The Brewers Association (BA) draught beer quality working group has transitioned from a standing working group to full-fledged subcommittee of the technical committee.
Brewers Association working groups typically perform specific tasks then disband upon completion of those tasks. Subcommittees have a continuing mission and stay intact in order to effectively address the area of their concern.
The draught beer quality working group was established to develop the Draught Beer Quality Manual and the supporting website, DraughtQuality.org. The Draught Beer Quality Manual has proven to be a watershed document in the success of the craft brewing industry, establishing guidelines that have helped brewers deliver quality draught beer to consumers through distribution and retail outlets.
The working group’s work continues with the publication of one-pagers, straightforward fact sheets that provide tools and knowledge to all three industry tiers, as well as with revisions and updates to the Draught Beer Quality Manual and DraughtQuality.org. The draught beer quality subcommittee also conducts the Draught Beer Quality Workshop, held every year in conjunction with the Great American Beer Festival®. The workshop has allowed the group to disseminate the critical information covered in the Draught Beer Quality Manual to brewers, distributors and retailers of draught beer.
It has become increasingly clear that the work of the group is both ongoing and open ended. Both the development of a Draught Beer Quality Manual specifically targeting retailers of draught beer and the need to develop best practices pertaining to the cleaning and filling of growlers are two areas of continuing concern for the group. The ongoing need to address draught beer quality motivated the change in status of the working group to a developed subcommittee.
As a functioning subcommittee of the BA technical committee, the draught beer quality subcommittee (DBQ) operates under the governance of BA by-laws. To this end, the technical committee has named Matt Meadows of New Belgium Brewing Company chair of the new DBQ subcommittee. Matt started with New Belgium Brewing Company in 2002. Matt’s background with New Belgium includes being a packaging supervisor and the draught beer quality manager for New Belgium’s local distribution. In 2006 Matt became New Belgium’s National Director of Field Quality. He currently oversees a team that manages all facets of post-brewery quality in New Belgium’s 35 states and Canada. Matt has been active in the draught beer quality working group since its inception and was a contributing writer of the Draught Beer Quality Manual initially published in 2009.