Foreword By BENET Fité
Dear EBC Friends and Colleagues,
I hope these lines find you all healthy and hopeful. Almost all of us are currently living under a second or third wave of the pandemic which impacts some way on our families, friends and businesses, so my concerns go entirely to the ability each of us have and keep having in promoting its control. There is some light at the end of the tunnel as vaccines seems to be closer to reality. This is of crucial importance as beer is, in essence, a social human connector and it’s precisely that physical sociability which is the best means for spreading the virus.
After being more than 23 years involved in the beer industry, I couldn’t imagine when first attending the EBC congress in Prague 2005, that one day in the future I would write this foreword as elected EBC President. I must confess that when my appointment was confirmed, my first thoughts of gratitude were for all those brewmasters and professionals I have met along my career in breweries, universities, institutes, suppliers, events, congresses, bars…all over the world, from whom, through exchanging knowledge and experiences, I’ve had the good fortune to learn so much. Now, I feel it’s time to give back to the community as much as possible from this privileged position. So, it’s both an honour and a pleasure to share with you my first foreword as EBC President. Granted, it’s also a big challenge to bear this responsibility in a such a complicated and turbulent time for the whole brewing industry community: New brewers, small and big brewers, brewing suppliers, universities, technical institutes and so many actors adding value to our so appreciated passion and goal, an excellent beer!
Fortunately, have the chance to build on the legacy of our predecessors who have done an admirable job, with the whole of the EBC team: Executive Team members, Executive Officer and The Brewers of Europe representatives, perfectly guided by our brilliant brewmaster and professional Tiago Brandão, our departing (but always in our hearts) EBC President. His great technical and scientific knowledge in brewing, his even more acute expertise in the industry business, his passion for a quality beer and his ability in networking all over the world to the service of the cause, has led EBC to be more open, flexible and ready for the modern world without jeopardising its legacy.
Together, we have reached important milestones; namely, a very good integration of EBC in the ways of working of The Brewers of Europe, the Brewup knowledge portal, harmonising EBC events and the Brewers of Europe Forum, reactivating publications such as the Manuals of Good Practices, new analytical methods, and so much more. Lucky for us, Tiago has indicated his willingness to continue serving on the EBC Executive Team, so we’ll be assured of having access to his valuable expertise.
The main goals for coming years will encompass the consolidation of the work plan developed in the last years, while ensuring that all brewers will be represented equally (new, small, big, global, etc …) in brewing the best quality beer; also, that science and technology will help the community to overcome the pandemic consequences to our business and also to face the challenges in our industry to be even more sustainably and environmentally in tune. This does, of course, also mean keeping alive the flame of EBC’s main flagship events (physically or in digital format), publications and networking with other brewing associations.
I’d also like to highlight the commitment of the Executive Team which I will have the pleasure to chair and serve on, with the invaluable support of the EBC Executive Officer John Brauer together with the Project Director, Mathieu Schneider. Special praise should go to Sandra Stelma, member of the EBC Executive Team and eminent scientist and technologist in charge of the R&D department at Guinness-Diageo, who accepted to join the steering of this mandate as a EBC Vice-President. Once again, it’s my honour and I’m extremely thankful to Sandra!
Finally, many thanks to the Board of The Brewers of Europe for their endorsement, as well as unceasing support by the Secretary General, Pierre-Olivier Bergeron, the Spanish National Trade Association, Cerveceros de España, and the EBC Executive Team for supporting my candidature for this position as EBC president.
My final message should be one of optimism; hopefully sooner than later the pandemic will retreat, and our former way of life will slowly come back, somehow. New opportunities will surely arise, and new habits and learnings will be consolidated into a better world. My wish is that we all will be there together to toast with a beer! Cheers!!!
EBC at work
EBC Executive Team – Updates
The EBC Executive Team met on the 26th of November under the leadership of Benet Fité who chaired his first meeting as EBC President. A virtual “handover” with his predecessor, Tiago Brandão, was organised until a real one can take place, hopefully in 2021. The EBC Executive Team members reviewed the implementation of the 2020 Work Plan and noted that, despite the circumstances, progress have been made and many objectives have been achieved, including publications of new and updated Analytica Methods (see below). The organisation of the EBC Symposium 2021 featured high on the agenda as strategical decisions had to be made (see below) regarding Covid-19 related restrictions. The upcoming publication of the EBC Quality Handbook for Small Breweries was also discussed. Release should happen in Q2-2021 and publication details will be communicated around Q1-2021.
Meeting of the sub-committee experts
27 experts from Europe as well as Japan met virtually on the 08th of December to discuss progress made in the Sub-Committees Beer & Wort, Barley & Malt, Microbiology and Hops, to review progress in the ongoing (international) collaborative trials and to plan for upcoming trials and method developments. Although this meeting was initially set as a physical meeting, distance and the virtual meeting room allowed for deep discussions which will orientate the work of the EBC for the next year. The results of the international collaborative trial on gluten detection were reviewed, and this should lead to the publication of a method in 2021. The upcoming trial on color determination by CIE L,a,b spectrophotometry enters finalization stage and should be launched in Q1 2021. Other projects on SO2 determination by DTNB and heavy metal detection by ICP are also in the pipeline. As far as the Barley & Malt Sub-Committee is concerned, collaborative trials on gushing will be launched as well as on starch gelatinization temperatures (see below Call for Participants) and other projects, including on color of malt and boiled wort color determination, wort turbidity as well as mashing regimes are in preparation. The Sub-Committee Microbiology is making progress on methods re PCR detection as well as detection of wild yeast (incl. diastaticus) with pre-trials ongoing. The next step will be the launch in 2021 with collaborative trials on these two methods. The Sub-Committee Hops is now exploring a draft method on analysis of alpha- and iso-alpha-acids in wort as well as other projects for the medium-term. More information on these ongoing projects will be found in the 2021 editions of the EBC Newsletter. Stay tuned!
EBC Analysis Group
The members of the EBC Analysis Group met this week, on the 14th of December, for its fifth and last online meeting of the year to review progress achieved throughout 2020 and to discuss important collaborative trials for 2021, such as work on the different mashing regimes that will be led by the Sub-Committee Barley & Malt. The EBC Analysis Group members also discussed how the Analytica EBC should be quoted. Recommendation for citation will be published on this matter in January on www.brewup.eu
Look back at the last quarter
Since the last newsletter was published back in September, the EBC updated two of its Methods (Method 4.14 on “Modification and Homogeneity of Malt: Calcofluor Method” and method 6.5 on “Extract Content of Maize: Enzymatic Method”), updated the EBC International Method 9.8 on bitterness units of beer with the ASBC and also released a new International Method, developed jointly with the ASBC, on the determination of bitter compounds in dry-hopped beers. This work was made possible despite the Covid-19 thanks to the active participation of sub-committee experts and of the ASBC. These four Methods can be found and purchased on www.brewup.eu. More will follow in the upcoming months!
Final steps towards publication
The EBC, together with the ASBC, is finalizing six different methods that should be published in the first semester of 2021: one on Free Amino Nitrogen in Wort by Automated Discrete Analysis, another one on beta-Glucan in Wort by Automated Discrete Analysis, a third one on alpha-Amylase in Malted Barley by Automated Discrete Analysis, a fourth one on Diastatic Power of Malted Barley by Automated Discrete Analysis and two methods on the sensitivity for detection of Brettanomyces/Dekkera growth and on the sensitivity for inhibition of Saccharomyces cerevisiae, including Ale Yeast, Saccharomyces cerevisiae boulardii and Saccharomyces cerevisiae diastaticus on FastOrange™ Brett Media. Register on BrewUp to receive the latest updates on Analytica EBC Methods: https://brewup.eu/register/
Call for participants in a collaborative trial – gelatinization temperature of barley
Do you have a RVA (Rapid Visco Analyzer) equipment ? Do you want to participate to the evolution of EBC methods in the barley to malt chain ?
The EBC Analytica « Barley & Malt » Subcommittee is organizing a collaborative trial on « gelatinization temperature measurement » and is looking for volunteers to participate. This collaborative trial will be organized during the year 2021 with less than 10 samples to analyse. Its aim is to test and statistically validate a consensual protocol to determine the gelatinization temperature of barley and malt by RVA.
If you are interested in participating to this collaborative trial, please contact Marc SCHMITT (firstname.lastname@example.org) who will provide you more information on the protocol, timing and shipment.
Final Call for Interest – collaborative trial on Color determination by spectrophotometer and L,a,b analysis
The EBC Analytica Beer & Wort Subcommittee is organizing a collaborative trial L,a,b analysis that will start in February 2021. The collaborative trial aims at testing two methods for the determination of beer products whose color differs from traditional beer colors and which tend towards green, blue or red colors. The first method has to be performed by a traditional spectrophotometer. The second method has to be performed by a L,a,b reader. If you have the two equipments in your lab, we invite you to test the two methods.
The samples (6 to 7 beers of different colors covering the greenish, blueish and reddish colors, 2 bottles per sample) will be shipped to participating breweries and labs in February and results will be collected in March. The more labs participating into the collaborative trial, the more sound and accurate the results will be.
If you are interested in participating the collaborative trial and/or if you have any questions, please contact Sabine Koehl (email@example.com).
EBC Wort & Beer Subcommittee”
EBC Symposium 2021 – Important update
EBC, together with Assobirra, the Italian Brewers Association, agreed at the end of 2019 that a technical symposium organised by EBC and hosted by Assobirra, should take place in Rome this year (2020). After experiencing already two postponements due to the Covid crisis, the event was finally earmarked as a real-life event for April 2021. Since then, we have been advised by our own EBC Executive Team to exercise more caution and plan for a virtual event, which is reasonable and prudent bearing in mind the safety of our delegates / participants, given the current pandemic-induced uncertainties around travelling and meeting up for conferences.
The EBC Symposium “Brewing it Differently – Under Difficult Circumstances” will therefore take place either on 19 or 20 April in digital format. For more information, please log onto
https://ebc-symposium.org/. This is also where the button for the online submission of an abstract can be found. The call for abstracts is due to close on Sunday evening, 17 January 2021. We, the EBC Team, would be delighted to receive your contributions with relevance to the topic.
EBC Contribution to the Brazil Beer Summit
EBC was approached earlier this year for participation in the Brazil Beer Summit, a beer and brewing conference organised by the Science of Beer Institute based in the state of Santa Caterina in southern Brazil. Due to the Covid crisis, the event was converted into a virtual conference, bilingual Portuguese – English, and disseminated via internet during the past two weeks. Upon the engagement of Tiago Brandão, the organisers appointed EBC as their scientific and technical partner. Besides Tiago, the new EBC president Benet Fité participated as a session moderator and John Brauer provided a lecture on finer points of lager brewing technology. The conference can be accessed via this link: https://en.beersummit.com.br/