Senior Master of Whisky - Diageo
Steve Beal was among the first of Diageo’s Masters of Whisky. Based in San Francisco, he led Diageo’s North American whisk(e)y efforts and is one of the chief reasons why Bulleit rose up from the shadows to become a behind-the-bar staple in bourbon and rye whiskey.
For more than two decades, Steve has been a behind-the-scenes salesman and brand advocate for Diageo products. But along the way, he became a mentor, helping to create the US Bartender’s Guild (USBG) Master Accreditation Program.
When asked why he started working in whiskey, he simply replies, "Because I loved it. I was working at a well known culinary school and one day got a call, ‘Stephen, put your kilt on, we need ya.’"
Before long he was working with his mentor, Evan Cattanach (Whisky Magazine Hall of Fame inductee in 2011) and was on his way towards a career in the world of whisky, ultimately including some of the world’s leading whisky brands: first, with Johnnie Walker, then the Classic Malts Selections, Bulleit Bourbon, George Dickel Tennessee Whisky, Crown Royal Canadian Whisky, Bushmills and Diageo’s Orphan Barrel project.
In addition to selling whiskey, Steve has written about distilled spirits and helped host a national syndicated radio program with Marcy Smothers and celebrity chef Guy Fieri.
Steve is a graduate of the University of Arizona. Father Beal is an ordained Episcopal priest and received his graduate credentials in theology at Oxford University and his Master of Divinity degree from the Episcopal Church Divinity School of the Pacific. In other words, Beal is a man of genuine spirit.