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Jason Cawthron

A Journey Through Hospitality and Spirits

From his humble beginnings in the bar and restaurant industry at the age of 16, Jason Cawthron has carved an illustrious path marked by expertise, passion, and innovation. Over the course of 16 years in the industry, Jason has left an indelible mark through various roles, each one shaping his journey and refining his skills.

His journey began as a bar back before swiftly ascending to the ranks of high-volume, high-end bartender in nightclubs and restaurants. Jason's talents and dedication caught the eye of industry leaders, leading him to assume the role of Bar Manager at the prestigious Foundation Room at the House of Blues Boston. Here, he honed his managerial skills while curating unforgettable experiences for patrons.

However, it was Jason's venture into the world of consultancy that truly showcased his multifaceted expertise. Specializing in efficiency, cocktail and beverage programs, staff training, and openings, Jason's consultancy services became sought after by establishments aiming to elevate their offerings and operations. In 2005 he was brought to St. John to open Happy Fish, a sushi restaurant that still evokes great memories for locals 11 years after it's closing.

In 2014, Jason's journey took an exciting turn as he delved into the art of distilling. Attending a four-day intensive distilling class, Jason's passion for the craft was ignited. His aptitude was quickly recognized when, on the fourth day, he was invited to teach the final lecture. This led to a remarkable opportunity to represent a distilling company across North America, where his responsibilities included teaching classes, recruiting students, and product sales. Jason's expertise soon expanded into product development, with his territory extending to South America and Japan.

Following his tenure in distillation, Jason embarked on a new chapter as a consultant for distillery startups and product development. Teaming up with former student Nathan Thompson, Jason's expertise proved instrumental in the creation of spirits for small craft distilleries and multinational brands alike. His creations have garnered acclaim, with three "Best in Category" winners at the esteemed San Francisco Spirits Awards, alongside numerous double gold, gold, and silver accolades.

Presently, Jason is at the helm of The Refinery, a Caribbean tapas and tropical cocktail bar owned by Rum & Ruin Distilling Company. Situated in St. John, The Refinery has earned the highest ratings and reviews, a testament to Jason's unwavering commitment to excellence and innovation in the world of spirits and hospitality.