Brian Koziol is a renowned hospitality and beverage expert and one of a distinguished circle of people in the world to pass the most prestigious sommelier examination and earn the title Master Sommelier in 2007. His career journey consists of a diverse background in all styles of restaurant and bar concepts through work experiences at the Walt Disney World Resort and The Ritz-Carlton. While working at Disney’s Victoria & Albert’s Restaurant in 2003, he was named Wine & Spirits Magazine Best New Sommeliers and elevated the wine program to a Wine Spectator Best of Award Excellence. He was the driving force in the creation of the beverage program for the Esquire The Best Bars in America 2020: Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge Oga’s Cantina at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Under Brian’s stewardship, the Walt Disney World Resort beverage program in 2020 received the VIBE Vista Award for Best Overall – Hotels, Casinos & Cruise Lines and Best Spirits Program.

During his experience working in alcohol distribution, Brian represented some of the world’s best wineries and distilleries including tenures working for the Robert Mondavi Winery, Beringer and Penfolds. Currently, Brian is the Director of Palomar Imports the direct import for business for Maverick Beverage Company where he also is the Director of Education. Brian is an Honorary Professor of Wine Education at the University of South Carolina.

Where are you working currently and how has being a MS supported you in your current role?


Maverick Beverage Company: Networking between MS colleagues and other members of the hospitality, retail and beverage industry.


Where were you working when you passed?

Southern Wine & Spirits (2007)


What made you want to become an MS?

Personal drive to develop my beverage knowledge and establish credibility in my skill set.


What advice do you give those who are pursuing certification?

The journey requires commitment and dedication – build a plan.


What is your desert island wine, or what wines/beverages are you currently excited about?

Giacomo Conterno Barolo Riserva Monfortino 1971
Three regions I’m enjoying: Loire Valley, France (all areas), Tuscany, Italy and Willamette Valley, USA”