Open for entries: beer research grants, gin scholarships and more

By Rachel Arthur

- Last updated on GMT


Related tags Innovation Npd Research

Want to take your brand and skillset to the next level? There’s a host of incubators, awards and funding programs welcoming entries – and these ones are accepting applications right now.

These range for business support for fledgling spirits brands to an award for the best beer tattoo...

Spirits entrepreneurs

This week, Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits, a US alcohol distributor, has announced the launch of its Incubator Academy.

The virtual platform is designed to give diverse- and women-owned brands in the wine, spirits, CBD and non-alcohol beverage industry free access to foundational business learning to increase their potential for commercial success.

The eLearning modules offer eligible brands, and their employees, educational coursework in critical topics, starting with creating a sales pitch, and the fundamentals of on and off premise math. Additional courses will continue to be launched over the coming months.

“Diverse-owned distillers and wine producers are underrepresented in the industry because of historically lacking access to networks, representation, and industry tools and resources,” says the company.

“With the launch of Incubator Academy, Southern Glazer’s continues to put action behind its commitment to increase distribution opportunities for a more diverse group of beverage brands. This is the first and only beverage alcohol distributor-led education program targeted at delivering important industry business learning to diverse- and women-owned brands.”

Qualified candidates can review the requirements and register for Incubator Academy here​.

Beer researchers

The Brewers Association, the US trade body for independent craft brewers, will begin accepting research and service grant proposals for 2024 on March 1.

Since the inception of the grant program in 2015, the Brewers Association has invested more than $2m in support of over 90 projects. Funding has supported public barley and hop variety development, hop disease and hop aroma research, as well as affiliated national and state-level grower organizations.

Funding priorities for 2024 are listed on the Craft Beer Research and Service Grants​ page. Proposals that focus on flavor and sensory outcomes are encouraged, especially as they relate to hops, barley, and fermentation chemistry and analysis (Due to budget reductions related to the the pandemic, funding amounts are tentative and yet to be determined).

The proposal submission portal will open March 1, 2023 and close at end of day on May 31, 2023.

Gin scholarship 

In memory of their late distiller, Nao Spirits and Beverages, India’s first Craft Gin Distillers, have launched the Jay Dhawan Scholarship in association with the Gin Guild.

The distillery will sponsor one student every year from India, with a preference for applicants from the F&B industry, to pursue an MSc in Brewing and Distilling from Heriot Watt University in the UK.

“Heriot Watt is one of the most prestigious and respected institutes in the world of brewing and distilling,” said Nao Spirits, as it launched the scholarship earlier this month.

“We expect this to be a unique opportunity for members of the Indian F&B industry to gain access to a specialized course that provides them better opportunities globally and in India’s burgeoning craft spirits industry.”

Jay Dhawan trained to be a distiller at Nao Spirits under Dr. Anne Brock (who later became Master Distiller for Bombay Sapphire) and went on to produce India’s first craft gins: Greater Than and Hapusa.

This scholarship will be open to all applicants from India. Applications are being accepted already for next year’s batch which begins in September 2023. Information on how to apply is available on the Heriot Watt website.

Got the best tattoo?

The fourth annual Craft Beer Marketing Awards Competition accepts beer-related marketing and design entries from around the globe (including hard seltzer, cider, mead, and RTD cocktails). Breweries, agencies, artists, and marketing partners are all invited to enter their best work.

This year, the awards feature a new category – ‘Best beer/brewing-related tattoo’ – with all proceeds from this category donated to The Michael James Jackson Foundation, an organization that funds scholarship awards to black, indigenous and people of color within the brewing and distilling trades.

beer tattoo

Information on deadlines can be found here.

Spotlight on functional

Cutting-edge functional beverages and ingredients in the US are invited to enter the NutraIngredients-USA Awards 2023.

Run by nutrition, supplement and health publication NutraIngredients-USA, the awards cover 17 categories such as sports nutrition, healthy aging, cognitive function and beauty from within.

The awards also go beyond ingredients and products and gives other stakeholders the chance to shine with categories such as the Innovation in Women's Health award.

The deadline for entry is Monday, March 27.

The Farm Shop & Deli Product Awards

The Farm Shop & Deli Show (which will be held at the NEC in Birmingham, UK, on April 24-26) is welcoming entries for its Product Awards.

Supported and judged by leading farm shop & deli retailers, top wholesaler buyers and owners and industry experts, the Farm Shop & Deli Product Awards is an initiative that recognizes and rewards the best in specialist food and drink products. The awards are open only to products that are sold in farm shops, delis and other specialist food retailers.

These awards assess the overall business model of products as well as the quality of the products themselves: with the judging process looking at the full value chain, branding, taste and commercial potential.

The deadline for entries into the awards is Friday 17 February. To enter the awards visit:

Can design contest 

The fourth annual ‘Colored by INX’ can design contest – run by US ink producer INX International Ink Co. – is open to all brand owners, design agencies, marketers and metal decorators who used the INX Color Catalog to produce a commercial can design before December 31, 2022.

This year’s competition features new judges, a new rule, and a change to the voting procedure. It also offers an opportunity for the defending champion to make new history with a possible three-peat.

“Our contest has grown each year and the designs we receive get better every year. It’s really exciting having big brands like Coca-Cola and Molson Coors competing against smaller craft breweries on a level playing field,” said Jeanie Morris, Digital Marketing Coordinator for INX International Ink Co. “This contest is all about the creativity, and we feel fortunate to celebrate our customers’ craftsmanship in this way.”

The judges will determine the five finalists based on originality, overall design aesthetics, best use of the color palette, and the project statement explaining how the INX Color Catalog was key to the design.

All entries must be postmarked by May 31 to be eligible. Complete contest information is available here​.

InnoBev Awards

Zenith Global's annual InnoBev Awards celebrate excellence and innovation across all sectors of the global soft drinks industry. Open to entrepreneurs and established brands worldwide, entries are invited in 16 categories, covering innovation, marketing, technology and packaging.

The awards are open for entries​ until March 2023.

Entrepreneurship applications

EIT Food has announced the launch of its 2023 Entrepreneurship Programmes, with applications now being taken across three streams that cater for all stages of business growth. 

The EIT Food Entrepreneurship Programmes are designed to launch, accelerate and scale impactful agrifood tech startups to solve global food system challenges and deliver new food innovations and businesses worldwide.

The programmes offer the chance for entrepreneurs at all stages of their journey to benefit from the support of the world’s largest agrifood innovation community, alongside training programmes, industry events and world-class networking. Startups that are successful in their application could receive funding of up to €500,000 from EIT Food, as well as leveraging external funding from EIT Food’s investor community.

Selected startups will also benefit from sector-leading training, personalised mentoring, high-impact pilot projects and access to the world’s largest food innovation network, as well as exposure, resources and tools needed to grow and succeed.

Applications are now open and will close on 26th​ March 2023. All applications will then be evaluated in April 2023, with the selected candidates announced by May 2023. For further details on how to apply, please see the EIT Food website at​.


With the exception of the NutraIngredients-USA awards and The Farm Shop & Deli Show (both run by BeverageDaily publisher William Reed), these programs and awards have no affiliation to BeverageDaily. Please contact the organizers directly for more information.

Colombia Foodtech

Colombia Foodtech Acceleration Program has started its first edition led by Vertical-I, Centre of Excellence in Innovation Systems in Colombia, in alliance with Eatable Adventures, a European food-tech agrifood accelerator.

As part of the first cohort of this program, 5 startups specializing in developing new products with healthy properties will work in a high-impact program supported by the governmental entity Gobernación del Atlántico, Vertical-I, and the General System of Royalties.

The following companies will work in a specialized high-impact program that will help them scale and gain investors and customers: Amande Cocina, Albesa de Colombia, Cron Foods, Mimi Día and Spiga Food.

More information at

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