Developing and expanding quality programs in the brewery is a resource- and time-intensive endeavor that can be hindered by capital and bandwidth roadblocks. However, these challenges can often be overcome by utilizing the resources available at local universities, colleges, and other institutions. Educational institution partnerships can take a variety of forms: outsourcing quality assays, utilizing equipment, bringing on a student intern, and even partnering on new-product development. Additionally, this is often a symbiotic relationship and has been leveraged to not only support the local brewing community but also support the institution by providing brewing industry experience for students. A panel of four – two institutional representatives and two brewery representatives – will discuss their direct experience working in this interface, as well as provide guidance for brewers to build working relationships with their local institutions.
- An overview of the resources that institutions hold, the services they offer, and how brewers can utilize knowledge capital to move their quality programs forward
- How to work with institutions on research or product development partnerships, including how to incorporate third party data into a brewery quality program
- How institutions can provide opportunities for their students by using brewing analysis as a teaching tool and collaborating on internships or work-study placements
- The role of brewing science and related education in hiring and recruiting in the current industry landscape
- How the Brewers Association, state guilds, MBAA, and ASBC contribute to this interface
About the Speakers
Dr. Lucille Benedict, Professor
University of Southern Maine
Luci Benedict has been a professor of chemistry at the University of Southern Maine (USM) since 2007. In 2016 she founded the Quality Control Collaboratory (QC2 Lab) at the USM. The QC2 lab is a unique laboratory devoted to supporting both craft brewers and USM's undergraduates. The lab supports craft brewers by providing analytical and microbial testing services, education on starting and growing a laboratory QC program, and research. All of the services and research done by the QC2 lab is supported by trained undergraduates, providing students with an engaging research and laboratory experience.
Jeff Edgerton, Vice President of Operations
Brew Dr. Kombucha
Jeffrey Edgerton grew up in the Portland area and graduated from Oregon State University in 1987 with BS in Microbiology. Jeff worked for Blitz-Weinhard Brewing in Portland, Oregon from 1989-1998 as a QA tech and Head of Microbiological Services. He took a position as QA Manager for BridgePort Brewing Company in 1998, was later promoted to assistant brewmaster, and became the brewmaster in 2011. BridgePort closed its doors in 2019 and Jeff found a new position as the Director of Brewing for Brew Dr. Kombucha. He was then promoted to Director of Operations and eventually to Vice President of Operations in 2020.
Matt Nelson, Quality Manager
Bissell Brothers Brewing
Matt Nelson is the quality manager at Bissell Brothers Brewing Company in Portland, Maine and he has over ten years of laboratory experience. He has been with Bissell Brothers for five years, and during that time he has helped to build the quality program at Bissell Brothers from the ground up. Before joining Bissell Brothers he worked in a biotechnology lab, producing and quality testing assays to detect GMOs and mycotoxins.
Dr. Thomas Shellhammer, Professor
Oregon State University
Dr. Shellhammer is the Nor'Wester Professor of Fermentation Science in the Department of Food Science and Technology at Oregon State University. He is an internationally-recognized expert in hops chemistry and brewing science, and his lab investigates hops, beer quality, and the origins of hop aroma and flavor in beer. He teaches undergraduate and continuing education courses pertaining to brewing science and beer quality. He served as President of the Board of Directors of the American Society of Brewing Chemists, the President of the District NW Master Brewers Association of the Americas, and currently serves on the Board of Examiners for the Institute of Brewing and Distilling. He is also a member of the Brewers Association Quality Subcommittee.