Sound advice on demand from experienced professionals.

Our quality troubleshooting approach involves analysis of symptoms, diagnosis of root cause and recommendations for the best solutions. We have helped companies solve all kinds of problems for over 30 years. The steps of our approach are:

Sample Analysis

  • Third party chemical and microbiological testing
  • Sample Analysis includes:
    • Analytical (AE, ALC., OE, RE, colour, BU, pH)
    • Shelf stability
    • Micro (aerobic, anaerobic, Y&M)
    • Air / CO2

Taste Profiling

  • A descriptive sensory analysis by experienced beer industry tasters
  • Taste profiling includes:
    • Panel of certified beer tasters
    • Blind tasting
    • Confidential report

Plant Site Visits

  • Armed with the analytical, micro and taste information the First Key Quality Specialist will conduct a site visit reviewing the technical data and observing first-hand the process, procedures and equipment in the brewery.

Report & Recommendations

  • Analytical, microbiological testing and taste profiling results plus observations and recommendations are presented in a confidential written report.
  • Report includes:
    • Scorecard of taste / lab / process results vs. best practice
    • Recommendations for improvement developed jointly by the brewery and First Key’s quality specialist, ranked by priority


  • Company implements the recommendations in the report
  • Technical Managers to confirm satisfaction (e.g., 2-3 test runs)

Post-Implementation Support

  • Analytical, microbiological testing and taste profiling are repeated and compared to results from the first report to validate improvements and provide further improvement recommendations.
  • Improvement assessment includes:
    • Second lab analysis
    • Second sensory evaluation (taste panel)
    • Report / Scorecard to compare results against the results of the first report to validate improvements and provide additional improvement recommendations