Foreword By Mathieu Schneider
I’m Mathieu Schneider, Project Director at The Brewers of Europe, the trade associations representing the interests of European brewers in Brussels since 1958. I joined The Brewers of Europe in 2008, shortly after it had been merged with the European Brewery Convention (which Will celebrate its 75th anniversary in 2022). I am in charge of the EBC, together with John Brauer (the EBC Executive Officer), as well as consumer information affairs, alcohol policy and the organisation of the Brewers Forum/EBC Congress whose next edition Will take place 29 May – 01 June 2022 in Madrid, Spain.
Both organisations (The Brewers of Europe and the EBC) were founded in challenging, but interesting times for Europe and the brewing sector which required solidarity and cooperation to look at the future with hope: after World War II for the EBC, in times where Europe and the brewing industry were in limbo and where resources were scarce; in 1958 when the Common Market was put together and offered growth perspective for a flourishing brewing sector. The situation we are facing nowadays is pretty similar, and the recipe towards a positive perspective requires the same ingredients: solidarity and cooperation. Those two concepts have been very well implemented by the brewing industry and the beer value chain over the past two years as you will read in this newsletter: collaborative trials have been processed across Europe to deliver new or updated Analytica EBC Methods and experts have been able to meet – mostly digitally –showing great adaptation capacities.
This will continue during the next – hopefully easier – twelve months of 2022 which will be a very special year for the European brewing sector, as it will mark three anniversaries and a major step in return to physical brewing events. First, the EBC – as mentioned – will celebrate its 75th anniversary. The year will also mark the 100th anniversary of Cerveceros de España, the Spanish trade associations of brewers. Last but not least, it will be the 200th anniversary of Louis Pasteur’s birth, a scientist amongst others who played a major role in the development of beer knowledge, quality and science. Had the EBC existed at the time, I’m sure Louis Pasteur would have presented the outcome of his work at the EBC Congress. Whilst M. Pasteur will not be there in Madrid, many other scientists, researchers, brewers will present their research results during the EBC Congress, organised again together with the Brewers Forum, bringing the beer value chain together in a spirit of solidarity and cooperation!
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you!
EBC at work
EBC Analysis Group & sub-committee experts
On Tuesday, the 30th of November, more than 40 members of the EBC Analysis Group and experts from the Sensory, Microbiology, Barley & Malt and Beer & Wort sub-committees met virtually (after the original physical meeting had been canceled following the tougher Covid-restrictions imposed by the Belgian government) to discuss the ongoing method developments, review progress, report on closing collaborative trials and lay down the future areas of work for 2022. After a general introduction by Lene Bech, chair of the EBC Analysis Group, and an activity report of the Brewery Convention of Japan (BCOJ) by Takayuki Watanabe (representative of the BCOJ to the EBC), the sub-committees broke out for their individual meetings. The Sub-Committees Beer & Wort and Sensory met in the morning, where the upcoming projects were discussed and validated:
- Collaborative trial on color determination by L,a,b analysis (see below)
- Multi-Element determination in filtered by through inductively coupled plasma – mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) (see below)
- SO2 measurement by DTNB (see below)
- Review of the Sensory chapter of the Analytica EBC and reflections on beer stability and drinkability
In the afternoon, the sub-committees Barley & Malt as well as Microbiology met in parallel, where progress reports were presented and upcoming projects planned.
- The projects on detection of Wild Yeasts including S. diastaticus and the development of method on PCR Detection will go into a second phase pre-trial, before moving into a full-scaled collaborative trial
- A new rapid method on Boiled Wort Color will be assessed through a ring test in Q1-2022
- A draft method on Starch Gelatinisation Temperature will go through a collaborative trial (more information available in EBC Newsletter 11)
Following this long but fruitful day of meetings, a few methods (Validated Methods and Guideline Methods) will be published as part of the Analytica.
The next meeting of the EBC Analysis Group members and sub-committee experts will take place in the lead-up to the Brewers Forum / 38th EBC Congress (scheduled 29 May – 01 June, see below).
Call for participants
Final call – Multi-Element determination in filtered by through inductively coupled plasma – mass spectrometry (ICP-MS)
Do you want to become an active member in the development and improvement of the standardized EBC methods?
The Beer and Wort subcommittee is actually seeking participants for the following trials: Multi-Element determination in filtered by through inductively coupled plasma – mass spectrometry (ICP-MS)
- Status: Collaborative trial Planned for Q1 2022
- Skills needed: Being capable of determining elements in beer by ICP-MS, access to an ICP-MS instrument
- Work expected: Determine a range of elements in 3 filtered beer samples
Please contact the EBC Secretariat at firstname.lastname@example.org and indicate your name, email and physical address (to be used for sample delivery). You will be recontacted by the EBC before the trial starts to inform about the start of the project and work out the shipment of the sample.
Final call – 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 beginning of 2022. 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 run one of the two methods or both of them in your lab, we invite you to participate to the L,a,b EBC collaborative trial.
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 beginning of next year and results will be collected and treated before discussion within EBC Beer & Wort Sub-Committee. 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)
Call for Information and participants – SO2 measurement by DTNB
The EBC and the ASBC are currently working on developing new methods for SO2 measurement by DTNB, with both a manual (CDR Beerlab, Spectroquant from Merck, Megazyme like) and automated procedures (flow analysis Skalar like or discrete analyser Gallery, Astoria Pacific rAPID-T™ like).
To ensure the upcoming method embraces current industry practices, every interested brewery or laboratory is invited to share a description of the method as well as the instruments used for the purpose of SO2 measurement. The EBC and the ASBC will process this information to fine-tune the methods that have been drafted on basis of previously submitted information.
The fine-tuned methods will then be tested through an International Collaborative Trial that is likely to start in Q2-2022.
Information on method and equipment can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org before the end of January 2022. Interest of participation into the International Collaborative Trial should be expressed by the same deadline and using the same email address.
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 (email@example.com) and Sophie SCHWEBEL (firstname.lastname@example.org) who will provide you more information on the protocol, timing and shipment.
BREWERS FORUM & EBC CONGRESS 2022
Cross-interview of the EBC and The Brewers of Europe past and current Presidents
Note to the Readers: this interview was published in the 2nd issue of BrewUp Magazine, on 15 November 2021.
Nine months before the Brewers Forum / 38th EBC Congress that will take place in Madrid (29 May – 01 June 2022), the current Presidents of The Brewers of Europe (Lasse Aho, since 2020) and the European Brewery Convention (Benet Fité, since 2020) joined the former Presidents of The Brewers of Europe (Pavlos Photiades, 2016-2020) and Tiago Brandão (2016-2020) accompanied by Pierre-Olivier Bergeron, Secretary General of The Brewers of Europe) for a discussion on the event, why both where merged and are taking place together every two years, on the future of the brewing industry and how the joint event can help brewers take on the challenges they will face.
Where did the idea of a “2 in 1” event come from?
Tiago Brandão: Joining forces was the perfect match between the agenda of The Brewers of Europe to serve all brewers and the legacy of the EBC Congress which is about the scientific side of knowledge. At the time, we agreed with Pavlos and Pierre-Olivier there was a need for an evolution and that instead of organising competing conferences, instead of creating dissonant voices for brewers, we should try to work on a common, bigger, relevant event for all brewers.
Pavlos Photiades: Indeed, the general background for joining forces was to create a home for the growing segment of the industry that are small brewers, together with all European brewers. We wanted to offer all brewers an occasion to come together and offer networking opportunities, trade and business chances, but also – and that’s the big part of the event – the possibility to share knowledge and experience. Sharing knowledge and information is at the core of our strategy that is materialised by both the Forum and BrewUp (www.brewup.eu) and integrating the EBC Congress was the next natural step of that process.
You mentioned sharing knowledge within the industry and bringing people together were the purpose of the “2 in 1” event. To what extent did you achieve this?
Pavlos Photiades: Numbers talk for themselves. The targets have been achieved. It is a pity we had to cancel the 2020 edition and not have a physical edition since with these two difficult years. But it has become a place to be, even in 2021 when the Forum was moved fully online. When I took over the Presidency of The Brewers of Europe in 2016, I was not feeling comfortable with seeing European brewers fly to the US to attend a beer conference where we, in Europe, the birthplace of beer, had nothing.
Tiago Brandão: Obviously, the EBC was concerned with keeping its Congress relevant to today’s world. When the first Forum took place in 2018, we stepped in with an EBC workshop enshrined in the programme and we realized the Forum was a platform very relevant to organise the EBC Congress with and that it would widen the scope of the Forum through the scientific elements provided by the Congress. Therefore, in 2019, we held the first joint event in Antwerp as a first attempt to get all the different streams together (the scientific stream from the EBC, the brewing, business, marketing stream from the Forum). It also helped the Congress whose attendance was lowering.
How do you assess the first joint edition of 2019? Did it match your expectations?
Pavlos Photiades: The results of the evaluation survey that was shared with participants of the 2019 are very clear and telling!
Tiago Brandão: It was successful because we were bringing together two different events. It was not easy, though – it is always easier to keep things separate – but we worked hard and we succeeded. And we also clearly identified points of improvement. Next year coincides with the 75th anniversary of the EBC. It is an important date that marks a momentum in brewing history where brewers and the entire supply chain seated together post World War to save the industry. Nowadays, we are also facing challenging times and we need to continue this legacy of collaboration and joined forces. I am sure next year’s event will be even better than the first joint edition in Antwerp.
Benet, you were the Vice-President of EBC back then and now you are President, actively involved in the preparation of the event. You are also Spanish, as it happens. How are preparations going?
Benet Fité: We are really excited about this and putting our hands into it, very seriously. As Tiago mentioned, it will be the 75th anniversary of the EBC, but also the 100th anniversary of Cerveceros de España, the Spanish Brewers Association. That will also be the first time that the Brewers Forum travels outside of Belgium and the first post-pandemic event by The Brewers of Europe and the EBC. I encourage everyone to join us in Madrid! We are all actively working and very excited: be it Kenes, our Professional Conference Organiser, the team of Cerveceros de España, The Brewers of Europe and the EBC. Mid-September, we visited nice places where the networking event will take place as well as breweries in and around Madrid that can host the technical tours.
Lasse, Benet, the Forum and the Congress bring two sides of the same coin together, for the benefit of the entire brewing community, offering both a trade show and a conference. How special will the 2022 edition be?
Lasse Aho: I see the Brewers Forum not just as an annual conference, but as a process. It constitutes a learning process for The Brewers of Europe to better develop the programme and its content year-on-year. When it first took place in 2018, designed as an event for the entire sector, it was directly successful gathering 1000 attendees and popularity has grown, as we were able to attract 2000 attendees with the online edition in 2021. Half of the success is about careful planning and the other half is about perfect execution. The team has carefully analysed the 2019 edition and we will deliver a much better 2022 edition, that many people look forward to after the pandemic.
Madrid is a wonderful, vibrant city with lots of sun and good food in a country which is witnessing a boom in small and microbreweries. That offers the perfect combination for our sector! And it will also be one of the first fully-fledged beer physical event since the pandemic started and it will offer great opportunities to meet people for real around a good beer! The facilities at the IFEMA Palacio are large and offer guarantee for the safety of the attendees. Moreover, with the 75th anniversary of the EBC and the 100th anniversary of Cerveceros de España, there are so many reasons to come to Madrid.
From the conference side of things, the Programme Team is currently working on defining the topics and inviting the speakers. The programme will provide a very promising mix of practical sessions, for example on marketing strategies, brewing education (for example, how to brew a non-alcoholic beer when you’re a small brewer, and how to develop a business plan around it; or how to use the kveik yeast for brewing different beers and differently), how to set up a brewpub, how to deal with “diversity and inclusion” in the brewery and throughout the value chain, beer export management. Sustainability is also to be on the agenda. Key notes will also be given to inspire the audience about the future of beer.
The Forum and EBC Congress will also host an exhibition that will allow for meeting suppliers and discovering their products. The discussions will also continue in the evenings, where events will be organised, be it on the Sunday evening (the Opening Ceremony) or the Tuesday (networking event at the end of the day) and on the Wednesday (Closing Ceremony of the EBC Congress). Attendees will also be able to join for technical tours of breweries and suppliers’ factories outside Madrid after the official programme. Really, after 18 months without events and without much possibility of engaging, the joint Forum/Congress will offer such opportunities.
Benet Fité: Lasse covered it all! It is a great summary of what will happen in Madrid! From the science side, we want to bring quality to the attendees. And that desire is boosted by the bigger audience the joint event brings! The industry has always relied on science to overcome the challenges and if we look at the current situation, with climate change and the crisis, there are still issues from a process point-of-view. The science that will be presented at the EBC Congress will certainly help identifying solutions for the sector. Sustainability is certainly the highest challenge for the industry and covers many issues: use of water, energy, raw materials production… The industry needs to find solutions to these problems without compromising the quality. In addition to these external challenges, we need to recognize the impact small, creative breweries have. The newcomers are developing new recipes and science has a role to ensure quality of these new brews keep up.
The programme of the EBC Congress is put together through a Call for Abstracts (Note from the editor: the Call for Abstracts for oral presentation closed on 24 October). I encourage every researcher from breweries, universities, institutes and other scientific institutions to submit an abstract for the Call for Posters. Submissions will be assessed by our team of reviewers and can cover topics such as ingredients, the brewhouse, the fermentation process (including dry-hopping) and also the packaging step. I am pretty sure new products such as non- and low-alcoholic beers and barrel-aged beers will be covered by the abstracts submitted, as these products are gaining in popularity.
After 18 very difficult months, with the lockdowns, resulting in a very tough economic situation for many brewers, it is the first time Europe’s brewers and their suppliers will be meeting up again. What do you think the Brewers Forum and the EBC Congress have to offer to help healing and brightly look at the future?
Lasse Aho: How can the Forum and the EBC Congress help? I would be delighted if the event if able to inspire its participants and give them positive ideas that they would bring back home. First, the joint Forum and EBC Congress will be a strong manifestation of the brewing community coming back together sharing positive news and mood turned into the future, short-term and long-term. I hope participants will take benefit of all the data, education, experience and trends shared during the event to become more innovative, develop their brewery, embrace sustainability. I see the Forum and the EBC Congress as the tip of an iceberg where knowledge and ideas are shared before flowing into the base of the iceberg – the entire brewing industry across Europe, at all levels. The Forum and the Congress offer a lot of opportunities to embark for a glorious booming brewing sector: face-to-face meetings, with knowledge transfer and the outlook for a unique, memorable and fruitful edition 2022!
Pavlos Photiades: I believe the beer market will be booming in 2022. Brewers, when joining us in Madrid at the end of May, will be optimistic although there will still be some concerns. They will be keen to innovate, and we need to make sure sustainability will not be left behind. The Brewers of Europe is the home of all brewers and the Forum and Congress will be a very good example of this!
Tiago Brandão: This is exactly what I believe! Next year’s event will be the first big event gathering a community which has been set apart for months. It has been very contra-nature for us as our industry is all about meting and sharing! What I look for is celebrating our ability to meet again, look for information and innovation and enjoy this sense of togetherness. I will be cheering with all of you going out of our forced cocoon again!
Benet Fité: Fully agree! I would put it in my words, though: the joint Brewers Forum and EBC Congress will help to reconnect. Not with our customers, but with the brewing community, the business, the science, the technical sides. If we want consumers to reconnect, we also need to reconnect. Online is fine, but we cannot really reconnect online, we cannot share a beer! That is why we need to do it physically to show beer is ready to face the future! Let’s all join together again in Madrid on 29 May – 01 June!
Call for Abstracts for Posters – closing on 23 January 2022!
Calling all brewing and malting specialists, fermentation scientists and quality managers: The call for abstracts for posterS for the 38th EBC congress (to be held 29 May to 2 June 2022, at IFEMA / Madrid) is open.
As in previous years the call pertains to submissions across a wide range of brewing related fields, in academic research and industrial development. Kindly note that the call will close on 23 January 2021. Only submissions entered via the submission abstract tool at https://abstracts.europeanbreweryconvention.eu/ will be considered for review and possible acceptance at the Congress.