The Brewers Association says to picture quality control like a pyramid. The base levels are: 1) good manufacturing practices (GMPs); 2) hazard analysis and critical control points, followed by; 3) standards; 4) process control and analysis; 5) shelf life and stability and then the tippy top level of; 6) preventive maintenance and special projects. The point of the pyramid is to emphasize that if you haven’t yet established base control strategies (like good manufacturing practices) focusing on upper levels (like shelf life) isn’t really worthwhile.
The complexities of quality control can be daunting for any brewery, so it’s important to instill a QC culture in your company. Stone Brewing Co. is a great example — just watch the video above. Thomas Tweedy, the director of brewing and supply chain quality, explains everything that Stone does to ensure the company creates the best and freshest beer possible. In fact, that QC process has some 158 touch points, according to the video above — fresh, hand-selected ingredients, precision beer monitoring, yeast health, purging bottles and cans, topping off with CO2, hitting bottles with jetters and then sending everything to the quality control lab. On top of all that and way more, every can and bottle from Stone has a Packaged on Date and Enjoy by Date to keep the consumer very aware of freshness.
It’s probably why I’ve never had a bad Stone beer.