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Nao Spirits and The Gin Guild launch scholarship in memory of late distiller

Nao Spirits, in association with The Gin Guild, has announced the Jay Dhawan Scholarship, awarded annually to one student from the Indian food and beverage sector to pursue an MSc in Brewing and Distilling at Heriot Watt University in the UK.

Nao Spirits and The Gin Guild launch scholarship in memory of late distiller
The late Jay Dhawan

This scholarship was created to celebrate the memory of Nao Spirits’ late distiller Jay Dhawan.

Dhawan began his career behind the bar at Bombay Canteen, a celebrated establishment in Mumbai. The late distiller then joined Nao Spirits, training to be a distiller under Dr. Anne Brock, who later went on to become master distiller for Bombay Sapphire.

He trained in 2017 alongside Anand Virmani, co-founder and master distiller at Nao Spirits, and went on to produce the company’s first craft gins – Greater Than and Hapusa.

Virmani called his former colleague “a bundle of energy right from day one”, and said the new scholarship will provide the same opportunity “to others like Jay who work in the F&B industry and dream of pushing their boundaries”.

Nao Spirits has teamed up with The Gin Guild, a global body of Gin distillers and associates promoting the spirit worldwide. The organisation has stepped up to support this scholarship by contributing 10% of the total amount.

Pal Gleed, director general of The Gin Guild, said of the scholarship in Dhawan’s name: “The Gin Guild is delighted to support this amazing opportunity for a member of the Indian F&B industry. Jay was incredibly well thought of and known as a real rising star of the gin industry. He was a proud member of the Gin Guild, and loved to learn, so this scholarship in his name is very appropriate.”

The scholarship will be open to all applicants from India, with a preference given to those from the Indian food and beverage sector. Applications are already being accepted for next year’s batch, which begins in September 2023.

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