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Sommelier skills put to the test

Do you still remember the brewing experiments in the Steinecker Brew Center, which I reported on during October? Back then, our colleagues in Freising treated hops with nitrogen and used them to brew some extremely creative beers – with yet-to-be-determined success. Yesterday, the great moment then arrived for me: I was able to sample and assess the two beers at the bar of the Steinecker Brew Center at the BrauBeviale!

Scrutinising the brewed-for-the-fair beers

To start with: the most important criterion for me at the moment was: do the beers taste good? My colleague from Freising at the tap sang the porter’s praises so persuasively that I immediately abandoned my original plan of ordering a pilsner. Lo and behold: the porter is not so heavy and sweet as I expected, and seems eminently deserving of a second glass. Today, then, was Pilsner Day for me – and this beer too, looks (and tastes) just great! (Time for a less-than-subtle recommendation to all visitors to the fair: until Thursday evening, you still have an opportunity in Hall 7A to sample the beers for yourself.) So much for my admittedly superficial “like / don’t like” assessment.
On the stand, visitors to the fair can rate the two beers on our stand on a far more differentiated basis, in a web app: anyone familiar with the world of hops and malt, or anyone who wants to test his/her skills, has an opportunity on our stand to subject the two beers to a more rigorous examination. Criteria here include the colour, the carbon dioxide content, the taste nuances, and the head consistency. For this purpose, the app offers a series of sliders and graphical elements that render an assessment pretty intuitive. In the end, I can view my own assessment in comparison with the average rating from all other hobby sommeliers.

The future of the “Sampling App”

The application is a genuine co-production within the House of Krones: the beer comes from the guys in Freising, while the web app was created in conjunction with the digitalisation experts at Syskron. “Our knowledge and approaches complemented each other ideally throughout,” says Bernhard Spies, Project Manager in Freising, in praise of the collaboration. “From a short-term perspective, this was an attractive element for our stand here at the BrauBeviale. In the longer term, though, the app even has significantly more potential – especially for our clients.”
The aim, you see, is for Krones’ clients to optimise their quality assurance operations with the aid of Syskron’s solution. In internal product tests, breweries can then, for instance, use the app to have the taste of their beers rated, thus obtaining a summarised overview of how the brew was rated by the testers. These results could in future, for example, be correlated and compared at need with the line data from Syskron applications. “The client then sees how the line’s operation affects the taste experience, and can draw the appropriate conclusions – for example, that the wheat beer always tastes best when it’s been bottled on Filler 3,” is how Bernhard exemplifies the app’s possible uses.

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