Here’s the secret to great tasting beer

March 21, 2019
Ecolab team working with brew customers

Do you know what goes into making your favorite beer? Water, malt, hops and yeast are incredibly important, but there’s another key ingredient. For more than 40 years, Ecolab has been working behind the scenes at breweries around the world to provide that missing ingredient and help brewers consistently deliver great tasting beverages to their customers.

How? By banishing soils that can mar the flavors of ales and lagers with advanced cleaners and sanitizers, as well as expertise in the critical clean-in-place technologies breweries use to clean the inside of their kettles, tanks, pipes and valves without having to take them apart.

Today, Ecolab serves more than 1,200 breweries around the world. And as craft brewing has exploded – especially in the United States – we’re excited to support the growth of this segment of the beer business.

“The proliferation of craft beer has allowed us to share our expertise with breweries of all sizes. It’s thrilling to work with craft breweries from the first barrel they fill to their first bottling line and beyond.”  

Kiel Larsen
Marketing Manager, Food & Beverage

“Many craft brewers were home brewers first,” said Matt Bilski, principal chemist, Research, Development and Engineering (RD&E), Food & Beverage. “They know cleaning their equipment is important, but they may think they can clean like they did when they were brewing in a five-gallon bucket in their homes. That can quickly lead to quality problems.”

And quality issues can be costly. “If a craft brewery loses a batch of beer because of poor cleaning in the tank, it stands to lose a serious piece of income,” said Nayan Shukla, marketing manager, Institutional Foodservice Marketing. “There’s no way to get it back.”  

The same cleaners and sanitizers, conveyor lubricants and water treatments that we provide to mega-breweries also meet the needs of craft brewers. That’s also true of our Pest Elimination services, which help keep rodents and insects at bay no matter the size of an operation. And at brew pubs, which feature both kitchens and brew kettles, our cleaning and sanitizing products, which include solutions made specifically for restaurants, help ensure safe food as well as great beer.

It’s not unusual for friendships to take root between our field representatives and the customers they serve. But the brewery business – especially the craft segment – provides a special atmosphere for lasting relationships. 

Well before he began introducing our expertise to craft brewers, Nathan Ziulkowski, district sales manager, Institutional Area Sales, West Great Lakes, and his wife made a hobby of trying out the newest local establishments in his Chicago neighborhood. 

Nathan quickly saw the power of relationships in the craft-brewing segment. During his first professional visits to those same Chicago-area craft houses, he had to introduce Ecolab. But after showing a few small brewers what our solutions could do, he was astonished at how word spread. 

“The brewmasters all know each other. And it’s crazy how they talk together about our programs,” he said. “Now, when I meet a new brewer and mention some of the craft breweries we serve, we have instant credibility.”

Nathan’s glad to be part of a company that can help them succeed. “There are a lot of companies out there trying to sell to local breweries,” Nathan said. “But once they use our products, they say, ‘Holy cow, I’m saving a lot of money, I’m saving a lot of water and I’m getting better results than I’ve ever gotten.’ That’s really cool because, if we help them when they’re small, we hope they’ll be glad to see us when they’re big.” 

Learn more about the Ecolab Craft Brew Program

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