A Discussion on Hop Smoke Taint | ASBC Webinar​​​

Broadcast Date: August 12, 2021

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Questions? Contact Bryan Mowry at ASBC

Webinar Summary

Brewers and suppliers are not immune to the devastating impacts of wildland fires. Wildfires can impact water quality and carry smoke and ash many miles from their place of origin. Most studied in wine grapes, smoke taint has been shown to have undesirable effects on grapes and wine. More recently, wildfire smoke has traveled to regions in the Pacific Northwest where most U.S. hops are cultivated. Industry and academic researchers are increasingly looking at ways to measure and mitigate smoke taint in hops and the downstream impacts on beer. Presented by Dr. Glen Fox (UC Davis), Stacey Williams and Justin Alexander (New Belgium Brewing), and Tiffany Pitra (Yakima Chief Hops), this collaborative webinar will discuss their latest findings and remaining challenges to be overcome. Smoke taint is an industry-wide issue requiring an industry-wide effort, and the speakers invite dialogue and new collaborations with experts in this field.

Attends will learn:​

  • Common smoke flavor compounds that taint hops and beer
  • Available methods to measure smoke taint in hops and beer (chemistry and sensory)
  • Advice for managing hops and beer quality when faced with smoke taint

About the Presenters

Tiffany Pitra

Yakima Chief Hops

​Originally from Iowa, Tiffany Pitra relocated to Yakima, Washington in 2010 where she immediately fell in love with the hop industry. Tiffany holds a B.A. from the University of Northern Iowa and in 2014, she completed the UC Davis Applied Sensory and Consumer Science Certificate Program while building her first raw materials sensory program. She continues to be very active in the ASBC Sensory Subcommittee, helping validate sensory methods and hosting workshops at annual meetings. At Yakima Chief Hops, she is fortunate to align her professional goals with personal interests; she is passionate about hop quality, sensory education, and growing the Yakima community.

Justin Alexander
New Belgium Brewing Company​

Justin Alexander graduated from Colorado State University with a Bachelor of Science in Fermentation Science & Technology with a Minor in Food Science & Safety. He has multiple years of experience in ultra-performance liquid chromatography (UPLC), primarily focusing on hop bittering components, organic acids, and fermentable carbohydrates.

Dr. Glen Fox

UC Davis
Professor Glen Fox joined UC Davis in 2019 as the Anheuser-Busch Endowed Professor Malting & Brewing Science. He obtained his PhD from Southern Cross University, Australia, in the area of barley genetics related to barley and malt quality. Professor Fox has conducted research with some of the world’s largest beer companies. His current research interests include understanding the broad composition of malt and its impact on processing and flavor. In 2018, he was elected a Fellow of the Institute of Brewing & Distilling.

Stacey Williams
New Belgium Brewing Company

Stacey Williams earned a BS in Chemistry at Metropolitan State College in Denver.  She has extensive experience in high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC), gas chromatography (GC), and mass spectrometry through her work in pharma, biopharma, and the beer industry.  She is currently a principle scientist at New Belgium in the QA lab with responsibilities including method development, validation, gas chromatography - olfactory (GC-O), and instrument troubleshooting. 

Kelly Scott

UC Davis

​Kelly Scott helps run and maintain the UC Davis Anheuser Busch InBev Brewery and the Sierra Nevada Brewing & Food Science Laboratory as well as helping to teach courses in brewing for UC Davis and UC Davis Continuing and Professional Education. Kelly graduated from UC Davis in 2015 with a B.S. in Food Science with an emphasis in Brewing and a minor in Chemistry.  After graduating, she worked at Sudwerk Brewing Co. as a Brewer before returning to UC Davis as a staff member.

Joe Williams

UC Davis
Joe Williams is the Sierra Nevada Brewing Company, Endowed Brewer, at UC Davis. He manages the August A. Busch III research and teaching brewery involves maintaining a world-class research facility while providing the students with an immersive educational experience that introduces them to the realities of working in a production facility. He enjoys time with his family, riding his bike, listening to music, playing in the backyard, and yoga.

Patrick Jensen has been with YCH for more than four years. He was born in Yakima, Washington and knew nothing of hops and beer until he graduated from Central Washington University with a B.S. in chemistry in 2004. He owned a Thai restaurant where he was the head chef, but soon after graduation ended up in the hop industry. He has managed several hop quality laboratories since, and now is the research and development director for YCH. He works to develop analytical methods for hop and brewing research and provides technical expertise to our growers, production processes, quality control and sales team. He lives in Yakima, Washington with his wife, daughter and twin autistic sons.
Patrick Jensen​
Yakima Chief Hops