According to industry reports, beer spoilage and contamination are among the top loss exposures a craft brewery can encounter, especially because the ramifications can be widespread. Product spoilage can affect not only batches of your brew itself, but can affect production, distribution, sales and even brand management.
While beer is widely praised for its remarkable microbiological stability and inhospitable environment for bacterial growth, due largely to its high concentrations of ethanol, it is still possible for the beers to become contaminated in certain conditions and circumstances. According to a report in the International Journal of Food Microbiology, “beer spoilage microorganisms, can cause an increase of turbidity and unpleasant sensory changes of beer.” Essentially this means that when spoilage does occur, the quality and taste of the brews are greatly diminished. This can lead to expensive recalls and even more importantly decreased standing in public opinion of your products and brand.
The unintentional use of contaminated materials and flaws in the brewing, fermentation and bottling process are some of the largest contributors to product contamination. Mechanical breakdown of brewery equipment, power failure and utility interruptions, water contamination, refrigeration and storage contamination and introduction of foreign contaminants through the bottling process, are all common major contributors to beer spoilage. While vigilance throughout the beer making process can help to keep contamination risk low, here are a few additional measures Michigan breweries can take to protect their supplies and prevent craft beer spoilage and contamination.
- Ensure that all equipment is clean and sterilized properly before beginning the brewing process.
- Store and transport your raw materials in washable sanitary containers, such as stainless steel and BDP free plastics.
- Test each batch regularly for chemical composition, color, smell and taste to best ensure the quality of products leaving the production facility.
- Develop a plan to handle spoilage or contamination events that ensures that all compromised products are recalled and properly disposed of.
While it is essential to focus on contaminant prevention and elimination in your Michigan brewery, occasionally circumstances can emerge which are out of your control. When this occurs, it’s important that your operation is well equipped to handle the situation.
At Capital Insurance Group we partner with one of the nation’s leading business insurance providers, Frankenmuth Mutual Insurance Company, to provide Michigan Brewers Guild Members with an attractive collection of insurance coverages that are particularly well suited to the brewing industry. Our business insurance specialist can help secure the essential coverage you and your operation need to recover from a number of loss and risk exposures, such as product contamination. To learn more about our operation and our Michigan Brewery Insurance solutions, call us today at (888)296-0418.