Steve Rupp is on a mission. Well, several missions. He wants to educate the Upland staff on all things beer. He wants Upland drinkers to enthusiastically try new beers. And he wants to travel whenever possible to experience what the locals are eating, drinking, and enjoying.
Steve, a Bloomington native, graduated from IU in 2010 and quickly became involved in a new, local watering hole venture. He was able to get his feet wet in mixology, working at two bars on opposite sides of the spectrum—one a place for the more monotonous, low key drinker and the other an upscale bar with more hip and interesting cocktails. “I realized these spots were a meeting place for all walks of life in the community,” says Steve.
Working at another local brewery led to a pure beer enthusiasm. “My love for good, craft beer was heightened and I wanted to learn more about the process and see what older techniques are still being used but with a new rendition process.”
Coming from an academic background in tourism and business and having a natural inclination for personal interaction, Steve found his way to Upland about two years ago. He bartends, serves, hosts, and recently has taken on more front-of-house management needs. Since his time at Upland with a growing appreciation for beer culture and appetite to learn, he’s taken on a larger role as a Beer & Tourism Development Coordinator. He’s developing a shadow day at the production brewery for Upland staff to spend a day with the brewers to learn about the entire brewing process from start to finish and hear from the brewers about the craft and why they love what they do.
One day a week you can find him at the Wood Shop. He’s quickly become a sour ale guru and hopes to develop a similar education program for Upland staff on the sour ale program. “I love talking about our sours with people because what we’re doing here is unique, a little crazy at times, and you can’t help but be excited about it,” says Steve.
Steve wants anyone who stops by for a tour at the production brewery or Wood Shop to leave having tried something new and a deeper appreciation for not only the end result of the craft brews, but how they got to that point and the approach.
When he’s not actively pursuing his own beer edification and what matters to tourists trying new beers at Upland, Steve is traveling, engaging with people, and maintaining a curious and adventurous zeal for life and learning. “When you give up on learning, you give up a lot of things.”
His excitement for craft beer is contagious so come have a beer with Steve at the Wood Shop and you’re sure to leave satisfied and more knowledgeable about what Upland is experimenting with and just about any other topic you strike up!