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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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