Associate Professor Flagler College & Owner / Founder The Swig
Zac Cole, PhD is an Associate Professor in the Hospitality and Tourism Management program at Flagler College and founder/owner of The Swig. His research and teaching focuses on tourism policy and development, outdoor recreation markets, and most importantly craft beverages. Pacific Northwest born and raised on the beautiful west coast of Washington state, Zac first made his way to Florida via Gainesville 20 years ago where he eventually graduated from the University of Florida. Having survived that time with the help of the local bars and restaurants, both socially and professionally, the hospitality hook was set.
After a short stint back in the Pacific Northwest it was on to Arizona State University in Tempe, AZ for a Master’s before making it back to Gainesville to finish it out with a PhD. It was this second stint in the sunshine state, with all credit to the fine folks at Swamphead Brewery, that proper craft beer was discovered and career trajectory was altered for the better. A move to North Carolina brought additional exposure to the business of craft beverages, resulting in a number of research projects around beverage development at the local and regional level. These ranged from statewide prospects for wine trail development to cider and distillery tourism.
A third move back to Florida, this time to start the Hospitality and Tourism Management at Flagler College, has further reinforced his current focus on craft beverages. Alongside with teaching and publishing at the intersection of tourism and beverages, Zac actively consults on tourism development generally and as it relates to beverage-based experiences. He is currently under contract for a book on distillery tourism and tasting room experiences with the American Distilling Institute. In an effort to bring the beverage classroom to the St. Augustine community and beyond he most recently founded The Swig (www.theswigsta.com), a spirit tasting service offering weekly classes and private parties.