This course will combine educational lecture and laboratory work to give attendees the tools to demystify the quality process. The course will take place at The Hotel Roanoke & Conference Center. Space is limited due to the special nature of this hands-on course.

Included with tuition:

  • Lectures, group discussions, and hand-on exercises
  • Light breakfast, lunch, snacks, and some dinners
  • Tours and tastings at local breweries
  • Transportation to offsite tours

Preliminary Program Subject to Change​

Monday – August 5

8:30 am

Registration, coffee/tea
9:00 am Introduction and Welcome
Meet and greet for participants and instructors followed by an introduction and expectation discussion
Rob Christiansen, New Belgium Brewing Company
Brian Wiersema, Virginia Tech
11:00 am Lunch Provided
12:00 pm Microbiology Day 1 Yeast and More Yeast!
  • Physiology and Metabolism of Saccharomyces Cerevisiae
  • Cell Counting Basics
  • Yeast Health (viability and vitality)
    • La​b Exercises
4:00 pm ​Day 1 Wrap Up
5:00 pm Tour and Tasting at Local Brewery

Tuesday – August 6

8:00 am Microbiology Day 2 Propagation and Pitching, Contamination
  • Analysis of Yeast Stats and what it Means in Your Brewery
  • Yeast Pitching Basics
  • Propagation
  • Cone to Cone Pitching
  • How and When to Harvest Yeast
    • Math lessons
  • Contamination in Beer and Yeast
  • Types of Media and Why/How to Use Them
  • Reading and Identifying Contamination on Plates
  • Identification Techniques (PCR, MALDI-TOF, Sequencing)
    • Lab Exercises
  • Where to Start with a Micro Program
  • Resources for Micro in our Industry
12:00 pm Lunch Provided
1:00 pm Microbiology Day 2 Propagation and Pitching, Contamination continued
4:00 pm Day 2 Wrap Up
4:30 pm Tour and Tasting at Local Brewery
Location TBD

Wednesday – August 7

8:00 am Brewing Chemistry Methods
  • Safety
  • Good Laboratory Techniques
  • MOA Overview and Standards Calculation
  • Sampling, Degassing, and Sampling Stability
  • Specific Gravity and Calculated Values
    • Exercise: Pipetting and Building a Calibration Curve
  • pH and Titratable Acidity
  • Spectrophotometer – Wort and Beer Methods
  • Tristimulus
    • Exercise: IBUs
  • Alcohol
  • SO2
  • Gluten
    • Exercise: Anton Paar
  • Physical Stability and Turbidity
  • Gas Chromatography
  • Liquid Chromatography
  • VDKs
  • IAAs versus IBUs
  • DMS
  • Fermentation Volatiles
    • Exercise – Chromatography Lab Visit
  • Foam
  • Metals
  • Beer Flavor and Fishbones
  • Flavor Stability
  • Method Validation, Control Samples, and Proficiency Schemes
  • Lab Design, Maintenance, and Outsourcing
12:00 pm Lunch Provided
1:00 pm Brewing Chemistry Methods continued
3:30 pm Day 3 Wrap Up
4:00 pm Bus Departs for Tour and Tasting at Local Brewery
Location TBD
5:00 pm Tour, Tasting, and Dinner at Local Brewery
Location TBD
9:00 pm Bus Returns to The Hotel Roanoke & Conference Center

Thursday – August 8

​9:00 am Sensory Program Development
  • Introduction to Sensory Analysis
    • Overview of Flavor and Sensory Evaluation
    • Overview of Sensory Principles
    • Sensory Program Parameters
  • Building a Sensory Program
    • Panelist Selection
    • Sensory Laboratory Space
  • Panelist Training
    • Introduction to Attribute Training
      • Activity – Flavor Training
  • Sensory Evaluation in Quality Control
    • Maintenance of Product Quality
    • Measuring Quality
  • Sensory Evaluation Throughout the Process
    • Sampling Plans
    • Documentations and Reaction Plans
  • Statistical Quality Control
  • Sensory Methods
    • Discrimination Testing
    • Threshold Testing
    • Shelf Life Analysis
      • Activity – Case Studies and Method Selection
  • Validation
    • Measuring Panelist Acuity
    • Measuring Panel Performance
      • Activity – Validating and Utilizing Panelist Data
  • Sensory Evaluation in New Product Development
    • Descriptive Analysis Principles and Practices
      • Activity – Running a Descriptive Analysis Panel
  • Conclusion
    • Review of Best Practices
12:00 pm Lunch Provided
1:00 pm Sensory Program Development continued
4:30 pm Day 4 Wrap Up
Open night to explore Roanoke

Friday – August 9

8:00 am Raw Materials
  • Hop Quality – Basics for Craft Brewers
  • Malt COA Interpretation – Breaking down the Numbers
  • Activity – Troubleshooting Potential Contaminants
11:30 am Lunch provided
12:30 pm Packaging Quality: Why Paperboard Matters
  • Packaging Supplier Quality
    • Setting Expectations with Suppliers
    • Regular Visits
    • Quality Expectations
  • Using Data to Hold Suppliers Accountable
  • Building Partnership to Maximize Supplier Relationships
  • In-process Quality
  • Critical Parameters to Monitor for Package Ops
    • Total Package Oxygen
    • Fill Volume
    • Can Seams
  • Voice of the Customer
    • Using Feedback to Improve Quality of Product
      • Activity – Group problem solving exercises based on customer complaints
    • Review and Discussion of problem solving case studies, “Real” Results
4:30 pm Day 5 Wrap Up
5:00 pm Tour and Tasting at Local Brewery (optional)
Location TBD