Issue 8 - March 2020

Foreword By Tiago Brandão and John Brauer

Tiago Brandão
EBC President

John Brauer
EBC Executive Officer

The last time you received an EBC Newsletter, the world was a different one. These days, streets are empty, hospitals are overwhelmed and most of us are trying to balance work and family lives from our homes. Besides the utterly tragic loss of life and infection cases which increase dramatically every day and apart from the uncertainty about the economic impacts of all these lockdowns, we must be very concerned about the well-being of brewing industry in the short-term! Practicing social distancing impairs beer consumption everywhere except at home; tourists that are missing are not likely to enjoy a beer or two in the sun and cancelled sports and cultural events will do their bit to further cause depressed moods and beer volumes.

But, as we need to reassure ourselves, there will be better times ahead at some point hopefully soon and we need to be prepared for normal life to be resumed. We must keep some positive thoughts about this challenging time! Hope, knowledge and information (apart from health, of course) are needed as never before!

Nobody can envisage what will come later this year, let’s face it! Not even those who learnt from brewers how to apply the best practices in filtration and stabilisation, to the current flow of pandemics’ streaming can’t have it clear enough: It’s time to read the facts, analyse those against our best knowledge, act with an emergency mindset and strive to flatten the curves!

Now is the time to re-evaluate our work-plans, specifically with our events and priorities. As we speak, our EBC Executive Team is deliberating as to whether to postpone or cancel the EBC Symposium and Brewing Science Group technical meetings planned for mid-November in Rome. This decision follows hard on the heels of the announcement two weeks ago to cancel this year’s Brewers Forum (see below). On the other hand, we keep working on our publications’ plan, which will deliver good news later this year!

So, we will try our best to keep the brewing science and technology community positive and active overcoming this virus! Whatever changes we must apply, please make sure that you stay informed, either by subscribing to the EBC Newsletter or the EBC web site.

Over and above, keep washing your hands, guard your distance and follow your governments’ measures during this pandemic – do take care and stay safe.

Supportive best wishes,

Tiago Brandão, EBC President
John Brauer, EBC Executive Officer

EBC at work

EBC Publications

The EBC Executive Team met on 5 March, in Brussels, for its first meeting of 2020 to review progress of ongoing project such as the publication of the 2nd revised EBC Manual of Good Practice on “Hops and Hop Products” as well as the upcoming EBC Compendium on the basics of quality control and quality management in smaller breweries, which will provide useful help to any small brewer wishing to improve its practice in the field. This book, initially scheduled to be launched in June 2020 during the Brewers Forum in Brussels, will now be available in print in the second half of 2020. The exact publication details will be shared with you in the next EBC Newsletter. An updated and revised Analytica-EBC will also be published later this spring, as collaborative trials are being concluded (including on a new test on gluten) and new ones are being started.

EBC Analysis Group

At the end of February 2020, the members of the EBC Analysis Group held their first conference call of the year to review progress of the different collaborative trials which are running, and which will start in 2020. The new test for the determination of gluten in beer has been concluded and the statistics are being put together. The new method should be published later in 2020. An International Collaborative Trial for the determination of the CIE L*a*b* coordinates of coloured products will be underway in Q2 or Q3. Other collaborative trials in the fields of Barley & Malt and Microbiology are also in the pipeline. More information will follow in the next newsletter.

Brewing Events

Brewers Forum 2020 – June 2020, Brussels – Cancellation

Since the health and safety of attendees, staff, exhibitors and speakers constitute a priority of the Brewers Forum, the decision has been taken – in light of the spread of Covid-19 and following the recommendations of the Belgian national security council – to cancel the Brewers Forum event in  2020.

The Brewers Forum organisers are extremely grateful to all who were making plans to attend this year’s event. Our gratitude extends to all, including attendees, staff, speakers, sponsors, exhibitors, partners and members of the Programme Team who had worked so hard to deliver a promising 2020 edition.

More information on the cancellation of the Brewers Forum 2020 can be found here. The Brewers Forum will be back in June 2021, jointly with the EBC Congress.

EBC Symposium 2020 – November 2020, Rome – Update

The EBC Symposium covering the topic of “Brewing it Differently” has been planned for 15-17 November 2020, upon the kind invitation of Assobirra, the Italian Brewers Association. However, due to the pandemic and the lingering insecurity of the situation in Italy, the EBC Executive Team has been tasked by the president to assess the situation and, if needed, to recommend a postponement or cancellation of the event. We are giving ourselves until the end of April to gather opinions and arrive at more clarity to this effect. An update of the situation as well as a “Call for Papers” for the symposium will be announced via the symposium web site and this newsletter, so do stay tuned.

EBC Congress / Forum 2021 – Update

The EBC Congress and Brewers Forum 2021 are planned to take place together in 2021 as a joint event. The programme of the EBC Congress will be guided by its traditional concept of a “Call for Abstracts” to gather submissions pertaining to its technical and scientific programme (papers and posters). The call for abstracts is planned for mid-June until end of September 2020. For more information, please check via the EBC twitter account, the EBC web site, or indeed future editions of this newsletter for updates. The programme of the Brewers Forum will be put together by the Forum’s Programme Team as for previous editions.

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