This topic will come up again: Sensory. Yesterday I found this particular seminar to be a very useful and interesting one. Especially considering it was geared towards brewers and brewery operations and WEB is focused on developing and serving the female craft beer consumer.
Being in the education arena, the session given by 4 very knowledgeable sensory professionals was loaded with info on how to, when to, what to, and the like on setting up and utilizing sensory panels for beer in the breweries. Plenty of swirling info too – like if you are really small, then perhaps this is the best way; if you’re big, then try this. One resounding concept came across loud and clear: have a budget for the panel (as you should for everything – like marketing to women…).
The 4 panelists were:
- Whitney Thompson of Victory Brewing
- Gwen Conley formerly of Flying Dog (headed elsewhere now)
- Cathy Haddock of Sierra Nevada
- Lauren Salazar of New Belgium.
They swiftly presented and shared a ton of info on sensory panels and why each part is important as well as variations to keep it interesting for the panelists. We’re looking forward to re-reading the available notes post conference.
As fate would have it I saw them all shortly before they presented and finally met Lauren and Cathy and Gwen (although Gwen and I have emailed to and fro). Coolest part – Lauren has a WEB sticker on her computer! That’s what caught my eye and got me over to their table.
The Sensory experience is a huge part – if not the biggest part – of what makes beer delicious to us. Monitoring and knowing how to gauge the beer before it goes into any other glass is critical to the health of your beer and therefore your business.
This group is proof positive – with a full room of listeners – that women are into beer and that sensory is a very important part of the quality of ‘good’ beer. Thanks to them all.