Bill Simpson (1); (1) Cara Technology Limited, Leatherhead, U.K.
Technical Session 2: Sensory I
Sunday, August 14 • 9:45–11:30 a.m.
Tower Building, Second Level, Grand Ballroom
Beer tasting has never been more important. Twenty years ago, tasters
could contribute to management of product quality by becoming competent
in detection and identification of a relatively small number of flavor
attributes. But beer and the beer market have changed, and tasters have
had to change with them. Today’s tasters have to be familiar with the
flavor of a great many styles of beer, and with a variety of products
conforming to those styles. Whereas 20-25 flavor attributes might have
sufficed 20 years ago, competence in detection and identification of
50-60 attributes is needed today. The “old” ways in which tasters
developed competence through experience are no longer fit for the
purpose. Intensive training methods, capable of developing deep
expertise and skill in the shortest time possible, are the order of the
day. In this presentation I will review the methods used to select,
screen and train professional tasters and give examples of how such
methods can be applied in breweries of different types. In addition,
measures of success will be discussed, including how taster competence
can be assessed.
Bill Simpson is director of Cara Technology Limited, a specialist
in beer taste panel development and yeast supply to the global brewing
industry. After almost a decade with Tennent’s in Glasgow, Scotland,
Bill joined the Brewing Research Foundation near London, where he spent
almost 10 years carrying out research into beer technology. Since
establishing Cara Technology in 1995 he has consulted for more than 500
breweries in over 70 countries and has grown the company into a major
provider of technical services to breweries throughout the world. He has
published more than 120 technical papers, patents and book chapters in
the area of brewing technology and is the inventor of stabilized beer
flavor standards used to train thousands of professional beer tasters
all over the world.