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Stephen Beal
Master of Scotch

Steve Beal is one of the world's seven "Masters of Scotch", the elite crops of brand ambassadors and Scotch whisky education specialists who represent the premium Scotch Whisky portfolio of the world's leading drinks producer, DIAGEO: Johnnie Walker Blended Scotch Whisky, the eight single malt whiskies of The Classic Malts Selection and their Rare Editions, as well as Dimple-Pinch, Buchanan's and J&B Blended Scotch Whiskies.

Steve is a very familiar figure to both the consumers who enjoy them and those in the trade who make and sell fine single malts. He has earned the respect of everyone he meets with his endless energy and passion for all things Scottish and single malts in particular.

Steve us admired and well known by almost every top-shelf bartender, chef and waitperson in the San Francisco Bay Area. Although, he is the official brand ambassador for many well known and respected brands, many have come to consider him the unofficial brand ambassador for the category of single malts as a whole in Northern California and the USA.

In March of 2003, Steve was presented with the first ever "Spirits Ambassador to the World Award"  at the Whiskies of the World Expo in San Francisco, one of the world's largest whisky consumer and trade events. In presenting the award, Jim MacEwan, renowned mater distiller and Scottish distillery owner, thanked Steve for his contribution to the industry and for "putting meat on the tables of Scotland."

Steve's start in the whisky business was one of fate and being in the right place at the right time. He was working for a well known culinary school when he received a call from someone looking for ..."a Scotsman with a kilt who knew something about whisky..." The next thing he knew, he was now sharing his knowledge with the world.

Steve comes to his knowledge of whisky through a very personal journey. He has trained at several distilleries, including Dalwhinnie, Cragganmore, Oban, Talisker, Lagavulin, Glenkinchie, Cardhu and Royal Lochnagar. He has worked for Highland Industries and The Whisky Shops of Scotland (Scotland's largest independent retailer of fine malts) and guided the launch of their first U.S. based location. He is a pioneer in internet whisky sales and website development. He has consulted for a large number of retailers, both on and off premise. He has presented training and sales programs for almost all the major single malt brands and private tastings for the consumer in settings to numerous to list.

In addition to his work as an educator and ambassador, Steve is also a principal judge for the yearly San Francisco World Spirits Competition, is a presenter for Bon Appetite magazine's Wine and Spirit's Focus and is Contributing Editor for Patterson's Beverage Journal, a respected adult beverage industry publication.

Steve jokes that whisky 'was the first true food which ever passed my lips". He is descended from a long line of Scots, some of whom have been in the whisky business, but as he says.... "Most of them have kept the industry alive single handedly as loyal customers".

Stephen is a graduate of the University of Arizona and Oxford University. He studied culinary arts in Paris and also holds a masters degree from the Church Divinity School of the Pacific in Berkley. When he isn't busy teaching the world about fine spirits, he volunteers his time working with San Francisco's homeless population and at San Francisco's Grace Cathedral where he serves in a voluntary capacity as The Reverand Stephen Beal, Associate Pastor.


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