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Spec’s Beverage & Food Appreciation Laboratory

Hilton College is a leader in beverage management education. For students interested in pursuing careers in the multi-billion-dollar wine, beer and spirits industry, there is no better place to study beverage management than here.

Thanks to the generosity of the Spec’s Charitable Foundation, Hilton College is home to a contemporary state-of-the-art beverage lab – the only facility of its kind between the coasts. The Spec’s Beverage & Food Appreciation Laboratory provides students concentrating in Beverage Management and minoring in Beverage Management and Marketing the perfect environment to expand their knowledge and expertise in this booming industry, which has become the fast-growing and most lucrative sector in the hospitality industry.

The Spec’s lab seats up to 65 people for wine appreciation classes, industry training, special event tastings, and cooking demonstrations. It features individual sinks, natural light and back-lit white boards to evaluate a wine's color, as well as wine-holding stations so wines stay in the correct order for tastings. Its multi-purpose design also allows for sensory evaluation of food and other beverages, like distilled spirits and coffee.

As the ideal setting for professional beverage training, the Spec’s lab affords students the opportunity to gain the hands-on experience needed to pursue opportunities as a sommelier, in sales and distribution, storage and cellar management, as well as in retail, restaurant, hotel and other beverage management positions.   

The $750,000 wine lab made its debut on October 29, 2014 with a reception honoring Lindy, John and Lisa Rydman of Spec’s Wines, Spirits & Finer Foods. Only a few universities in the country have dedicated facilities to research and evaluate wine.