The Robert Merendino Trust & Foundation, created to honor the late Bob Merendino, announces Kelly Pickard, co-owner of Five Points’ Alewife Craft Beer Bottle Shop and Tasting Room, as the first craft beer recipient of its inaugural scholarship.
Bob Merendino left behind a trust to establish the scholarship program specifically for wine, craft beer, and spirit professionals in the Jacksonville area to fund their efforts to pursue an education in the subject or obtain professional certification in the mastery of their chosen craft. Media are invited to a formal check presentation that will take place on Wednesday, August 3 from 2pm – 3pm at Alewife, 1035 Park Street. Mr. Patrick Wells from Orsay Restaurant will be presented the inaugural fine wine scholarship during this media event.
“Bob left his imprint in Jacksonville with the opening of Riverside Liquors and Lounge alongside his father in 1966, and throughout the years, sealed his legacy as a pioneer in Jacksonville wine culture,” said George Ellis, Administrator of the Merendino Foundation. ” We are proud his legacy will live on through this scholarship program, and are thrilled to present Ms. Pickard with the inaugural craft beer scholarship. Her award was due to her evident dedication and passion in furthering the customer’s craft beer knowledge which impressed the scholarship committee.”
The scholarship award will provide Pickard the resources needed to aid her journey from a Certified Beer Server to a Certified Cicerone – craft beer’s equivalent to a Sommelier for wine. Currently, only four people in the First Coast have earned this designation. Those who become Certified Cicerones have a deep and well-rounded knowledge of beer and beer service, as well as competence in assessing beer quality and identity by taste. Pickard is excited to take this next step in her professional development and looks forward to continually bringing top-notch education programs to the Jacksonville community.
“I am grateful for the opportunity to further my education through this scholarship, and excited to take this next step in my professional development,” said Pickard. “I hope to honor Bob’s vision by dedicating myself to elevating the understanding and appreciation of craft beer throughout the city of Jacksonville, and continue to build top-notch education programs for Alewife customers.”
Merendino was the first merchant in the area to regularly stock fine wines from Europe and California, and was also an avid wine educator hosting wine tastings, writing a regular column for the Florida Times Union, and hosting local radio and TV shows with WJCT and Stereo 90 on the subject.
Located in Riverside’s historic Five Points neighborhood in Jacksonville, Florida, Alewife Craft Beer Bottle Shop & Tasting Room is a one-stop-shop for purchasing, tasting and learning about American craft beer. Alewife isn't just a store or bar; instead, it's a celebration of beer, the craftsmen (and women) who brew it, and the drinkers who respect it.