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 into 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. Recently, he spared a few minutes to have a small talk session with the London Wine Competition team and shared a brief on his opinions on beer and the current trends.
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 their products.
What do you prefer - Beers 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/who I 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