The Secret Ingredient Behind the Vest Beer

A holistic hygiene approach maximizes breweries' operational performance

Beer being filled into a glass

Most people enjoy a fresh beer on a hot day, the sound of the bottle opening and the foam bubbling to the top of the glass. I love a good beer, but most of all, I love the brewing industry. I fell into it very early, right out of university, when I joined a large brewing company in its quality control lab.  More than a decade in the industry later, I am in extreme admiration of the complex process of brewing. Part science and part craft, it requires true mastery to achieve consistent quality of taste, bottle after bottle, can after can. I’d even dare to say that beer making is more complex and elaborate than wine making. With 10 steps required before beer gets even packaged, this industry has not left it to nature to dictate if the taste of the beverage will be superb or not. 

Brewing beer starts with the creation of a recipe. Every brewer has the same objective, creating a unique and quality taste that consumers will like and want to purchase. This stage is what I call the craft, combining passion and skills to develop the perfect blend. The process that follows the creation is what I refer to as science. The brewer builds a sophisticated process to recreate that taste consistently, at scale, to make beer that will be poured into thousands of glasses. As in fine dining, the master brewers are recognized in the execution and their ability to deliver the same level of flavors to every guest.  

In my role as Corporate Accounts Manager for the Food and Beverage industry at Ecolab I provide a technical service that complements the full brewing process: hygiene. From mashing to fermentation, pasteurization to packaging, hygiene is crucial at every step. To preserve the taste and make the process repeatable, the brewery has to be clean and sanitized to high standards. However, cleaning processes can be costly and resource intensive. Brewers don’t want to take time away from their production plan to clean, and that is why partnerships bring incredible value. I have learned quickly to become a consultant and not just provide chemical solutions, but rather offer a holistic approach to hygiene that enables our customers to maximize the performance of their operations. 

Hygiene requires the right balance to protect the production process. By using the right quantities of products, managing resources better, such as water and energy, while making the environment safe, a brewing will run more efficiently. Producing better and smarter is our motto, but I have also noticed time and time again that morale of employees improves when the site is cleaner. Hygiene makes for a better manufacturing environment at every level. 

Consistency is key to making great beer. With the right hygiene routine, a brewer can remove variability in the production process. Cleaning is a gatekeeper to great taste and safe products. Whatever the size of the brewery, do not compromise on hygiene. I have seen first-hand the benefits of a robust and rigorous hygiene program that can also offer drastic operational savings, in time, water and energy. Majors brands have heavily invested into their hygiene partner because the returns on investment are significant. With the right partner, the brewer can produce more efficiently, while driving a more sustainable production site. 

Making great beer is a combination of passion for great taste and the scientific rigor to repeat a meticulous process. I am a proud partner that wanders these state-of-the-art manufacturing sites and keeps things pristine. I make sure that our customers can focus on their productions and I cannot wait to keep on producing some of the best beer in the U.K. 

About the Author

Chris Byrom

Contract Coordinator, Food & Beverage UK

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