OUR STORY

Photography by Paul Mehaffey

In 2009, Mike Okupinski initiated the vision for a small bottle shop and growler bar, and his buddy, Ed Buffington, joined the project shortly thereafter offering up the idea of a curated wine selection. The two firmly believed that Greenville’s culture was ready for something special. They opened The Community Tap on July 1st, 2010, to a thirsty crowd.

With continued support The Community Tap moved three doors down (thanks to very thoughtful neighbors and a willing landlord!) in April of 2014 into a larger space complete with an expanded wine and cold selection, a bar with 20+ beers on tap, over 12 wines by the glass as well as kombucha and specialty non-alcoholic drinks to enjoy onsite, a private event room, and a large deck with seating for 60. Anna Okupinski officially came on board (Spring 2014) as the organizer/whip-cracker for the new and improved Tap.

Ed and Mike continue to have a great time hand-picking TCT’s product assortment while also connecting with the requests of our customers – whether it be executing new event ideas, bringing in new products (we now have sake!), or partnering with local charities – the Tap is all about connection, discussion, and mainly, community.  We have grown from a staff of 2 (that would be Mike and Ed in 2010!) to eleven of the finest folks in Greenville who graciously represent all that is the Tap.

Our people

Mike Okupinski - "Mike O"

El Presidente​

Jersey boy with his heart in the South

What he does at the Tap: beer taster and buyer, brewer gatherer, festival father, customer helper, mister-fix-it will-do-can-do-everything-er

Background in GIS (geographical information systems) and Geography (ask him about a map - do it!)

Loves mountain biking, boating, dancing to Phish, and just being outdoors

Hates the word "moist" and non-gelatinous toothpaste

Ed Buffington - "Edwin"

AKA Daddy Warbuffs

From the ATL, loves the GVL, soul in the EU

What he does at the Tap: wine taster and buyer, tasting faciliator, ROOTS master, behind-the-scenes meeting guy-er

Background in Sales, vast culinary knowledge from years of Food Network study

Loves road biking, cooking for others, drinking from a porron, and dirty jokes

Hates the noise that folding a paper makes and cheap Mexican food

Anna Okupinski - "Anna O"

Mama Bear

The Upstate born and raised

What she does at the Tap: counts the beans, schedules the people, organizes the events, communicates and gathers the folks

Background in Theatre and Corporate Event Planning

Loves to plan anything and everything, sour cream, and colorful hair

Hates the taste of milk and driver's that block the intersection

Chad Musick

The Southern Dandy

A college professor wrote this on one of my projects, and I’ve lived by it ever since: “Creative, perhaps even entertaining, but highly inappropriate.”

What he does at the Tap: Wine-talkin’ guy

Background in an ice cream factory. That’s the last thing he remembers before waking up at the Tap.

Loves analog technology such as film cameras, vinyl records and cotton gins

Hates the fact that we don’t talk anymore

Bev of the moment: Cru Beaujolais

Greg Bowling

"Teach"

Upstate born & raised

What he does at the Tap: master bartender and chalkboard artist, Greg is the Tap's spirit animal

Background in F&B and real job as an Art Teacher!!! (bless him!)

Loves art, music, and his wife's weenies (she is THE Resident Dogs food cart!)

Hates lazy people, selfies, and inappropriate jokes

Bev of the moment:

Kelsey Bosma

KB

#inappropriatejanitor

What she does at the Tap: Lead custodian & scheduling apprentice

Background in bartending and harassing regulars

Loves my dogs, music, going to music festivals (which I count as camping), reading

Hates raw red onions, fans blowing in my direction

Bev of the moment: Iced beef stock

Ian Martin

the Tap's T&A

From North Carolina

What he does at the Tap: .....

Background in F&B (fine dining), craft beer and wine (good fit eh?)

Loves a good haircut, his dog Blue, talking and tasting and selling and bathing in wine

Hates group text messages

Bev of the moment:

Kimmie

Kim-Chi

Southern Yogi!

What she does at the Tap: She helps with the bar and retail. Kimmie teaches wine tastings and yoga/wine tasting classes here at the Tap (think yoga, dance & comedy had a baby!))

Background in the craft beer industry for over 15 years! Now, a lover of good wine from working at the Tap. Kimmie has a BA in Art Therapy and is a certified yoga teacher.

Loves Yoga, camping, & wine!

Hates cucumbers, wobbly tables, & people that chew gum with their mouths open.

Bev of the moment: Prunus Tinto

Justin

JB, Jables

What he does at the Tap: Beer slinger, social media guru, trivia master

Background having two decades of food & bev experience; had his photo in Southern Living that one time; spelling bee runner-up in third grade

Loves horror movies, Taylor Swift and literally every dog he’s ever met

Hates the musical stylings of British singer/songwriter Phil Collins. Also, olives.

Bev of the moment: Almanac Vibes Pilsner

Amanda

Tiny but mighty

Tiny But Mighty

What she does at the Tap: Craft beer-slinger, customer service devotee, cash register specialist, motivated wine novice, tidying up enthusiast

Background in Sales and operations in the fashion/apparel industry

Loves sushi, crafting, Beyonce, fine leather goods

Hates congealed salad and “Thunder” by Imagine Dragons

Bev of the moment: Steel Hands Coffee Lager

Courtney

Court, Nacho, Blondie

Carolina girl with a West Coast twist

What she does at the Tap: Purveyor of fine wines and craft beers, customer service extraordinaire

Background in fashion retail. I was an assistant buyer like Rachel Green in “Friends!”

Loves Salsa dancing, traveling, hiking, being outdoors, cooking and baking

Hates scary movies, repetitive phone “ding” noises

Bev of the moment: Charles Smith Boom Boom Syrah

JD

JD is the nickname

Follow Your Smile

What he does at the Tap: Amazing server

Background in achitecture, Furniture Design, owner of Cr8 Design Studios

Loves all things outdoors, mountains, cold water swims, running, jumping, hiking, exploring, and open mindfulness

Hates cats and text messages

Bev of the moment:

Natalie

Nat, Natty G., Natty Lite

“As above, so below.” Not my own, obviously, but I try to live by it.

What she does at the Tap: Beertend, pour wine, make people buy things they’ll love

Background in Graphic design, saving dogs, beer, beer & more beer

Loves energy healing, massage therapy, rock climbing, hiking, drinking boxed wine, live music

Hates the word “moist,” and watermelon

Bev of the moment: Krombacher Pils

Neil

New Guy Neil

There It Is

What he does at the Tap: Server and stocker of beverages, cheese consulting, and (eventually) cheese buying and run-club organizing

Background in speciality cheese and coffee (and beer and wine, too)

Loves running, yacht rock, board games, Portland Trailblazers basketball

Hates “Your” used instead of “you’re”

Bev of the moment: Clos Cibonne Tibouren Rosé

Nick

Nick or Harvey or Nickoli Harvi

Matchmaker

What he does at the Tap: Help people find what they are looking for and introduce them to things they may find of interest

Background in landscape, horticulture, turf management, sales, inventory and sales

Loves planning, live music, my family and friends, football and golf

Hates when people are disrespectful to others

Bev of the moment: Sichuan sling from Xiao Bao Biscuit

Ryan

Branimal, Big Red

“Dignan, look...I’m just not very good at this selling-yourself stuff, okay? So, I’m just gonna tell you the truth. I really wanna be a part of this team. And I’m the only one with a car.”

What he does at the Tap: A little this, a little that, a little what-have-you.

Background in beer and wine distribution, software/hardware sales

Loves garlic, soccer, collecting records, Kurt Russell

Hates onions, ignorant and close-minded people

Bev of the moment: Westbrook Coconut Shake IPA

Taylor

TP (Yes, I know it means toilet paper)

Outdoors guy who sometimes goes inside

What he does at the Tap: Beer connoisseur, provide food/bev pairing suggestions & lots of dad jokes

Background in parks and Rec and conservation

Loves live music, disc golf, fishing, hiking & camping, trying new beer & learning new things

Hates neon wigs and artificial crab meat

Bev of the moment: Bell’s Official Hazy IPA

Vanessa

V

"We have to remember what's important in life: friends, waffles, and work. Or waffles, friends, work. But work has to come third." - Leslie Knope

What she does at the Tap: Great beer suggester, sign board writer, overall helper

Background in writing, marketing, communications

Loves fantasy novels, loose leaf tea, grocery shopping, and all things Harry Potter

Hates anise, people who chew with their mouth open, and 90+ degree weather

Bev of the moment: Westbrook Black Magic Panther