30 Minutes with Alex Stevenson – Founder of TheDrinkSchool
Alex Stevenson speaks about the characteristics of brewmaster and the current trends in beer.
Alex Stevenson, the founder of TheDrinkSchool, is a WSET Diploma holder and a Certified Educator. He has been serving in the hospitality industry for over twenty years, passionately developing his knowledge. He has appeared in a number of tasting panels and hosted masterclasses and training all over London. Alex sat down with the team from London Beer Competition and shared his opinions on beer and what’s happening in the brewing industry.
What according to you defines a brewmaster?
Qualifications – brewing degree, chemistry, microbiology, food science, packaging – proven educational track record.
Ability to consistently create and brew recipes.
Manage and educate a team of brewers to create a range.
Passionate about the industry and its products.
What do you prefer - Beer or Beer Cocktails and why?
Beer – incredibly versatile and amazing with food pairing. Cocktails are lovely too but not as a go-to drink. You can have a stunning beer with very little effort from the server – as long as it is fresh/right temp/glass. Cocktails require more skilled servers to create the right quality level.
Much easier to have an amazing beer at home than make a cocktail. Though it would be wonderful if beer servers had the same knowledge required of a cocktail barman in their respective field.
Why beer over any other drink (spirits, wine etc.)?
I tend to move between wine and beer. Spirits, I only really drink at home and cocktails only with bartenders I know and trust. Beer is lower abv and has a huge variety of styles and flavours which make it very approachable and can easily fit any mood. Wine, I love to drink as well so it really depends on my mood and where I am or who I am with.
What according to you are the trends in beer these days?
IPAs in various forms are always on trend – NEIPA, FLIPA etc – it is the most favoured style by the public.
Craft Brewers are looking to lager more than ever before as they understand this is where the volume will always come from – they see themselves as up against the Big boys in beer which is great – but there are great lagers from Germany, Austria etc that have been making fantastic lager for years