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Tasting Notes: How to Define Your Sensory Process

New Belgium Brewing’s Lindsay Barr offers practical advice on putting effective sensory analysis to work for you.

Tom Wilmes May 11, 2016 - 10 min read

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It’s never too early to establish a sensory evaluation program, says Lindsay Barr, head sensory scientist at New ­Belgium Brewing.

“A lot of brewers assume that if they don’t have the ability to run the kind of robust statistical analysis that we run, then a formal sensory program is beyond their reach,” Barr says. “But you can do some flavor training. You can define your brands and determine whether something is true to brand. I would tell smaller breweries to start right away.”

The American Society of Brewing Chemists’ sensory subcommittee, of which Barr is chair, advises as much in a one-sheet guide it recently released. Titled “Grow Your Lab,” the document details various sensory tools a brewery should consider putting into place at various stages in its growth.

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