Drinks professionals are getting their first James Beard Foundation scholarship next year thanks to Woodford Reserve. Officially called the Woodford Reserve Beverage Studies Scholarship, the money will go to someone enrolled in an accredited program of study in beverage, wine, viticulture or a related field. With student debt growing every year, scholarships like this one can be important tools to help people further their education.
“The Woodford Reserve Beverage Studies Scholarship is designed to help aspiring beverage professionals further their skills—and is one of several programs designed by Woodford Reserve to celebrate classic cocktails and the people who craft them,” a press release reads.
The James Beard Foundation has had a scholarship program since 1991 to help offset the cost of a degree at licensed or accredited culinary schools and colleges. It’s given nearly $8 million to 2,000 people as of 2018. However, the Woodford-sponsored scholarship is the first scholarship that’s solely for beverage professionals.
In addition to the scholarship, Woodford will be sponsoring the annual “Outstanding Bar Program” at the James Beard Awards, which has only been around since 2014. The distillery is also sponsoring the James Beard Foundation’s Taste America, which will visit 10 cities in the fall of 2018 and address industry issues like women’s leadership, food waste reduction and sustainable seafood.
If you’re in school to learn more about the beverage industry, or you’re planning to enroll next year, consider applying. More information can be found on the James Beard Foundation scholarship page. Applications open on April 1, 2019.