This year we had the pleasure of holding our MBAA-ASBC joint technical meeting at one of Denver’s newest brewery, Comrade Brewing Company. Opened this April, its name is inspired by the comradery in the craft brewing community. Owner and ‘Chairman’ David Lin gave a presentation to the group, recounting his woes and triumphs of opening a taproom-based brewery, including zoning issues, food trucks, pint price margins, and scented hand soap. David emphasized the importance of having a highly educated staff, especially after a 20% increase in sales following a GABF medal.
Our next speaker was Katy Benson of Miller Coors, who presented her graduate research from UC Davis on the metabolomics of hops and beer. Through NMR spectroscopy, she found that the metabolite profile of beer was primarily determined during fermentation. After dry-hopping, she saw an increase in amino acids, especially aspargine, that could provide free amino nitrogen (FAN) as yeast food. The most exciting finding was trigonelline; a new compound not previously found in beer. Trigonelline is an alkaloid found in fenugreek and coffee, and known to have anti-diabetic and anti-cancer properties. The sole source of trigonelline in beer was from hops, with a 50% carryover rate. While many metabolites Katy measured in beer do not change sensory of the beer, they may have shelf life effects, and perhaps health effects.
There were significant changes to our Rocky Mountain District announced during our business section. Wyoming, Montana and Idaho have formed the new ‘Intermountain District’ in order to have meetings closer to home. Our RMD executive board went through significant changes with 6 new officers. We are proud to have so many members volunteer for positions!