EBC at work
EBC Executive Team
The EBC Executive Team met before the summer break upon the kind invitation of our president Benet Fité, director of R&D, Quality and the Environment. The meeting would have normally taken place either in Brussels or just online. Benet had indicated that his mandate would be coming to an end in November and that it wasn’t his intention to extend it. So much more reason to head out to Madrid and a one-hour drive from the airport in a north-easterly direction. One of Europe’s largest breweries sits on the edge of a town called Alovera. It has a 10 million HL capacity and runs at almost 100% capacity during the summer months. As the production manager put it to me “if you think it’s a dream, don’t forget that 100% capacity can quickly turn into a nightmare”. Food for thought indeed. Should you ever have the opportunity to visit the Alovera plant, it’s a brewery tour that is not easily forgotten. World-class production methods sit comfortably with traditional and novel lagers, there is a wide range of beers being brewed, including top-fermented ones. What struck me is the company’s unflinching commitment to quality in everything they do. On my list of memorable moments in the brewery is the totally automated warehouse, making exclusive use of computer-guided forklifts and robotic logistical conveyors.
Barrica – the latest in Mahou San Miguel’s commitment to the high standard of their wooden barrel-aged beer programme
EBC Analysis Group
The EBC Analysis Group met twice since our last newsletter (March 2023): once in May, and once mid-September. Progress has been achieved on many fronts. The Sub-Committee Barley & Malt has made progress in drafting a method concerning the starch gelatinisation temperature. Samples of different cereals and crops are being collected and will be used in a collaborative trial to test the draft method. A second trial will be run on a draft boiled wort colour method. Those two trials should run during Q4-2023 and Q1-2024. The Sub-Committee Beer & Wort tested two new methods on SO2 determination (including one by DTNB). Data from participating laboratories have been collected and are being analysed statistically. The Sub-Committee also works on updating the EBC Analytica on ethanol detection. The revised method is likely to be published before the end of the year. The Sub-Committee Microbiology has progressed on two methods: beer spoiler detection by PCR and Saccharomyces cerevisiae var diastaticus detection. On the latter, a method is being finalised and may go through a collaborative trial before publication. A pre-trial with participants from Europe and Japan has been performed on the method on beer spoiler detection by PCR during the summer. The results indicate any type of PCR equipment can be used. A second, large-scale collaborative trial is scheduled for Q4-2023 and Q1-2024. The Sub-Committee Sensory is about to finalise a method on forced ageing and beer stability. All those Sub-Committees, as well as the Sub-Committee Hops, have other ongoing projects on their table. The EBC Analysis Group, as well as experts from the Barley & Malt, Beer & Wort, Hops and Microbiology Sub-Committees will meet for two days in November at the Heineken Brewery, in Zoeterwoude.
EBC Symposium 2023 and EBC Brewing Science Group 13th Technical Meeting, Salzburg
The EBC Symposium 2023 has brewery fermentations as its central topic, an area of brewing science where a lot of advances have been made in the last 20 years. Drawing on a call for abstracts, EBC has managed to put together a world-class 2-day programme (8 – 10 October). Register via https://ebc-symposium.org/registration-delegates/ if you wish to be part of a good workshop on fermentations with excellent speakers and 2 brewery visits in two days (Stiegl Brewery and Augustiner Müllner-Bräu). Besides, Salzburg is always well worth a trip with cultural and culinary highlights. To see the programme, click on this link https://ebc-symposium.org/programme/ .
The EBC Brewing Science Group is a group of brewers, brewing scientists and technologist from all over Europe with a hand-full of members from other continents. It is a technical think-tank and networking circle to discuss the latest in beverage innovations, fermentation and brewing technology and touches on areas of consumer science. They will be meeting for 2 days after the EBC Symposium, also at the Stiegl Brewery in Salzburg. The meeting is open to all BSG members and some appointed guests.
Looking forward to seeing you in Lille!
Lille, North of France capital city, will be the host of “Lille 2024”, the nickname of the 39th EBC Congress and 6th Brewers Forum where the European (and international) brewing sector will meet for three-days of scientific and business conferences as well as a trade show and some networking evenings (around a beer, or more), including visits of iconic breweries. North of France is a historic and future-oriented beer region: home of the famous “Bière de Garde”, it is also France second hop-growing region behind Alsace and home to a few hundreds of small breweries which popped like mushrooms over the last 20 years. “Lille 2024” will be organised at Lille Grand Palais, the conference centre located in the middle of the city (5-minute walk from the two international stations, and 10-minute walk from the iconic Grand Place). The overall programme of the 5-day event (starting on the 26th of May, closing on the 30th of May) will be disclosed by the end of October on the event’s brand new website (www.lille2024.beer), the programme of the conferences in January and registration will open in February 2024. We are looking forward to see you all in Lille next year!
Brewers Forum & 39th EBC Congress 2024
Final call for the EBC Call for Abstracts
As is customary, the EBC programme of the joint Lille 2024 event will rely exclusively on technical contributions from the brewing scientific community and EBC stakeholders. The call for abstracts opened on the 17th July 2023. The tool makes provision for a wide variety of brewing scientific topics and brewery technological aspects. Submissions for both poster and paper contributions will be catered for. Please note that only abstracts submitted through the online submission tool, which can be accessed below, will be considered. The available categories for submitting your abstract are as follows:
- Analysis and quality management methododgy (raw materials, process, product, research)
- Barley breeding and agronomy
- Beer quality – foam / haze
- Beer quality – sensory
- Brewery and malting process – co-products
- Downstream processing, filtration and stabilisation (incl. auxiliary and process aids)
- Environmental sustainability relevant to the brewing process
- Hops and hop products
- Hop breeding, hop growing and agronomy
- Malting science – malt production and quality
- Brewery and maltings management
- Technical Development (novel process, novel product, novel packaging)
- Wort production and wort quality
- Yeast and fermentation (Saccharomyces-based beer protduction)
- Non-Saccharomyces fermentations, sour beers, kveik, and traditional indigenous beer-like beverage production
- Consumer preference studies
The Call for Abstracts closes on the 22nd of October which is one week later than anticipated. Still, don’t wait too long to submit your abstract!
DISCOVER SMILECeThe new EU-funded project offering education to brewers across Europe
The SMILEce project targets the Craft Beer/Independent Brewery industry in Europe and builds on the outputs of the previous Sustainable Microbrewery Learning in Europe (SMILE) project which involved the European Brewery Convention (https://europeanbreweryconvention.eu), the scientific and technical arm of The Brewers of Europe (https://brewersofeurope.org/) based in Brussels. The project offers education and exposure to new techniques, culture, and ideas from the Circular Economy (CE) as an option for a positive, solutions-based perspective for achieving economic development within increasing environmental constraints.
A circular economy is a production and consumption model involving sharing, leasing, reusing, repairing, refurbishing, and recycling existing materials and products as long as possible. Circular economy systems: keep the added value in products for as long as possible and aim to eliminate waste and keep resources within the economy when a product has reached the end of its life so that it can be productively used again and again and hence create further value.
The first edition of the SMILEce training for microbrewers was held in Mullingar, Ireland, from 20th to 24th March 2023. Hosted by the Mullingar Employment Action Group (www.MEAG.ie ), the training was attended by over 20 participants from Italy, Slovenia, Poland, Germany, Ireland, Sweden, Finland, and Lithuania who were eager to learn about circular economy principles and how to apply them to their microbrewery businesses.
During the training, the participants attended various workshops on topics such as “Circular economy in a nutshell” during which they tested the Circularity Assessment tool designed specifically for assessing the circular economy potential of microbreweries, and a lecture on “Networking for a more sustainable business”.
This theoretical classroom learning was blended with study visits to Bevcraft (https://www.bevcraft.com) a beer packaging solutions company based in Mullingar, to the Canvas Brewery (www.canvasbrewery.com ), a wood-fired, farmhouse brewery located on a malt farm in County Tipperary offering them an opportunity to learn more about sustainable and circular farming and brewing practices, and finally, to Wide Street Brewery (https://widestreetbrewing.ie/) a microbrewery using wild/spontaneous fermentation and traditional brewing processes to produce beers that are unfiltered, unpasteurized and can conditioned
The project’s main outcome will be the SMILEce platform, which, with the learning objects, other resources, and its pedagogical model, will respond to the EU/National priorities and the needs identified within the sector. The next phase of the project development is to address the challenge of technically implementing the learning and training materials onto the online learning platform, in an accessible, attractive, user-friendly way.
Keep an eye on www.smilebrewing.com for more on this project.