The craft beer industry has experienced tremendous growth over the last few years as a result of the increasing trend of consumers desiring specialized products that are sourced from known suppliers. According to the National Brewer’s Association, in 2015 alone, craft beer producers claimed $22.3 million of the overall $105.9 billion national beer sales. Although this number may not appear impressive, it was a 12.8% increase from 2014, which indicates an increase in the “think local, buy local” trend.
The main advantage of craft breweries’ is due to their small size that allows them to be more flexible in producing small batches of a variety of brews. While advantageous for consumers that enjoy the ability to have multiple options when purchasing their beer, it is often difficult for these breweries to ensure the consistency and quality control of their products. Consumers enjoy freedom in trying new flavors of their beers. However it is even more important that the product they purchase is full flavorful and tasty.
Improving the Quality of Craft Beers
Craft beer breweries are subjected to the same requirements that major breweries must follow to ensure the taste of their final product. Regardless the size of the brewery, a number of tests must be conducted to analyze the alcohol content, calories, salt and sugar levels, expected shelf life and beverage safety of their products. While this is true, the instruments that large beer industries utilize to analyze these properties can be expensive for smaller breweries to afford. In fact, larger national breweries will typically have in-house laboratories that are responsible for ensuring the consistency and quality control of their products.
As compared to larger breweries, smaller local breweries have looked to potential alternative methods of conducting alcohol analysis of their products in a cost effective method. One successful example of this is The Accelerator, which is a small-business incubator located in New Windsor, NY, that is focused on ‘bringing manufacturing back to the mid-Hudson Valley.’ The Accelerator offers a number of resources to small businesses among various industries, however its most recent development in 2016 has been the opening of a lab that is specifically geared towards alcohol testing. A recent report on The Accelerator in the Times-Herald Record interview Ann Marsh, an assistant cider maker at Angry Orchard in Walden, NY on the lab, in which she stated One type of instrument that is utilized in The Accelerator is the Vapodest, which is an automated steam distillation system manufactured by Gerhardt Instruments.
Local craft breweries are hopeful that as the trend of “thinking local” continues to rise that similar cooperative testing as demonstrated by The Accelerator will also follow to allow consumers to continue to enjoy big flavors from small breweries.
This information has been sourced, reviewed and adapted from materials provided by OI Analytical.
For more information on this source, please visit OI Analytical.