More than 3,400 breweries are currently in operation in the U.S., with more than 2,000 in the planning stages. But is beer quality a top priority for all of them? This 2015 Craft Brewers Conference issue of The New Brewer (March/April 2015) provides a road map toward making sure your brewery is on point with issues regarding beer quality.
Here’s a look at some of the features you’ll find in this issue:
Climbing the Quality Pyramid
While producing unique and full-flavored beer is a key differentiator for craft beer, it must not be a brewer’s only focus. Creativity and flavor are important cornerstones of craft beer, but they should be secondary to and independent of quality. It is critical that we understand the potential risks to quality and have procedures in place to control them. We must deliberately create a beer that meets consumer expectations in a safe, traceable, and repeatable manner. By Jason Perkins and the BA Quality Subcommittee
Date and Lot Coding of Beer
As craft brewers, we are manufacturers of a wholesome food product we want our customers to enjoy. A portion of that enjoyment comes from the knowledge that we produce flavorful experiences, but we also have a responsibility to ensure that we make beers that do no harm and are verifiably safe to drink. It is the position of the Brewers Association (BA) that it is in the best interest of craft brewers, distributors, importers, and consumers for craft beer to be identifiable by a date or lot code. Thus, it is the responsibility of all brewers to ensure that their products are clearly coded for traceability. In fact, the law requires it. By Larry Horwitz
Integrated Quality: An Everyday Process
Quality is an evolutionary process. As more breweries populate the landscape, more quality programs will be created. I’ve developed quality programs for most of my career, and the most successful brewers I’ve worked alongside establish quality at the onset. Quality is invited to sit at the “big table” and is included early in decision making. By Rebecca Newman
Welcome to Beervana: Portland Hosts CBC
“Beervana.” Coined by the local alternative newsweekly Willamette Week in 1994, the term acknowledges Portland, Oregon’s privileged place in the pantheon of American cities that have devoted themselves to independent, artisanal breweries. Other cities may occasionally lay claim to the title, but the term was invented here and to many, Portland will always be America’s beer mecca. Its unparalleled beer culture will be on display as the city hosts the 32nd Craft Brewers Conference and BrewExpo America® April 14-17. By Adrienne So
Also in this issue, you’ll find a wealth of information and “news you can use” for your brewery in our departments, news about the craft brewing community in the Brew News and New Releases sections, and new products and innovations from the craft brewing industry in our Industry Supplier News section. In our back page interview, we raise a glass to Bell’s Brewery director of operations John Mallett.