Quality assurance is top of mind in the craft brewing industry this year, as we’ve noted several times since our trip to the Craft Brewers Conference and BrewExpo America. But the thing is, for the industry mainstays, this is no newsflash — quality has always been top of mind.
How top of mind (last time I use that phrase) is quality? Try the main nugget of info in a local news puff piece. Thirsty Dog Brewing in Akron is a staple of the Ohio craft brewing scene, and in this great feature on the brewery from WKYC in Cleveland, amid the topics you’d expect to see, there was an in-depth discussion about the brewery’s on-staff biologists, laboratory and tasting routine.
“At the start of brewing, our laboratory is set up so that we can propagate all of our yeast strains,” Najeway explains. “Once the brewing process is done … the biologist kicks in again, because we start pulling samples from the fermenters.”
Najeway continues,” When the beer is done and packaged, again the lab grab samples of every batch, and we keep them on hand. We have a sensory evaluation every Friday, where we’re tasting the beers. We’re tasting it compared to the batch that’s coming out this week, compared to the batch that came out last week, and the batch that came out three months ago and six months ago.”
Every Friday, Thirsty Dog has a tasting panel, made up of biologists and brewmasters, who make sure all of the beers are spot on.