Employee interview – Meet Didier Theodore
Sep 6, 2022
Behind the scenes – Meet Didier, New Business Development and Product Manager (Toulouse, France). Didier has worked at Lallemand for over 20 years, here he tells us his thoughts on the brewing industry and trends.
What’s your all-time favorite beer style?
“I really like fresh and dry Saison beers with a bit of bitterness. Originating from Belgium, these beers were traditionally made for workers during the farming season. This beer style is now very popular and has got many variances, which all share the commonality of solid character, with citrus, clove and pepper spicy notes. I really like having them alone as a refreshing and cool drink or paired with a good French cheese such as “Pont Leveque” or “Epoisse.”
Where do you think the industry is headed stylistically? What will be the next “hot” trend?
“Thanks to the Craft Revolution, we are witnessing over the world in the diversification of the offer from the brewing industry. Consumers are becoming more and more exposed to this diversity and beer is less and less considered a cheap soft alcoholic beverage to quench the thirst or to drink at a party. Lager, which is by far the most popular beer style, was mainly considered an easy-to-drink “low alcohol” beverage (4-5% ABV). However, breweries of all sizes tend to put more effort into putting their own signature on this ubiquitous style, considered the most difficult to brew.
Recent work has shown that all lager yeast strains in use today are likely descended from one of two (natural and spontaneous) hybridization events between S. cerevisiae and S. bayanus. With the usage of classical breeding techniques to select new strains of interest, research and science are bringing more tools for brewers, allowing for even more creativity. I believe it will be the “hotter” trend in the next decade.”
What’s your Lallemand story?
“I joined Lallemand R&D Team in 1995. As a project manager, I was involved in many new product developments (Yeast extract production process, Bacteria and Yeast selection & production process optimization…). In 1999, I left Lallemand Labs for a Technical Sales Manager position for another yeast company dealing in the wine sector. For 3 years, I learned a lot about international sales and market needs. I rejoined Lallemand in 2002 as Product Manager within the Lallemand Oenology BU, first, as a Product Manager for bacteria, followed by Product Manager for the wine yeast category and Business Support Manager in different countries, Since October 2019, I moved to a new challenge with the brewing business unit with the will to continue to develop new products and new concepts online with this fascinating market in constant growth and mutation.”
How did you end up working in the beer industry?
“Like the wine industry, the brewing industry is made by passionate people who always want to improve their products using innovative biotechnological tools such as Yeast and Bacteria. After 20 years of working in the wine industry, I found it a natural move to explore the brewing industry and a new challenge to use my previous experience at the service of the beer industry. ”
Any tips for other brewers?
”There is no doubt that both flavor and aroma in beer are heavily influenced by the selection of malt and hops used in brewing, but do not underestimate the huge influence of fermentation management where yeast and bacteria play key roles. ”