The Distilled Spirits Council of the United States (DISCUS), the leading voice and advocate for the U.S. spirits industry, announced the launch of DISCUS Academy, an initiative to provide education and training for distilled spirits industry professionals. Available to DISCUS members and non-members alike, DISCUS Academy offers curriculum and industry-recognized certifications related to the business of distilling, rather than training on production or spirits knowledge—a first of its kind.
DISCUS Academy was created to provide the spirits industry with best-in-class training and ongoing support in five key subject domains: Leadership Development; Business Management & Finance; Sales & Marketing; Safety & Risk Management; and Laws & Regulations. In partnership with Cornell University, DISCUS Academy will also offer two Leadership Development programs to provide professionals of varying leadership experience education tailored to their career stage.
“As the leading voice and advocate for distilled spirits in the U.S., DISCUS is uniquely positioned to create the standard for distilled spirits industry business education,” said Chris Swonger, president and CEO of DISCUS and Responsibility.org. “DISCUS Academy will facilitate the transfer of knowledge from our industry’s legends and business luminaries to develop the next generation of leaders, allowing for a more diverse, inclusive and successful industry.”
DISCUS Academy is suited for everyone in the spirits industry, from the entrepreneur looking to build a distillery business, to someone seeking to affirm that they have completed a specific area of industry training to prove competency. DISCUS Academy’s curriculum sets industry-wide standards for best practices, to increase unity, productivity, sales, and prosperity in the distilled spirits industry.
“DISCUS Academy was built by distilled spirits business leaders for distilled spirits business leaders,” said Clarkson Hine, chair of the DISCUS board of directors. “Our team at Beam Suntory is excited to integrate the DISCUS Academy education and training modules into our existing learning and development offerings. We also see the potential to amplify the knowledge and experience of industry professionals and academic partnerships that are helping develop the next generation of spirits industry professionals. This could be a gamechanger for our industry’s workforce across the board.”
Examples of upcoming course content include:
- Fire Protection Best Practices
- Risk Management
- Foundation on the 3-Tier System
- Developing a Safety Program
- Understanding Financial Statements & Cash Flow Management
- Organizational Structure, Job descriptions & Compensation
- Trade Practice and Tied-House Considerations
“One of our main reasons for creating DISCUS Academy to provide professional education to those willing to make a commitment to their education and to bettering our industry,” said Courtney McKee, CEO of Headframe Spirits and chair of the DISCUS Academy Curriculum Working Group. “The Academy’s curriculum was designed by leaders in our industry who are experts — some legends — in their craft. Through the DISCUS Academy, we’ve created a broad series of courses that will serve as a masterclass in their respective subject areas and made them available through an easy-to-access online learning platform for available to everyone in our industry. We believe providing this education will foster a safer, financially healthier and more diverse and inclusive industry. We know that the better each of us does, the better we all do together, and we’re proud to work in service of that vision.”
The cost of each course will vary based on the number of credits offered and delivery method.