The women-owned amaro brand will donate 3% of sales to the organization which creates opportunities for underserved communities through internships in the spirits industry 

Seattle WA (8/23/2022) – The next beneficiary of Fast Penny Spirits’ Pretty Penny give-back program will be the STEPUP Foundation. At the end of 2022 Q3, the Seattle-based amaro brand will donate 3% of Amaricano and Amaricano Bianca bottle sales to the organization. 

The Pretty Penny give-back was built into Fast Penny’s business plan from the start. With the purpose of impacting the greater good and promoting diversity within the craft beverage industry and community, the partnership with the STEPUP Foundation was a no-brainer.  

STEPUP was driven by American Craft Spirits Association (ACSA) board member Chris Montana, who attended a conference and saw he was the only person of color in the room. The non-profit’s goal is to provide a comprehensive internship for those of different races, color, national origins, genders, and sexual orientations in an industry that lacks diversity.  

With a living stipend, lodging, airfare and transportation provided, interns are exposed to every facet of the industry at various distilleries across the country, from production to research and development to business management and regulatory/legal compliance. Each distillery gets to share their own unique flare with each intern, whether it be a grain to glass operation in rural Pennsylvania or an urban distillery in downtown Portland. 

“The hands-on experience this internship provides is unprecedented,” said Margie A.S. Lehrman, board member at the STEPUP Foundation. Lehrman noted that the foundation took subject matter experts in every field to build out the program, to provide each intern with thorough lesson plans. “Fast Penny’s donation will allow us to continue to foster the passion and creativity of underrepresented individuals who may not have the knowledge on how to enter our industry.”  

The board of STEPUP includes notable industry names Julie Kinch, former Chief Legal Officer for Heineken USA and David Cid, who played a role in the revamp of the multi-million-dollar BACARDI Rum Brand. Chris Underwood, who currently serves as the CEO of Young’s Holdings and is a member of the Board of Directors of Young’s Holdings, is also a STEPUP Mentor to one of 2022’s interns.  

The entire program is volunteer based, with the organization solely relying on donations, so both interns and distilleries can apply without worrying about financial barriers. Donors have included Beam Suntory, Diageo, Young’s Holding, and Leopold Bros. 

“I can’t wait until this organization no longer exists, because it means we’ve done our job increasing representation,” added Lehrman. 

Applications are still open for the 2023 cycle of the program, and those interested in internships, becoming a mentor, as well as being a host distillery can apply at the website before October 1.   

Fast Penny Spirits is a B Corp and has provided financial resources and in-kind donations to organizations including Off Their Plate, Ladies Who Launch, Vital Voices, Black Girl Ventures, Emerge Washington, Jubilee Women’s Center, WA Women’s Foundation, the Independent Restaurant Coalition and Forté, among others. 

Amaricano and Amaricano Bianca can be found at retailers, bars, and restaurants in California, Georgia, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Oregon, Tennessee and Washington. The distillery also ships to over 30 states, nationwide. 

For more information on future partnerships and events, follow Fast Penny on Instagram @fastpennyspirits and subscribe to their newsletter. 

About STEPUP Foundation 

The STEPUP Foundation, a 501(c)(3) charitable foundation, is a spirits training and entrepreneurship program for underrepresented professionals in the spirits industry. The mission of STEPUP is to provide underserved and underrepresented individuals with hands-on training and education, encouragement, and opportunities to enter the spirits community through a comprehensive internship program like no other in the alcohol beverage industry. 

About Fast Penny Spirits 

Fast Penny Spirits is a woman-owned and operated amaro distillery and Certified B Corp™. Based in Seattle and inspired by the founder’s Italian heritage, the company is committed to stirring up change. Blended with a combination of the highest-quality, wild-crafted, organic, and consciously-sourced botanicals, Fast Penny’s spirits are rich, herbaceous, and captivating. Luxurious and refined, their Italian-style amari – Amaricano and Amaricano Bianca – are beautifully complex to sip on their own or swirl into a cocktail. With a constant eye on environmental impact and a 3% Pretty Penny give-back program, Fast Penny Spirits is dedicated to supporting and empowering women, local communities, and the hospitality industry. 

The distillery is open to the public to pick up bottles, enjoy cocktails, and learn about amaro during open hours at the FPS Bottle Shop + Tasting Deck, where they serve cocktails and often host pop-ups. Currently open Fridays 4-9 p.m., and Saturdays 1-6 p.m. at 1138 W Ewing St, Suite B, Seattle, WA 98119.  

For more information, please visit  

About Amaro
Amaro is an herbal liqueur that can be sipped on its own or swirled into a cocktail. It is made from infusing a neutral base spirit, such as a grape or grain, with a blend of spices, herbs, roots, and flowers. With the help of popular cocktails, such as the Aperol Spritz or Negroni, a variety of different types of amaro have been quickly popping up on restaurant menus and in personal liquor cabinets across the country. While amaro translates to “bitter” in Italian, its flavor can vary widely from sweet to umami. Fast Penny Spirits, Amaricano and Amaricano Bianca, offers a balance of bitter and herbaceous.

Media Contact: 
Natalie Cheel 

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