Producing craft beverages is an art. Brew masters, cider masters, wine makers and distillers can modify the production process conditions and add ingredients to produce unique flavor profiles. Like a chef, they experiment to create that perfect recipe and taste experience.
How do they know if the end product will be great? Like a baker tasting the batter before cooking, beverage producers taste the beverage at various points throughout the production process. Learning to identify “off flavors” early in the process may provide an opportunity to correct the defect and save the batch. This critical skill set is not easy to acquire. Locally, Genesee Brewery opens its empty training seats at its monthly sensory training to other craft brewers to train brewer palettes to detect off flavors in beer. It also opens its extensive lab to help test beer and improve recipes and brewing processes. Genesee Brewery’s community involvement is one reason for Rochester’s extensive craft brew scene. It also demonstrates the collaborative attitude in the local beer industry. Genesee Brewery and Rohrbachs regularly assist and coach other smaller breweries to produce great beer. They genuinely want great beer to be part of the local culture and not a passing trend.
If you are a start-up brewery, contact Genesee Brewery to take part in one of their sensory training classes. If you are a cidery, the new Cider Lab at Empire Cider Company recently launched to assist other cider makers in developing recipes and improved production processes. You can find the Cider Lab at Geneva’s Technology Farm.
If you are a connoisseur, take advantage of your next opportunity to experience a sensory training. You’ll take your palette and passion to the next level. Check out 2Foodies in Greece. They have a “taste before you buy” tasting bar and a wide range of classes, food pairings and tasting experiences in their in-house test kitchen. The only wine and spirit store in the area to offer this unique service in a demo kitchen.
Tracy Jong has been an attorney for more than 20 years, representing restaurants, bars, and craft beverage manufacturers in a wide array of legal matters. She is also a licensed patent attorney.
Her book Everything You Need To Know About Obtaining and Maintaining a New York Retail Liquor License: The Definitive Guide to Navigating the State Liquor Authority will be available next month on Amazon.com as a softcover and Kindle e-book.
Her legal column is available in The Equipped Brewer, a publication giving business advice, trends, and vendor reviews to help craft breweries, cideries, distilleries and wineries build brands and succeed financially.
She also maintains a website and blog with practical information on legal and business issues affecting the industry. Follow her, sign up for her free firm app or monthly newsletter.
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Tracy Jong Law Firm