Sunday, January 01, 2017

My 'craft' beer wish for 2017

When a brewer doesn’t build quality into process, the consumer pays for bad beer. Bad craft beer shines an ugly light on good craft beer because the rest of us are working day and night to make best beer possible. Quality needs to be in every piece of process. It says something when breweries spend so much on vessels and piping and aren’t spending as much, or even a fraction, to build quality. There are a lot of homebrewers and noneducated brewers who are starting up, aren’t classically trained and are putting a product out into market. They are using exotic ingredients that aren’t vetted, they don’t know how beers will age, taint lines, and the consumer pays for the brewer’s learning curve. There’s no guarantee, no work to support that the beer will be as good as the brewer intended it to be.
—Rebecca Newman, Quality Manager, Summit Brewing (at All About Beer).

My beer wish for 2017? That more 'craft' brewers would recognize that, without practice and education, innovation is an empty boast. Becoming a craftsperson is a different thing than immodestly self-proclaiming it.

Bottles on bottling line
LiKewise, brewing beer and packaging beer. Buying a canning or bottling line is only a first step. Making good 'craft' beer requires an understanding of its science, technology, and processes (such as !!#$%^ air pickup!) from start to finish and out the door.

Again, Ms. Newman:
If you're going to be a package brewer, put the effort into quality package equipment. It doesn't have to be a bajillion dollars, but it does have to be effective. And then do the sensory work behind it to prove that you have the shelf stability.

'Craft' brewers: when we purchase your beer, we are, in effect, subsidizing your education. For 2017: please learn!

See you back here in 2018.


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