New Director of Training appointed at Beer Academy
The Beer Academy has appointed Alex Barlow as its Director of Training and Chief Examiner to replace George Philliskirk who retires after nine years with the organisation.
Simon Jackson Beer Academy Director said “Under George’s stewardship the Beer Academy has established itself as one of the World’s most respected providers of Beer Education and he was always going to be a very tough act to follow.
"I am delighted that Alex has agreed to take up the mantle. His career as a Master Brewer, brand manager for a number major beer brands and independent brewing consultant makes him uniquely qualified for the role. Developing compelling beer training requires not only state of the art technical knowledge but also tip top communication skills. Alex has both in abundance.”
Alex Barlow said “Too many people still think that beer is a rather boring commodity that all tastes the same. Nothing can be further from the truth. It’s the most fascinating drink in the world. Companies that successfully get this message over to their customers are thriving. My ambition is that everyone who works in the sector gains the knowledge and confidence to inspire people and set them on a voyage of beer discovery.”
Alex Barlow was brought up in Chester and in Zambia. His 30 years’ experience in brewing and passion for beer started as bar and cellarman in his local pub, before obtaining a BSc in Life Sciences and Pharmacology form the University of Liverpool. He learned his brewing skills at Bass’ UK breweries, becoming the UK’s youngest qualified Master Brewer, before moving roles to police beer quality in pubs and clubs across the North of England. He became the first Englishman to manage a Czech brewery, with Staropramen in Prague, and developed two new beer brands whilst gaining a taste for European styles. Returning to the UK, he was appointed Brand Manager at Coors Brewers with responsibility for Worthington’s, Caffrey’s, Stones and Sol.
Alex regularly judges UK and International beer competitions and presents beer experience events in the UK, Europe and North America to consumer audiences, brewers and retailers. He is author of the ALL BEER Guide to beer styles and flavour which is available in English or French and was winner of four International awards including ‘World’s Best Beer Book, 2010 from Gourmand’. Alex has contributed to beer and food features in publications such as the Times, Imbibe and Craft Union. He is an honorary lecturer on Microbrewing at Sheffield University and is conducting flavour research projects in collaboration with the University of Nottingham.
The Beer Academy is an educational body that was founded by a small group of beer enthusiasts in 2003 to help people understand, appreciate and enjoy beer sensibly. To date over 10,000 people have attended Beer Academy courses and tasting events such as the BBC Good Food Show, the Great British Beer Festival and the British Museum as well as in pubs and bars up and down the country. The Academy offers a range of courses and qualifications ranging from a 90 minute tutored introduction to beer through to its highest award – the Sommelier Qualification. Full details of all Beer Academy Courses and events can be found www.beeracademy.co.uk or follow us on Twitter @TheBeerAcademy and Facebook http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Beer-Academy/411889238846208