Last month I had the opportunity to visit Southern Glazer’s Wine, Spirits & Beer of Nevada to learn all about the reopening of its “beverage Academy to customers, partners and the broader food and beverage community for educational events in February 2023.” Below I will share what I learned at the presentation and below that is their latest news release.
Beverage Academy at Southern Glazer’s Wine, Spirits & Beer of Nevada
First of all let me say that no, there isn’t another wine, spirits and beer distributor that has a beverage academy providing accredited programs. Usually what happens (for my lay people reading this) is the beverages are sold to a restaurant, and if needed, the distributor will explain all about the drink, how it’s used and how to present it to customers. This is the mainstay of the curriculum – for those in the industry so that they can gain necessary education that they can then communicate to the customer.
Now, moving on, the academy at Glazer’s is freaking amazing. There is stadium seating, extra comfortable chairs for that lengthy class, cameras to record the lessons, amazing lighting including the entire lit-up bar, and TV screens for their educational materials. I spoke with Allan Carter, VP of Marketing, Special Events and Education and these are some bullet points of what I learned from him:
- The room was closed for two and a half years due to Covid; it originally opened in 2013.
- Many Las Vegas bar staff has been trained in the room.
- Currently open to staff as well as press and consumers, also available for corporate meetings.
- The goal is to get all of the new people in the industry trained as many left during the pandemic. Other goals besides educating employees is to add value to suppliers and add value for customers.
- They have an in-house chef and kitchen.
- Carter would like the academy to never be empty.
From Master Sommelier Joseph “Joe” Phillips: wine lessons include old world, new world, tasting technique, assessing wine – which includes the SATO method to identify Sugar, Acid, Tannin and Oak.
From Livio Lauro, Author/Spirits Expert: they have past students that started as bar backs that are now beverage directors, they teach bartenders not to be overwhelmed by the up to 3,000 bottles behind them and to give their customers the highlights, get to know their customer’s flavor profile, and to learn the 12 basic cocktails.
Back to me: There is a wide curriculum of master classes and seasonal classes. I received the course syllabus on each which should also be available online. Besides those already mentioned above there are also classes on Fine Service, Mixology, Sake, Spirits of Asia, Wine List Construction, Blind (wine) Tasting and a basic Introduction to Spirits and Introduction to Wine. Check out the classes here: https://www.sgwsacademy.com/apply
Southern Glazer’s of Nevada Academy Reopens After Two-Year Hiatus
LAS VEGAS January 3, 2023 – Southern Glazer’s Wine, Spirits and Beer of Nevada (Southern Glazer’s of Nevada) announces that it is reopening their renowned Academy, Southern Nevada’s top beverage education center, in February after temporarily suspending in-person instruction because of the pandemic in 2020. The Academy returns with a full catalog of courses including its distinguished and comprehensive Academy of Spirits, Mixology and Fine Service.
The Academy plans to offer more than 15 classes in 2023 including Masterclass sessions and seasonal classes. The mainstay Academy of Spirits, Mixology and Fine Service course has been an important part of the Academy’s core curriculum since it was created. The course covers all things wine, beer, and spirits in great depth. Students will learn about the history, geography, culture, service technique, and impact of their favorite wines and spirits over 12-weeks or a new accelerated 5-day boot camp.
The Academy has served Southern Nevada since 2000 and has been critical in training thousands of food and beverage specialists in Las Vegas. Hospitality is the primary economic engine in Las Vegas and the Academy supports the industry by educating service professionals and preparing them for further certifications in wine and spirits. Accreditation through Southern Glazer’s of Nevada’s Academy is considered a top training among the Valley’s top bars and restaurants, and a strong pre-accreditation resource for international beverage examinations like The Court of Master Sommeliers and Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET).
“We are excited to reopen the Academy to in person instruction,” said John Landry, Executive Vice President and General Manager of Southern Glazer’s Wine and Spirits. “The number of new and upcoming resorts and restaurants in Las Vegas is growing daily, so the need for highly-trained food and beverage professionals has never been greater. Supporting the hospitality and beverage industry in Southern Nevada requires more than innovation in distribution — teaching people about trends and best practices keep the industry growing.”
Master Sommelier Joseph Phillips and Mixologist Livio Lauro, both employees of Southern Glazer’s and respected experts in their respective fields, curated the 2023 course catalog. Joseph “Joe” Phillips was a part of the original team who opened the Bellagio in 1998, after previously managing award-winning wine programs for Aqua, Sensi, and Michael Mina. Livio Lauro is recognized as one of the most instrumental figures in the resurgence of the United States Bartenders’ Guild (USBG) and is the founding President of the Guild’s Master Accreditation program, which is the premier national testing body for bartenders in the United States.
As part of Southern Glazer’s of Nevada’s commitment to education, the Academy will also be available to host supplier, trade and customer events that create unique value for suppliers and partners.
JANUARY 13, 2023 UPDATE: “As a show of support to the hospitality industry and continuing to move Las Vegas forward from the pandemic, Southern Glazer’s is proud to announce that all Academy classes in Q1 will be free for trade customers interested in fine wines, spirits and beer. To apply and view the full list of offerings, visit sgwsacademy.com/apply“
About Southern Glazer’s Wine, Spirits & Beer of Nevada
Southern Glazer’s Wine, Spirits & Beer of Nevada is the state’s leading beverage distribution company and a division of Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits. Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits is the world’s preeminent distributor of beverage alcohol, and proud to be a multi-generational, family-owned company. The Company has operations in 44 U.S. states, the District of Columbia, and Canada. In 2022, Southern Glazer’s was listed as one of Forbes Best Employers for Diversity. In 2021, Southern Glazer’s was selected as a U.S. Best Managed Company by Deloitte Private and The Wall Street Journal, as well as named by Newsweek as a Top 100 Most Loved Workplace. Southern Glazer’s urges all retail customers and adult consumers to market, sell, serve, and enjoy its products responsibly.
For more information visit www.southernglazers.com. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @sgwinespirits.
Eve Bushman has a Level Two Intermediate Certification from the Wine and Spirits Education Trust (WSET), a “certification in the first globally-recognized course” as an American Wine Specialist ® from the North American Sommelier Association (NASA), Level 1 Sake Award from WSET, was the subject of a 60-minute Wine Immersion video (over 16k views), authored “Wine Etiquette for Everyone” and has served as a judge for the Proof Awards, Cellarmasters, LA Wine Competition, Long Beach Grand Cru and the Global Wine Awards. You can email Eve@EveWine101.com to ask a question about wine or spirits.