This page comes from a desire to help the general beer-drinking public understand beer flavor. The craft beer “revolution” is well underway and entering its sophomore phases with relatively steady growth, even with US beer sales down a bit in 2009. Along with the number of microbreweries and brewpubs still starting these days, it’s apparent that there is a growing interest in beer with more flavor. However, what is not apparent is an interest in learning why so much of this beer is bad. Whether its a brewpub with an infection, a microbrewery pushing out young beer because they don’t have the capacity to meet demand, a macrobrewer putting their beer in clear or green glass, a distributor leaving beer out on a warm loading dock, or an import brewer shipping their beer unrefrigerated, the list of causes of beer flavor defects is long and wide. And in general, unknown by those drinking the beer.
If we can bring a common understanding and vocabulary to describing the beer we like and don’t like, and start persuading beer handlers to better protect their beer, then we can all enjoy the benefits.
MS, BS, Food Science and Technology
Published, Journal of the American Society of Brewing Chemists
Current Job: Sensory Panel Administrator, American Regional Craft Brewery
For the sake of of myself and my employer, I will take every step to maintain our privacy and anonymity.
The views expressed in this blog are not those of my employer, whoever that may be.
Email address is on the Contact page.
How did you get into brewing?
A college microbiology course alerted me to the fact that some schools offer coursework on brewing and oenology. I sought out one of these schools and found a new home that I fell in love with. I love it because it encapsulates many different sciences and involves a unique product with an interesting history.
And tastes good.
I would be useful to know which state or region of these USofA you reside in. Thanks.
Your insistence on anonymity is curious. It simply does not make sense. Given the knowledge that you have, why do you want to hide? Why would your employer care that you are sharing information with the general public? You say for your own sake and your employer’s. What benefit and advantage do you gain by remaining anonymous?
Well, it’s something that I’ve wrestled with on and off since I started this, but on balance I side with the anonymity and the reason can be boiled down to this: I want to be able to say that I don’t like a beer my company makes without upsetting my superiors and potentially endangering my employment. I also want to be able to say that I like a beer my company makes without my readers thinking it’s just marketing. I know that our marketing department likes to have tight control of the message, so I’m going to stay out of their way and keep it anonymous and objective.
I like that your identity is anonymous, even though it is hard not to figure out. you have left plenty of clues!
I meant: “not too hard to figure out”… my brain is ready for the 3-day weekend! plus I just proctored a difference test with n=45…
Well, now I’m curious. Tell me, Brian, with all these clues, who am I? Or at least, who do I work for?
Suffice to say your thesis is a good place to start looking, and I think your brewery is now bigger than “regional” but I don’t want to ruin a good thing so I won’t name names! I like and learn from this blog way too much! But I do hope to attend a certain seminar at WBC… or maybe I am completely wrong!
Would very much appreciate a copy of the fishbone diagram. I preside over a local club and would like to share some of the info as it relates to homebrewing.
Wow, and to think of all the hours I thought you were just “playing” with those molecular structure kits….
So glad to see you are doing what you love!!!!
Very impressive Mr Anonymous 😉
I like the information provided! Very professional and well written