Quality check for the craft brew industry

Last summer, CFWI Innovation Centre staff spent a lot of time purchasing a large quantity (1,000 cans) of a variety of craft beers created in Ontario. Not to worry; for the beverage experts at the Centre, it’s all in a day’s work, as the team took on a project for the Ontario Craft Brewers (OCB).

The OCB wanted to review craft beer production for quality and consistency, so they partnered with Niagara College for a large-scale project funded through the Ontario Centres of Excellence. The research team spent the summer analyzing various quality attributes of close to 100 different craft beers from more than 50 OCB members.

Led by Kelly Byer, research laboratory technologist, and the experts of the program faculty from the College’s Teaching Brewery, the team utilized leading-edge equipment in their labs – one of the very few labs where the craft beer industry can get their brew analyzed – to create their data, along with blind sensory trials.

In the end, Byer was able to report to the OCB that the province’s craft brewers are on the right track. “Quality standards were high across the board, and Ontario craft brewers can pride themselves on producing high-quality, great-tasting beer,” Byer noted. Yet, she added, there is always room for improvement: “There were some areas – especially  ABV, lot code and pH – that brewers can improve on.”

To learn more about CFWI Innovation Centre projects, visit the website.