Survey on “Quality” with Dutch breweries

On My Life With Beer I have been writing about the quality of Dutch beer quite some times now. Quality is here defined as the basic, objectively measurable quality of beer produced by Dutch breweries, and has nothing to do with anyone’s personal taste preference. The incredible growth of the amount of Dutch breweries is something to rejoice in, and at the same time a reason to closely monitor what exactly these hyper-enthusiast brewers put on the market. Too often I have been sampling brews that were bursting with faults, issues that could have been avoided if only the brewer mastered the basic techniques of brewing and had paid more attention to hygiene – in short, knew better what he was doing.

For Brouw! Magazine, the recently launched magazine aimed at professional, as well as hobby and home brewers in Belgium and the Netherlands, I did a survey earlier this year with Dutch breweries about this subject, a summarizing article was published (in Dutch) in the most recent issue. Now a broader piece will be published here with additional data and graphs.

Just to clarify: the survey was taken via e-mail with the – then – 553 registered Dutch beer producing companies, as per the database of the Foundation of Dutch Beer Heritage. Not all mailadressess were (still) in use, but 518 breweries received the survey and 141 responded. This response figure of 27% makes we can view the outcome as representative. Respondents were one man operations as well as global top-three players, and everything in between.

The online article will come in three piece:

  • numbers and facts (June 13)
  • Code of Hygiene and raw materials (June 14)
  • Brewery’s view on, and measurements of, quality (June 15)

Furthermore: I do hope the outcome of this survey will help brewers be more aware of the importance of clean and safe working and production environments, as well as quality as such and quality control. Not only will this benefit themselves and their staff but certainly it will benefit ‘our’ beer too. Beer drinkers deserve well made beer, it is as simple as that. Of course I am open to any response or remarks.

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