​These Two Things Can Help Boost Your Brewery’s Quality

​Doing the little things every day can lead to quality beer.

​Sixpoint Brewery‘s Director of Brewing Operations, Adam Gordon, and Patrick Broderick, North Coast Brewing Company’s Brewmaster opened up to Brewer about what the breweries do now that they didn’t at the beginning to help improve quality standards.

Gordon spoke to the fact that tasting your beer every day is key.​

​”I’m not talking about an organized sensory program, which is essential to any successful quality program, but daily informal tastings,” he said.

Tasting samples at random and in an informal setting is extremely valuable to the Brooklyn brewery’s product development and maintaining the highest standard for quality.

“When you have a sensory program to establish a baseline, the most valuable complement is any given employee casually tasting at any given time,” Gordon added.

Maintaining quality in a growth period can be tough, admitted Broderick.

“We’ve always done the ‘little things’ as this has always been our calling card,” he said. “We learned this from our leader, Mark Ruedrich.

“The only changes I’ve made are a result of growth.”

It was easy to maintain quality when the production team at North Coast consisted of three or four people. When the Fort Bragg, California brewery expanded to ten or twelve people with 24-hour shifts, the quality program needed to be more organized and enforced.

That made the most important aspect of staying successful in the quality program beyond organization was communication.

North Coast conducts weekly meetings that enforce the company’s procedural philosophies and compliance with them to all members of the team. When a lack of compliance occurs, disciplinary action must take place to communicate expectations.

“If there is no enforcement, then there is no structure,” Broderick said. “Our team knows what is expected, so they perform to that level.

“I’ve found that employees prefer this kind of structure; it helps them do their jobs when there is no grey area in what they are supposed to be doing and they can see the results. We make great beer, and they are responsible for that.”

Gordon added that setting has an enormous impact on how a beer presents itself, and the Sixpoint staff has found a way to get a high intensity — and occasionally high tension — setting like a structured panel alongside the low intensity, “hey, how’s this beer?” type of setting.

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