Mike Rutter (Columbus Distribution Director)
What do you do at Rhinegeist?
My direct title is Columbus Distribution Director, so I do a variety of things. Up in Columbus we all do a lot, for me, I’ve done distribution, sales, event coordination, sales, accounting pretty much everything but brew beer.
Do you have a nickname?
That can be said out loud? Principal Mike is what they call me in Columbus.
What’s your Rhinegeist story?
I started as the second distribution driver and kind of put my head down and went to work. I did whatever was asked and that developed into expanding our self-distribution into Columbus. I went to Ohio State and was very familiar with the city. It made sense; it felt like a second home and was an easy fit.
What has being back in Columbus been like?
It’s been crazy to see where the city is now and how much it has grown. There are places opening up everyday and are helping to redefine Columbus. They’re developing the ‘new Columbus,’ and I think this city will always be a changing and cutting edge city
Ping pong or corn hole?
Ping pong. It takes more skill and it’s faster paced.
If friends would use three words to describe you, what would they be?
Trustworthy, hardworking, and dedicated.
Wolf. Absolutely, wolf. Rhinegeist to me is a family. They’re my pack, and a wolf protects its pack. I’d go to bat for anyone at Rhinegeist. We’re all in it because we all love to be here.
If there was a news article about you in the paper, what would likely be the headline?
‘Area Man Looking to Reclaim his Athletic Glory’
If you were a Rhinegeist beer what would you be?
Being that I’ll be a father soon: Dad! Also, Dad kinda goes with my role in Columbus. I support people and that’s what fatherly figures do. That’s what Dad is to me, it’s a down-home-feel-good beer.
What’s something about you most people don’t know?
I used to participate in high school musicals. My mom was the drama director at my high school. The two big ones were Oklahoma and Annie when I was there. I’m not much of a singer but was there for comedic relief.
Is there a piece of apparel you wear the most?
By far the Trucker Hat.
What are some proud moments?
My proudest moment is when we participated in an IPA month with Giant Eagle in Cleveland, which is a market we were not even in yet. We had to deliver to 55 Giant Eagles and did it in two days. We had four guys, two from Cincinnati and two from Columbus working their tails off but it was a complete team effort and that’s what makes me proud.
Do you have a famous look alike?
I hear Tom Cruise sometimes. I got that when I was working the bar early on at Rhinegeist. I really don’t see it, but I say hopefully Top Gun Tom Cruise and not Mission Impossible 4 Tom Cruise.
What's your perfect date?
Local diner for dinner, like a hole in the wall for a burger and a beer. Then I’d love to catch a game or an entertainment experience, a nightcap and end it with a trip to the ice cream parlor. I’m an ice cream fiend.
What do you look forward to doing most every day?
I love hearing how everything is going in the Columbus market, namely feedback on how we can support each other the best we can. It’s all about getting our team what they need to do their job better.
What’s your slogan or catch phrase?
(Let’s out a big bellowing laugh) I have two: ‘Sweet Baby J’ and a few more that aren’t totally PG.
What’s your best dish in the kitchen?
Not really a kitchen guy, I’m a grill guy. I can grill a mean medium rare steak.
Where does the beauty of the brewery lie for you?
The people, for sure, and not just the people that work here, but the people that support everyone who works here. When you’re coming home at midnight from events it’s not the easiest on the family time. I’m grateful for that support.
What is your favorite bagel topping?
Plain cream cheese, traditional, it’s great. There’s a reason it has been around the longest, you don’t screw with something that good.