About Us

Steve Beal, Award Winner, Spirits Ambassador, Writer, Broadcast Personality

Steve Beal

Steve Beal 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 distilled and whisky in particular.

Steve is admired and well known by top-shelf bartenders, chefs, waitpersons, as well as whisky enthusiasts around the world. Before his retirement from corporate life, he served as fulltime official brand ambassador for such iconic brands as the Classic Malts of Scotland & Johnnie Walker Blended Scotch Whiskies, Bushmills Irish Whiskey, Crown Royal Canadian Whisky, Bulleit Bourbon and George Dickel Tennessee Whisky. Many have come to consider him the unofficial brand ambassador for the category of whisky as a whole.

He is regarded as one of the top distilled spirits experts in America. His 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, after training at some of the worlds leading distilleries, Steve was standing in front of huge crowds, extolling the virtues of the water of life. From lecturing future chefs about spirits, he was now sharing his knowledge with the world.

Stephen Beal, KOTC, MDiv, CTh (Oxon)

Steve Beal, for most of his whisky career, was one of the spirits giant Diageo’s fifteen Masters of Whisky and Sr. Master of Whisky for DIAGEO Spirits on the US West Coast. He has also worked in the industry in a variety of capacities and was a pioneer in internet sales.

  • 2015 – Invited to Chair the Judging for the World Whiskies Awards for the Americas for Whisky Magazine.
  • 2015 - inducted into the Whisky Magazine Hall of Fame together with Al Young of Four Roses Bourbon and Bill Samuels of Makers Mark.
  • 2010, he was created “Keeper of the Quaich”, an honor bestowed only upon the elite of the Scotch Whisky industry. Fifty two individuals from around the world were welcomed at Blair Castle in the heart of the Scottish Highlands for induction into the Keepers of the Quaich.
  • 2011 the Masters of Whisky received the Icons of Whisky Award from Whisky Magazine.
  • 2003 - received the Spirits Ambassador to the World Award at the Whiskies of the World Exposition held in San Francisco. Presented to him by whisky icon Jim MacEwan.

In addition to his former role as Master of Whisky, Steve is also known as a writer, chef, broadcast personality and international spirits competition judge.

  • Judge at the annual San Francisco World Spirits Competition since its inception in the year 2000.
  • Judge for world’s largest blind tasting competition in the UK, the International Wine and Spirits Competition.
  • He has been a presenter for Bon Appetit magazine’s “Wine & Spirits Focus”. Steve has also served as contributing editor of Patterson’s California Beverage Journal, The Tasting Panel Magazine.
  • He currently serves on the management committee of the US Bartenders Guild Master Mixologist program and was one of its founders.
  • Lecturer at the Culinary Institute of America, Greystone Campus in Napa Valley, School of Fine Spirits & Service in Las Vegas, and other institutions.
  • A frequent guest on radio and television, he helped produce a weekly segment on the Food Guy and Marcy Show, a nationally syndicated food, wine and entertainment radio program with celebrity chef, Guy Fieri and writer/broadcaster, Marcy Smothers.

Steve makes his home in the Russian Hill neighborhood of San Francisco. He is a graduate of Oxford University and the University of Arizona. He holds a Master of Divinity Degree from The Church Divinity School of the Pacific, Berkeley, California and is an ordained priest in the Episcopal Church where he also serves in a voluntary capacity as assisting priest at San Francisco’s nearby Grace Cathedral on Nob Hill. He also volunteers his time working with the City's homeless.

Icons of Whisky 2011
Spirits Ambassador 2003
Whisky Hall of Fame 2015
Keeper of the Quaich 2010
USBG Master Accredation