directors, including Chris Montana, CEO and Head Distiller, Du Nord Social Spirits, Chris Underwood, CEO, Young’s Holdings, David Cid, Rum Master, Bacardi, and Ingrid Wetzell, HR Director, Bently Enterprises. These critical liaisons will help identify potential partners, secure financial resources, and develop training materials to ensure the program’s success.



Are you interested in joining us? Are you seeking to gain an understanding of, relevant skills and hands-on training in the craft spirits industry? Are you ready to enter a vibrant entrepreneurial community? Do you want to challenge yourself with a year-long educational experience?


Booze, with love: Distillers get together to help diversify their industry — and make a great whiskey

It is a thousand bottles of giving back.

Really, you could say a thousand bottles of love are being produced in Butte.

Very, very drinkable love.

Seven years ago, a couple of craft distillers decided their industry needed a group of professionals who were willing to share their knowledge and support the industry, as a whole and specifically when someone in the industry needed help. It would be a place of learning, a place of vulnerability. But it would also be a common foundation of trusted sources around the subject of making damn good booze.

Those two were John McKee, co-owner/distiller at Butte’s Headframe Spirits, and Johnny Jeffery, now master distiller at Bently Heritage Distillery in Nevada.

So more or less on the spot they created Good Guy Distillers. The group now has more than 100 members, distillers from all over the world. They insist on one thing: To be a member, you have to actively contribute, to give back to the industry. Every year, they cull the group of those who join but don’t contribute.

Good Guy Distillers’ latest project is happening in Headframe’s Kelley Distillery this week.

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