Bacardi Center of Excellence

The Chaplin School of Hospitality & Tourism Management at Florida International University (FIU), the #6 best US public hospitality school, is home to the FIU Bacardi Center of Excellence. The FIU Bacardí Center of Excellence brings academia and industry together in a pioneering partnership between the iconic and world-renowned spirts brand Bacardi and the Chaplin School. This dynamic educational partnership focuses on developing learners of beverage management, fine spirits, industry innovation, sustainability and entrepreneurship.

The program directly benefits students seeking our Spirits Management degree by bringing academia and industry together to develop the future leaders in hospitality and serve the community through various events.

The FIU Bacardi Center of Excellence is also a source for those currently in the beverage industry. Find out more what this unique partnership is doing to Future Proof and support industry.

About the program

The partnership allows us to offer hands-on learning experiences at more than 100 events a year to develop:

  • Entrepreneurs in beverage management and ownership
  • Innovation in cocktail creation and sustainable practices
  • Interaction with top industry leaders, while students are still in school
  • Three student clubs: Bartenders Guild, Coffee Guild, Wine Guild .

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  • Mission

    The Bacardi Center of Excellence is a bold partnership that will elevate the Bacardi-FIU Chaplin School visibility and set it as the gold standard for spirits and business entrepreneurial education in the United States and around the world.

    The Chaplin School ranks as the 31st best hospitality school in the world. Together with Bacardi’s rich family history, our unique brand stories and impact, we're marking the future of beverage management through education and innovation.

  • Vision

    To be the leading provider in fine spirits education and beverage innovation for the global hospitality community.

Community Commitment


Mixing one part Bacardi, one part Chaplin School, and one part CasaCuba, FIU seeks to fully embrace the bold Cuban spirit, bringing the cultural heritage, academia, and industry together in an innovative and immersive partnership experience.

Together, we are imprinting the Bacardi family legacy across FIU and infusing the Bacardi-FIU partnership in our educational programs. A full-bodied partnership experience, hospitality students and industry encounter Bacardi as a driver of cutting-edge research, innovative internships, and a first-ever Bacardi-branded spirits curriculum.

This Bacardi-FIU partnership spans two campuses over a phased engagement resulting in the grand opening of CasaCuba at FIU.


Future Proof

Future Proof is a collaborative learning platform and bar training program created by Bacardi USA, the Chaplin School of Hospitality & Tourism Management and renowned bartenders. The program provides foundational knowledge and techniques to excel as a hospitality professional.

The Future Proof platform brings global experts on campus and online to share cutting-edge techniques, foster creative approaches to mixology and explore best practices in the beverage industry. We also offer the beverage community, Future Proof, a certificate of completion program offering insights, foundational knowledge, and techniques to anyone who wants to level up and excel as hospitality and bar industry professionals. For more information, please visit the Future Proof website.

Read a recent press release about Future Proof

Key pillars

The Bacardi Center of Excellence at FIU’s Chaplin School is the model for public private partnership and entrepreneurial education and will become the most expansive beverage management program in the country. The programs key pillars include:


  • HFT 3861 - Spirit Fundamentals

    Provides a comprehensive review of the beverage industry including the history of alcohol, the development of the beverage industry in the U.S. and a review of beverages with an emphasis on Spirits.

  • HFT 3613 - Beverage Management Law

    An introduction course into alcoholic beverage law. The learner will be introduced to the fundamental laws, rules and regulations applicable to the alcoholic beverage industry in the State of Florida, key national and international markets. The learner is familiarized to methods of enforcement of laws, rules and regulations; the principles that control licensing and permitting within the industry; and municipal code violation enforcement.

  • HFT 3874 - Dynamics of Bar Operations

    The course is a complex analysis of modern bar operations. The learners will gain advanced knowledge of bar layout/design, equipment selection, and modern service technology, point of sales systems, people development, guest relations and service delivery. Teamwork, project management, oral and written communications, planning and executing, talent development, guest service, modern marketing and financial operational management. Completion of a bar operational driven project that will teach the learners essential organizational, communication, problem-solving, critical thinking, and interpersonal skills.

  • HFT 4064 - Beverage Entrepreneurship (BEVpreneur)

    The learner will evaluate and analyze beverage business models. Apply written and financial skills to create and analyze a strategic business plan. The learner will gain advanced knowledge of business writing, financial modeling, leadership methods, presentation skills, negotiation methods, laws, regulations, and legal concepts that govern the beverage industry, licensing compliance, and responsibility.

    Completion of a beverage ‘start-up’ strategic growth plan that will teach learners essential organizational, business modeling, financial structuring, distribution channels, communication, problem-solving, critical thinking, and interpersonal skills.

  • HFT 3065 - The Art & Science of Fine Spirits

    This course is designed to familiarize the learners with the global spirit production, regional cultures, tasting techniques, identifying aroma/taste profiles, three-tier distribution system, basic beverage laws, regulations, and responsible practices of distilled spirits.

  • HFT 3811 - Beverage Marketing & Distribution

    This course will explore the complex world of beverage sales, marketing and distribution, including brand management, legal issues, and the roles of producers, importers, wholesalers, retailers, duty-free and hospitality outlets. The learner will identify and analyze the key industry segments, targeting, and positioning of the alcoholic beverage industry with emphasis on the suppliers, retailers, duty-free segment, and on-premise accounts to understand product assortment and pricing models.


Bartenders Guild

A student-run organization that shares a passion, curiosity, and camaraderie for the art and concepts of mixology, craft cocktails, and fine spirits. The Bartenders Guild is a pillar of the Bacardi Center of Excellence at FIU's Chaplin School of Hospitality & Tourism Management.

Learn more about the Bartenders Guild at FIU

Coffee Guild

The Coffee Guild at FIU is a student club that brings together students who are interested in learning more about the world of coffee, while networking, establishing connections, and participating in FIU events.


Wine Guild

The Wine Guild is a student-run organization that offers students opportunities to learn about wine through our various industry partnerships. We also offer certification opportunities, memberships, such as with the Women of the Vine and Spirits organization, and a chance to interact with amazing guest speakers, such as Eric Hemer, who is currently one of four people in the world with the title of Master Sommelier and Master of Wine. 

Bacardi Family Legacy & FIU

The Bacardi family legacy started more than 150 years ago in Santiago de Cuba with the family patriarch, Don Facundo Bacardí Massó, who created the first mixable rum—what the world now knows today as BACARDÍ®—and pioneered cocktail culture, which emerged in more than 170 markets globally to become the largest privately held spirits company in the world. 




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