A Toast to Tastemakers: Presidents deliver diverse beverage experiences to patrons across the nation

W&J alumni around the country are taking part in the rise of craft breweries, wineries, and distilleries over the last few decades. Some Presidents have spent their careers in the industry, while others are just starting out. They are committed to using their knowledge, whether it be scientific or entrepreneurial, to create quality products and give back to their communities – and they have a good time doing it.

  • Yianni Barakos ’08 converted a 100-year-old building into a bar, restaurant, and distilling facility in Gettysburg, Pa.
  • Ed Belfoure ’67 started Red Pump Spirits distillery in downtown Washington, Pa.
  • Joel McCloskey ’00 and his business partner opened the first brewery in a North Carolina city that has only allowed alcohol sales since 2008′
  • Craig Boyd ’82 traded in an engineering career for one in winemaking and hasn’t looked back
  • Gia Nigro ’15 is working for an international brewing company in Ohio after earning her master’s in brewing and distilling in Scotland
  •  Glenn Rice ’78, Louise Smith ’84, and Jacob Hornick ’10 are also involved in the industry

The alumni aren’t the only ones who are making strides in the areas of brewing, winemaking, and distilling. Students on campus have the opportunity to learn the science behind these processes, perhaps starting their own careers in the field.