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Breakout Brewer: Upland Brewing Company

Pushing the envelope and doing things the hard way are standard operating procedure at Indiana’s Upland Brewing Company.

Emily Hutto Apr 30, 2016 - 7 min read

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“The lyf so short, the craft so long to lerne.” This quote from the medieval poet Geoffrey Chaucer is a lot like the mantra at Bloomington, Indiana’s Upland Brewing Company, says the brewery President Douglas Dayhoff. “Craft needs to be continually explored,” he explains. “That’s the ethos here—a continuous push to get better even when things are good.”

This entrepreneurial ethos is what attracted Dayhoff to the brewery in the first place. In 2006, he purchased the brewpub from his friends and original founders, Marc Sattinger, Russ Levitt, and Dean LaPlante. The three had opened Upland in 1998. “I had a lot of appreciation for the beers that they brewed, the people and the team, and the company culture,” Dayhoff says. “It was highly democratic and high-performance. The staff set high expectations for [itself].”

Dayhoff, an entrepreneur himself with an undergraduate degree in philosophy and a graduate degree in business, had run multiple companies that created software, built custom cabinets, and even designed greeting cards, but never before had he crafted beer. “I’m not a brewer myself, and I’ve never been a homebrewer either, but I was interested in brewing because it brings together a high degree of creativity as well as a demand for good engineering and process methods,” he says. “I’m not a great artist or a great engineer, but I can help broker those conversations. If I have the secret sauce [in this business], that’s it.”

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