Upslope Brewing Company
Location: Boulder, CO
Industry: Craft Beer
Years before he launched Upslope Brewing Company, Matt Cutter spent his time reading books and articles about his craft brewery heroes. His interest in the industry led him to interview his heroes and begin homebrewing. By 2008, Cutter combined his experience with startups and manufacturing to launch his own craft brewery in Boulder with two partners.
Cutter described the process as controlled chaos as the business grew quickly and he was balancing a startup with a day job at IBM. The chaos eventually turned into a well-oiled machine and a brewing company that adapted to the changing environment.
“In order to lead through change, there is no ducking and hiding,” said Cutter. “Change needs to be approached head-on.”
The change may be unorthodox, as the company prefers to focus on production strategies versus focusing solely on revenue, but it’s what works best for his team, said Cutter.
“Our goal has always been to go deep before we go wide, as indicated by the few states that you can find our products,” said Cutter. “We are not trying to take over the world. Instead, we are striving to be successful by continuing to do it our way.”
Cutter’s way and passion ultimately has led to Upslope Brewing being named the 4th largest craft brewery in Colorado and the 111th largest in the United States while only selling in seven states.
His willingness to keep learning and passing on his knowledge has also impacted his role as a leader and the company’s success. Cutter has chaired the Colorado Brewers Guild and Upslope Brewing was recognized as one of the ‘Companies to Watch’ by the Boulder Daily Camera. The brewery has earned eight Great American Beer Festival medals and the World Beer Cup Medal.
Cutter credits the recognition to how the company is run and the commitment level of his team members. “If your employees are effectively propelling your company forward with little intervention from leadership, that’s when you know you are a successful leader,” he said.
Successful leaders also follow their dreams, no matter how far-fetched or impossible it may seem, he said.
For his vision and success as a leader, Cutter has been named a Titan of industry.
"I followed a dream and a desire, made a living out of my passion and created greatness from nothing. If you truly believe in your vision, don't let anything stand in your way between that vision and success."