Jennifer Pereira

Associate Professor,  College of Food Innovation & Technology

Contact Information
Jennifer Pereira
I grew up on a small farm in western Massachusetts. There I learned the value of pride in one’s own hard work, and the influence of terroir on quality and flavor.”

Jennifer Pereira was lucky enough to grow up on a small farm in western Massachusetts. There, she learned the value of pride in one’s own hard work, and the influence of terroir on quality and flavor.

Though she studied Environmental Sciences in college, Pereira soon discovered her passion for food and cooking through work at a local restaurant. After she left school, she worked and traveled around the United States, then enrolled at a small culinary school in Vermont for an accelerated culinary training program.

During her time studying restaurant management and entrepreneurship at New England Culinary Institute, Pereira was exposed to wine and became fascinated. She again changed courses, where her internship brought her to a winery on the South Coast.

After many years in the wine industry (and three years commuting to night classes in Boston), Pereira achieved a Level 4 Diploma from the Wine and Spirits Education Trust (WSET) in London.

Through working in retail and training winery tour guides, she realized that her true love was teaching others about wine, and the diploma enabled her to do that. Then she remembered a professor from JWU who brought his class to the winery. When she found his name on a Society of Wine Educators (SWE) conference attendee list, Pereira committed herself to getting there, finding him and getting hired at JWU.

Two months later, in the fall of 2003, she began adjunct teaching at JWU, training faculty and industry members for WSET Wine and Spirits certifications.

The following year, she was brought on as full-time JWU faculty in the Beverage and Dining Service department, where she began building additional high-level wine and spirits courses for students.

While teaching, Pereira saw students who were eager to learn more about craft brewing. There were no beer courses offered at the time, even though a beautiful, professional-quality mini-brewhouse was in the classroom. There simply wasn’t enough time during class to brew. So together with a handful of students, Pereira started JbreW, the Providence Campus’ student-run brewing arts club. Through a lot of hard work on the weekends and a very steep learning curve, Pereira and her students managed to figure out the equipment, brew some drinkable beer, and learn a whole lot in the process.

In the 14 years since, she founded the Ocean State Homebrew Competition, originally to get feedback for our student brews. Now it’s one of the country’s largest, well-respected competitions.

Pereira also helped launched Brewing Arts (CUL3092) to give students an opportunity to learn in the classroom what they were studying on the weekends. Additional courses came after, including Beer Sommelier (CUL4080), designed to train students to take the rigorous Certified Cicerone® examination for beer sensory analysis, pairing and service. The next course to be added was the first of its kind — British Practical Brewing (CUL4416) — a 9-credit Study Abroad in the UK for students to earn the Brewlab Certificate in Practical Brewing.

Fall of 2017 marked the launch of the new Craft Brewing minor and Professional Craft Brewing Certificate program.

In addition to courses above, the minor and certificate introduced two new courses, Advanced Brewing Theory (CUL4460) — a Beer Judge Certification Program (BJCP)-sanctioned Beer Judge prep course — and Applied American Craft Brewing (CUL4417), which covers the practical, operational and entrepreneurial aspects of craft brewing, as well as hands-on professional brewing and laboratory analysis.

My future goals include the publishing of a new textbook.

Areas of Expertise

  • Beer styles, origins + history
  • Brewing Science
  • Craft Brewing Industry
  • Beer + Food Pairing
  • Beer Service
  • Fine wine, spirits and mixology
  • Restaurant management


  • Certified Cicerone, Cicerone Certification Program
  • National Beer Judge, BJCP
  • ServSafe Alcohol Instructor, National Restaurant Association
  • ServSafe Food Safety Instructor, National Restaurant Association
  • Certified Wine Educator, SWE
  • Certified Specialist of Wine, SWE
  • Certified Food Safety Manager, Rhode Island Office of Food Safety
  • Professional Certificate in Spirits, WSET
  • TiPS Responsible Alcohol Service Trainer
  • Diploma in Wine and Spirits, WSET
  • Advanced Certificate in Wine and Spirits, WSET

Industry Memberships and Affiliations

  • Institute of Brewing and Distilling
  • Master Brewers Association of the Americas, Educational Committee Member
  • Brewers Association/American Homebrewers Association
  • Pink Boots Society
  • Women Chefs and Restaurateurs
  • WSET
  • Society of Wine Educators
  • American Wine Society
  • American Culinary Federation (ACF)
  • American Cheese Society

Academic Honors and Awards

  • 2016: Outstanding Service Award
  • 2016: Brewing Honors + Awards Finalist, Samuel Adams Longshot Competition (1 of 8 nationwide)
  • 2016: 1st and 3rd Best of Show, Fitchburg Order of Alemakers, Mass.
  • 2016: 1st Place Historical, 1st Place Specialty, Fitchburg Order of Alemakers, Mass.
  • 2016: 1st Place Specialty Mead, Mead Free or Die (Commercial & Homebrew), NH
  • 2016: 1st Place, Specialty Mead, Ocean State Homebrew Competition, RI
  • 2016: 1st Place, Smoked Beer, Ocean State Homebrew Competition, RI
  • 2016: 1st Place, Spiced Mead, Ocean State Homebrew Competition, RI
  • 2016: 3rd Place, Spice/Herb/Vegetable Mead, Knickerbocker Battle of the Brews, NY
  • 2015: Best of Show Mead, FOAM Cup, Oklahoma
  • 2015: 1st, 2nd and 3rd place Meads, Knickerbocker Battle of the Brews, NY
  • 2014: 2nd Place, English Pale Ale, Ocean State Homebrew Competition, RI