Providence, RI-based Johnson & Wales University has opened its new Center for Beverage Education & Innovation, a learning community that aims to bring together the university’s culinary and hospitality strengths with beverage industry partners. Led by credentialed faculty, alumni, students and professionals, the center will foster collaborative research and learning opportunities toward more robust opportunities in the beverage economy.
The center was formally launched on Nov. 17 with a full slate of events, including an industry roundtable about the prevalence of non-alcoholic spirits and mocktails, a mini trade show of non-alcoholic beverages and a speaking program led by JWU Providence Campus President Marie Bernardo-Sousa, LP.D.
“We’re excited about the future of the center, which will create a venue for internal and external research and development, offer management training opportunities for local beverage professionals and allow us the opportunity to host conferences, competitions and other events to bring the community together,” Bernardo-Sousa said. “Through this center, Johnson & Wales looks to solidify its place as a leader in the local and national beverage industry, opening doors for students and strengthening the industry.”
The launch event was capped off on Nov. 18 with a student cocktail competition, sponsored by Roxbury, MA-based Bully Boy Distillers. Five teams of JWU students faced off, with Chris Spielhagen (shown atop) taking home top honors for his Boston Stone cocktail.
The drink, which showcased Bully Boy whiskey, honors a Boston landmark and incorporates Atlantic kelp to bring in the briny, salty air of the city’s waterfront. The competition’s grand prize included a bar kit from Bully Boy as well as the invitation to shadow the distillers for a day.
- 1 ½ oz. Bully Boy whiskey
- ½ oz. Kelp simple syrup*
- ½ oz. Amaro Rabarbaro
- ½ oz. Fresh lemon juice
- Combine ingredients, except tonic, in a mixing tin and shake.
- Strain into a highball glass over 1 prefrozen whiskey stone.
- Garnish with 1 piece of Atlantic kelp across the top and another inside the glass.