Mug Shots - Steve Dunn
Take a peek beyond the beer you love to drink with our blog series titled, "Mug Shots." There are a lot of folks here at Boulder Beer who play a huge role in our day to day success. This is our way of introducing you to the team that makes it all happen. It’s time for you to meet our Operations Manager, Steve Dunn (aka The Dude)!
Steve is from Denver originally but grew up in Michigan. He dove right into the craft beer world as the original manager of Bell’s Brewery Eccentric Café in Kalamazoo in 1993. But Colorado was in his blood so he headed back to the Centennial State in 1997 and hasn’t looked back.
Soon after relocating Steve landed on Boulder Beer’s doorstep. “I answered a cattle call for servers in the Pub and got hired on the spot,” says Steve. “On my third server training shift the bartender no-call / no-showed so I stepped in and bartended moving forward. Six weeks later I moved up to the Assistant Pub Manager and stayed on for two years before leaving to finish my degree.” As it turned out, Steve couldn’t stay away and returned in 2002 as the Shipping Dude. He left again in 2015 for “a big city opportunity” that didn’t take, and so now has been back home at the brewery since February of this year in his new role as Operations Manager.
Some of Steve’s favorite memories from his long run at Boulder Beer include winning the Employee of the Year 14’er Award during his time as the Shipping Dude, and inspiring The Dude Series line of rare barrel-aged beers, the first of which was called The Dude’s Bane since the bourbon barrels were totally in his way in the cooler and the bane of his existence. Of the four Dude Series releases, his favorite was Scourge of the Dude – a 12.5% smoky Barleywine aged eight months in first use bourbon barrels – so if you see one of those white whales out in the market snatch it up! Of course there are many more special moments from over the years “that shall remain clouded in mystery, if only to protect the (mostly) innocent from embarrassment.” Thanks, Steve! What happens at the brewery, stays at the brewery.
When Steve isn’t belly-up here with a Mojo IPA in hand, you can also find him on the Ultimate Frisbee fields either playing or announcing the game. His side hustle for the past seven years has been as the PA Announcer for major USA Ultimate national tournaments doing play by play for the crowd, from the sidelines. “Announcing the World Championships last summer was definitely a highlight,” says Steve in his deep baritone, made for radio voice. “The hardest part was pronouncing the player’s names correctly during the Russia vs. Netherlands game!” In addition to Ultimate, Steve loves getting his groove on at New Orleans Jazz Fest every year (next year will be his 20th trip!). Kayaking, biking, and snowboarding at Mary Jane are also on the favorites list. “Mary Jane is my happy place” declares the bumper sticker on his truck. Don’t we all love to go to our happy place.
Steve and his wife Lynn have been together for nearly 18 years. On one of their first dates, he remembers her ordering a Stout at the Mountain Sun brewpub on a hot day in July, and thought, “I really like this woman.” Fun Fact: Steve and Lynn will technically be celebrating their first wedding anniversary next February, although they will have ACTUALLY been married for four years. Can you guess their wedding date??
When asked why he keeps coming back to Boulder Beer, Steve replied “Hands down it’s the welcoming atmosphere I felt from the get go, when I was new to town and didn’t know more than a couple of people. Boulder Beer is family and I’m so excited about my new role here.” So are we, Steve! Welcome home.
Thanks Steve, for all you do! We appreciate you! And maybe, just maybe, there’s a barrel-aged Hey Dude in the works?? Stay tuned, folks…