Not technically a “craft beer industry” story, but a beverage industry news item worthy of praise. Copper & Kings Brandy Distillery is currently seeking applicants for the second round of the Ideal Bartender School, an educational initiative the company began in early 2017 to help fight racial inequality.
The Ideal Bartender is a 15-week course that is free of charge for 20 select applicants. The course will offer a highly-credentialed bartender qualification for individuals with disadvantaged economic means.
Students will learn the essentials of hospitality in a bar setting with focus on spirits education, cocktail creation and bartending skills and techniques.
The Ideal Bartender School is named after a cocktail manual published 100 years ago in 1917 by Tom Bullock, a St. Louis bartender. Tom Bullock had spent time working at a Louisville country club and was the first African-American bartender in America to publish a cocktail manual.
“Louisville sits at the cusp of greatness, a city of great charm and personality. We have an opportunity to bring more people along for the ride,” said Copper & Kings President and CEO Joe Heron. “We can provide and create deeper, more diverse opportunity. Our mutual success will be built on the pillars of creativity, competency and community. We are proud to be doing something, if perhaps small. If everyone just does a little something the snowball effect to leadership could be enormous. What an adventure.”
Copper & Kings has reached out to the city’s career services as well as other career centers around town to continue spreading the word. Applications are being accepted through Jan. 19 for the next 15-week course. A committee will then interview those interested and narrow them down to 20 individuals. Copper & Kings is also partnering with local companies like Brown-Forman and Moonshine University to help teach curriculum and provide guest instruction.
Heron hopes the Ideal Bartender School will inspire distilleries around the nation to develop similar programs.