Beer has an amazing ability to create connections. Whether it’s strangers becoming friends at a packed brewery or learning new information about local beer ingredients and styles, beer brings us closer to our local community. Luppoleto Brewing Company’s James and Jen Wright have launched and formed their entire brand on this idea of connection, both in the relationships they make and the beer they serve. I interviewed the two owners, and they broke down their history and what makes their brand special.
The Humble Beginnings of Luppoleto
Luppoleto, the slick & shiny tasting room and brewery, opened its doors officially just this past October. The brewing story of its owners, however, goes back almost ten years. Originally from a software development background, James had a passion for optimizing, rebuilding, and replacing component parts to create a better product. Wanting to create a more tangible product (not just websites anymore), James turned to brewing beer. His zeal for the new pursuit was infectious. It wasn’t long until Jen and he began outgrowing their humble homebrew beginnings, quickly moving from extract to an all-grain process. Wanting more, James and Jen even went as far as building out a trellis system to house 60 hop plants they maintained themselves!
Over the next ten years, beer became a serious part of their lives. Both picked up enough knowledge to pass the Beer Judge Certification Program and become professional judges. They also realized that with Jen’s managerial expertise (stemming from her work in training and process control at General Electric) and James’ obsession with brewing, they had a serious shot of running their own brewery! James would go on to cut his teeth at Back East, learning the nitty-gritty before going on to open his own place.
Taking It Old School
The philosophy behind Luppoleto centers on the name itself. Luppoleto means “hop yard” in Italian, and serves as a layered reference to James and Jen’s inspirations. Since they ran their own hopyard for a while, they wanted a name that represented the intimate connection they had with producing beer. In addition to this, the name reminds the couple of James’ Italian heritage, especially his Great Grandmother. Well into her 80’s, Ada Battisti would make everyone feel special at the regular dinners she hosted. Serving up simple, delicious food in a warm and welcoming environment had a lasting effect on James.
Using these childhood memories to present his passion for beer is what Luppoleto is all about. Their beer styles stick to the basics (with the occasional crazy variety), but are all meticulously crafted for taste and quality. The space is simple with bright and welcoming decor. There are no loud TV’s, and the layout itself is set up to facilitate conversation. James and Jen want to connect with their patrons and create relationships that are deeper than transactional — just like Grandma Ada would have wanted!
James designs Luppoleto’s beer with a similar “simple yet high quality” approach. They always strive to have a nice spread of different beers (so not just all IPA’s all the time), focusing on traditional beer styles and ingredients. This isn’t to say that they don’t brew wild styles from time to time, but rather they want to focus on strong, reliable varieties first, above all else. This hearkens back to their “old world” philosophy: creating a stable of beer whose style is approachable, balanced and very, very fresh.
Beauty in Simplicity
According to Jen and James, Luppoleto stands out in a crowd based on its beautiful simplicity. It’s a place where the beer will always be good, with something for all drinkers. It’s a place where you can unwind, chat with your neighbor, and feel good about the community you live in. From my visit, I have to say the warmth of the environment is immediately felt. I chatted with James about every style of beer on tap, and I was impressed with the overall clean & balanced quality of the offerings.
It is a brewery that has a concrete vision matched with detail-obsessed professionalism. The results (in my opinion) speak very positively for themselves. The community agrees, as James has told me that business has been brisk. Because of this, they’re already considering the future. James and Jenn say they’re kicking around ideas of a second site, hops grown on-premises, or even a restaurant. I look forward to whatever the couple has in store, and I can’t wait to go back. After only one visit, I already feel like an extended member of the family!
Be sure to follow Luppoleto on Instagram and Facebook. For more Malted Musings, be sure to follow me on Facebook and Instagram. Also, if there’s a brewery you think I should visit, drop me a line. Until next time, I’ll see you where the pints live!