Common mistakes of fans of the popular drink were revealed in the process of National Expert project, which took place in April within the framework of 10 Signs of Quality for Baltika Beer Program in Urals. Consumer myths about brewing, as well as criteria of beer quality were considered at the session on Wednesday, May 23 by various experts and members of Baltika MediaClub.
The session was attended by some 20 journalists from Ekaterinburg, Chelyabinsk, Tyumen and Perm. The experts on the panel were Oleg Haev, Head Brewer of Chelyabinsk Branch of OJSC Baltika Breweries, and Svetlana Kobzeva, Head of the industrial laboratory of the branch of OJSC Baltika Breweries in Chelyabinsk. An independent expert assessment was presented by Valery Bogomolov, Head of АNО Chelyabinsk Centre of Certification, and Lev Fedotov, Head of Nutrition Hygiene of Federal State Health Care Institution (FSHCI), Center of Hygiene and Epidemiology in Chelyabinsk Region.
The Baltika Mediaclub at this meeting summarized the National Expert program results within the 10 Signs of Quality for Baltika Beer Program in Urals. The event was held in April in Ekaterinburg, Chelyabinsk, Perm and Tyumen. Over three thousand residents of the largest cities of the Ural region were interrogated. Beer fans discussed the main attributes of high quality beer. Representatives of leading mass media of Chelyabinsk and Ekaterinburg answered questions, referring the criteria of beer quality.
- For us it is important to find out what people know about brewing and what they simply guess about, presenting at times incorrect, mythical ideas, - said Vladislav Gusev, General Manager of Baltika-Chelyabinsk Brewery. - We wish to reveal myths about brewing, qualitative characteristics of beer and, through presentations of independent experts, show the real state of affairs. It is very important to inform the audience how to distinguish qualitative beer from poor-quality drinks and what can negatively affect the quality of beer. We will continue to give people knowledge so that consumers could take care of themselves and their health when choosing their drinks.
Respondents answered questions about what beer is, what water is used for its preparation, and what alcohol concentration of beer depends on. Besides the audience shared their opinion on dependence of beer quality on the output capacity, the control of beer production, what beer shelf-life depends on, and what factors threaten its quality.
During the session the journalists and experts discussed public and mass media versions of quality. The discussion of the participants of Baltika Mediaclub focused on the question whether it was possible to come to a common opinion on criteria of beer quality by brewers and drink consumers. The National Expert event showed that consumers had several myths about beer. For example, almost half of the respondents thought that beer contained preservatives.
- Preservatives are never added to high quality beer. Today at modern enterprises with new technologies and equipment, beer is processed by pasteurization, which helps the drink retain all its qualities throughout the storage period. At Baltika-Chelyabinsk, as well as at all other Baltika breweries this is just the case, - says Lev Fedotov, Head of Nutrition Hygiene of Federal State Health Care Institution Center of Hygiene and Epidemiology in Chelyabinsk Region.
Baltika representatives and independent experts talked in detail about how production quality control systems operate at modern breweries. For example, internal requirements of Baltika Breweries to the quality of the production are more stringent than the requirements of the state supervising bodies. The laboratory control of beer and raw materials for the brewing is carried out at all phases of production, packaging and equipment. Competence of the quality laboratory at Baltika-Chelyabinsk has been confirmed by independent international estimate. On the results of Interlaboratory research according to the Carlsberg system, held in the first quarter of 2007, the Baltika laboratory rated second among 83 laboratories at breweries worldwide.
After the session members of Baltika Mediaclub worked out the consolidated version of 10 Signs of Quality for Baltika Beer, including the parameters of high-quality beer, understandable for consumers and supported by experts.
Created in 2006 by the initiative of OJSC Baltika Breweries, Baltika Mediaclub is a professional association of journalists representing political and business publications of Chelyabinsk, Ekaterinburg, Magnitogorsk, Perm and Tyumen. At the meetings of the club journalists and Baltika representatives discuss important economic, beer sector and public problems. Members of the club receive first-hand information and opinions of various experts. In addition to journalists and experts of Baltika Breweries, Baltika Mediaclub includes representatives of state bodies supervising the food branch and the commodity market, experts of the consumer market, specialists in marketing, advertising, and other branches of Russian economy.