8th June 2020 - 12th June 2020

Practical Beer Taster Training

New Realm Brewing, 550 Somerset Terrace NE #101, Atlanta, GA 30306, United States
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A five-day practical course for brewery taste panel leaders and beer quality specialists. Learn how to taste beer to a professional standard and teach others to do the same.

Course objectives

The aim of this hands-on practical training course are to teach you how to:

  • Reliably tell one beer from another

  • Describe the differences between beers using industry standard flavor terms

  • Evaluate beer flavor quality and assign a quality rating to beer samples using an evaluation form suited to all styles of beer

  • Develop your practical taste panel management skills allowing you to teach your colleagues the knowledge and skills you have acquired on this course

Is this course right for me?

The aim of this hands-on practical training course are to teach you how to:

  • This course is intended for:

    • Brewery Taste Panel Leaders who want to improve their beer tasting and taste panel management skills;

    • Brewery Quality Managers who want to improve their beer tasting skills and learn how to make the best use of sensory analysis to drive quality improvements in their brewery;

    • Candidates for the Advanced or Master Cicerone© exams;

    • Brewery staff interested in setting up a sensory programme in their brewery.

  • No previous beer tasting experience is needed.

  • If you intend to use this course as a basis for teaching others some basic experience of general training and coaching is desirable.


The course comprises two complementary sections. During the first three days we will teach you how to evaluate beer. During the remaining two days we will teach you how to train others to evaluate beer.

  • Beer Quality Assessment Taster Training – Over three days you will taste close to 150 beer samples delivered during 15 training sessions. You will learn the specific tasting techniques required to reliably detect and identify a wide range of positive flavors, off-flavors and taints. You will learn about the origins of each flavor, their importance, and the steps you can take to control such flavors in routine beer production. As a result of this training you will be able to confidently assess the quality of a wide range of commercial beer samples and be aware of the areas you need to improve upon to develop your skills in the future.

  • Taster Training Skills - Over two days you will learn the principles of professional beer taster training. We will teach you how to deliver a 15-session taster training course in your own brewery and evaluate the results. You will learn how to deliver training in the area of sample evaluation, flavor identification, and beer quality assessment, facilitate successful training sessions and provide constructive feedback to trainees. As a result of this training you will be able to teach others how to assess the flavor quality of commercial beer samples and be aware of the areas you need to improve upon to develop your skills in the future.

Course deliverables

All attendees will receive the following:

  • A copy of our ‘Brief Guide to Beer Flavor’ which covers 46 flavors associated with a range of craft beer styles;

  • A personalized report detailing your skills and skills gaps in relation to evaluation of at least 30 of the following beer flavor characteristics.

  • A copy of our ‘Beer Flavor Quality Evaluation Form’ which you can use in your brewery to evaluate routine beer production samples in day-today taste sessions.

  • Access to the taster training module of our innovative SensCheckTM Sensory Management Software which you can use to manage taster training in your brewery and to share the results of this training with your colleagues.

Those achieving an overall score of 75% or above in blind taste tests will be awarded our Certificate of Competence in Beer Flavor Quality Assessment.

The course

No preparation is needed for the course. Just turn up prepared to give your time, energy and commitment for five days. Start time each day is 08:45 hrs with a finish time of 17:15 hrs. Each taster training session takes a bit more than an hour, and we aim to fit in five of them each day. There are different types of session depending on the objectives - each involves around ten beer samples. Due to the amount of alcohol you may consume during this training we strongly advise you not to drive at the end of each day.

What do others say about this course?

  • We elicit anonymous feedback from every delegate on every course we run. Over the past 12 months attendees have scored us an average of 4.9 out of 5.0 for ‘Overall Course Evaluation’.

  • One hundred per cent of attendees said they would ‘recommend this course to others’.

  • Here’s a selection of what previous attendees had to say about the course:

    “Brilliant! Never done beer sensory evaluation before but this has been hugely beneficial” | “Course was ace” | “Awesome experience” | ”Really enjoyed the course and feel 100% more confident in my ability to participate in taste sessions now” | “I really enjoyed this training. It was intense but well worth attending. Here’s to beer!” | Fantastic experience – fun and informative” | “Dr Simpson is a fantastic instructor – I felt like I took away a ton of new skills from his course and was tremendously entertained as well”

Course facilitator

Your course will be facilitated by one of the brewing industry’s most experienced beer flavour trainers, Dr Bill Simpson. Bill developed many of the tools and techniques used to train high impact taste panels. He has advised many brewing companies on their sensory evaluation programs and has trained close to 1,000 tasters in breweries in more than 50 countries in Europe, Africa, Asia, and North and South America. He has published more than 120 papers, book chapters and patents in the field of brewing technology.

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