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5 Ways to Ensure Your Craft Beer Is Consistent in Quality

10/12/2014


The biggest obstacle in craft brewing is to create a consistent, quality beer, each and every time. Consumers have fallen in love with many aspects of craft beer, such as the variety of flavours and aromas that are being created by some of the most creative brewers.

However, consumers eventually vote with their palates, not with their hearts. All it takes for a consumer to choose another beer over yours is one bad batch. This is where quality comes in. Here’s a look at the top five ways to ensure quality.

  1. Brewing Ingredients

    • Make sure all of your ingredients are coming from reputable sources and always buy the same ingredients from the same place. Ask for specifications for malt and hops or any other ingredient you may use. Keep in mind that even a seemingly ‘free’ ingredient like water is crucial: If you are using municipal water, make sure you understand its mineral content and what it will do for your beer. Ask the local water utility if anything ever changes and have it tested by an independent lab. If you are using spring water, do the same, but be a little more diligent.

  2. Brewery Equipment

    • Keep your brewery spotless. Every minute particle of bacteria could influence the end result of each batch. In addition, make sure you are eliminating oxygen along the way. Oxygen levels need to be monitored closely to prevent a myriad of problems. The cleanliness and quality of your equipment is also extremely important. You should only use the highest grade of stainless steel. If you are contract brewing, you need to be in full control for you own batches: don’t be afraid to ask tough questions of the contract brewer.

  3. Packaging

    • Your packaging lines need to be built to your specifications. Whether you are canning, bottling or kegging, the elimination of oxygen is vital. These systems also need to be inspected and cleaned regularly. Make sure your labels are going on correctly, as a poorly labelled bottle might convey less attention to detail in the beer as well.

  4. Off Flavours

    • The flavour of your beer is what will make it stand out in a crowded marketplace – but this is also where most problems occur. First and foremost, you need to understand exactly what volatile aromatics and flavours can be produced. If you do not have a micro-lab in your craft brewery, you should seek out an independent lab that will measure your beer to ascertain quality.

  5. Seek Other Opinions

    • When you’re busy building your brewery, it’s easy to get accustomed to the way your beers smell and taste. As a result, you may become blind to defects. That’s why it’s important to enlist the help of others who offer defined sensory capabilities to take a good, hard look at your beer and give you honest feedback.

Don’t feel like you have to build your brewery strategy on your own. Working with an experienced consultant who has helped brewery operators like you both start and grow their businesses can help you identify new opportunities, streamline operations and ensure long-term success.