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A Taste of Grimross’s Sensory Program

Updated: Dec 20, 2019

As we learned in our last blog post, the Grimross team has developed a quality management program to ensure only the very best beer is poured into your glass. The program includes a mix of science and sensory observation, as well as feedback from our many valued customers.

Quality Control at Grimross

Quality control (QC) efforts ensure the craft beer at Grimross consistency meets specifications—and our high expectations. It starts when Grimross founder, Stephen Dixon, and our brewers first craft a beer recipe. We carefully decide on each of our beer’s defining character, including flavours, aromas, alcohol percentage and IBU. Then, we decide how we’ll measure and grade those characteristics.

Grimross Gold Standards

Did you know each of Grimross’s craft beers have a “gold standard” of excellence? Below is an example of one of our beer’s gold standards. Can you guess which one it is?

  • VISUAL: Clear or nearly clear. Straw to golden-yellow. White, creamy head that lingers. Strong lacing.

  • AROMA: Subtle notes of grainy honey, a moderate sweet floral character, with some light earthy/herbal hop notes not out of place. Subtle and delicate. Light esters of pear and apple are typical. No alcohol.

  • TASTE: Low - balancing - bitterness. Subtle crackery malt with slight sweet, honey-like malt flavours, but ultimately taking a backseat to overall non-intrusive clean-ness. Low fruity (apple/pear) estery type flavours. Low floral hop flavour. Clean, balanced and refreshing.

  • MOUTHFEEL: Low-medium body. Light, refreshing and clean, all helped by dryness, low body, and elevated carbonation. No astringency.

  • OVERALL: As clean an ale as we can make. Good examples have notes of fresh, quality malt, a whiff of honey, great foam retention and clarity, and are amply refreshing.

Grimross Sensory Panels

Our Advanced Cicerone, Ian Covey, leads our brewery’s sensory panels several times a week. The sensory panels (combined with lab testing) determine how close the final product compares to the pre-established Grimross gold standard. If it’s “off spec,” we use that combination of human sensory feedback and laboratory testing to find out why so it doesn’t happen again.

But tasting beers is very different from drinking them. Each batch of beer goes through a sensory panel, which follows a beer scoresheet modeled after the Beer Judge Certification Program (BJCP)’s sanctioned competition program. The Beer Feedback sheet is scored from 0-50 points, and measures:

Flavour: fermentation characteristics, balance, finish/aftertaste (20 points)

Aroma: comments on malt, hops, esters and other aromatics (12 points)

Appearance: colour, clarity, head (3 points)

Mouthfeel: body, carbonation, warmth, creaminess and other palate sensations (5 points)

Overall impression (10 points)

We strive for nothing short of perfect.

If the beer is not up to our high standards, it goes down the drain. (A shame, we know! But we absolutely refuse to pour second-rate beer).

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