Keeping Sensory Simple—An introduction to sensory science and beer evaluation​​​

Meeting Recap

The 2nd annual 2019 New York State LABS meeting, “Keeping Sensory Simple: An introduction to sensory science and beer evaluation”, provided brewers with simple solutions to innovate across their beer brands. Big thanks to our venue sponsor, Swiftwater Brewing, for sharing their cozy space, providing top notch food and keeping the beer flowing! This event would not have been possible without our brilliant speaker, Lindsay Barr, who brought her unique sensory perspectives from years managing sensory data in the industry. 

After a brief introduction to the evening, Lindsay got down to the basics of using sensory in a brewery environment. Following the presentation, participants tasted two blind coded beers and reported on their sensory profiles using sensory software DraughtLab Pro (provided as a demo version to all those attending). Individuals described the sensory qualities of each beer as well as their preferences, and group data was pooled to form a consensus description and likeability score! In a second round of blind tastings, participants learned another type of sensory test to identify differences between products, an important “beer release” tool. 

Over the course of the night, Lindsay reminded us all that sensory doesn’t have to be needlessly complicated in the brewery; in fact, brewers (and even sensory scientists) can be guilty of spending too much time and resources following the wrong kinds of sensory questions. But how do we focus our energy when there’s SO MUCH left to understand in the beer arena? Her suggestion: understand what it is like, AND what is liked! The first step towards producing better beer is making beer that people like and want to drink, and sensory can be a powerful tool to help uncover what makes a beer drinkable.

Thanks to everyone who came out to learn and gather with us in Rochester; we hope to see you again in 2020!


 Thank You Sponsors!


Meeting Overview

Ever wanted to think more like a sensory scientist? On Tuesday, April 30th, develop your inner sensory scientist with beer sensory expert, Lindsay Barr, at the first ever Rochester LABS meeting! Lindsay has over 8 years of experience managing beer quality and sensory programs, and is Co-Founder of Rochester-based DraughtLab, a powerful sensory software for brewery applications. With a little training and discipline, sensory evaluation is a powerful tool accessible to all brewers. No matter the size or scale of production, sensory methods can be used in the brewery to ensure product quality or develop new and exciting beers. Lindsay will guide attendees through the foundational principles of sensory science and provide simple sensory applications to improve beer quality and excite customers through strategic innovation.

LABS meetings are a great opportunity to meet locals in the brewing industry and gather over a common theme. Following this year’s theme of sensory science, attendees will get familiar with the sensory tools used to manage beer quality, hear from other brewers who are already using sensory evaluation, and learn new ways to explore beer flavor.

Invited Speaker

Lindsay Barr
Sensory Specialist and Co-Founder of DraughtLab

Program Schedule

4:30 – 5:00 pm:   Registration
5:00 – 6:00 pm:   Introduction to Sensory Science
6:00 – 7:00 pm:   Guided Beer Tasting
7:00 – 8:00 pm:   Dinner at Swiftwater Kitchen
8:00 – 8:15 pm:   Concluding Remarks
8:15 – 10:00 pm: Networking Hour