The Science Behind the Craft

A Workshop for Craft Brewers

Purpose of Workshop

The demand for craft beer is rapidly growing.  Craft breweries and local brew pubs are popping up in every community.   Whether you are a seasoned brewer or just getting started this workshop will help you understand the science of beer production so you can improve the beer you are producing or create new offerings.  This workshop combines theory from industry experts and University of Nebraska faculty, along with laboratory exercises and of course, beer tasting!

Benefits of Attending

This professional development and educational opportunity will allow attendees to:

  • Learn from experts
  • Network with peers and industry experts
  • Participate in laboratory exercises
  • Participate in beer evaluation session

Intended Audience

This workshop is intended for owners and employees of craft beer breweries interested in understanding the science of beer brewing and utilizing the information to improve their craft beer production.

Session Topics

Microbiology in Brewery
  • Establishing a Micro Program
  • Troubleshooting Micro Contamination
  • Developing good Hygene Practices
Off-Flavor Identification
  • A Guided Tasting of Commonly Found Beer Off-Flavors
Hands-On Laboratory Session and Demonstrations
Facility Inspections

All sessions subject to change

Expert Presenters


Craig Cox

Craig Cox is the President and CEO of Rivertime Consulting, Inc.  He has been working in the brewing industry for 31 years.  He began his career at Miller Brewing Company, now known as MillerCoors, working in Quality for a majority of his career.  The last 14 years in plant sanitation, hygiene, microbiology and GMP working with all production departments including packaging and brewing.  His expertise includes, but is not limited to brewing microbiology programs, troubleshooting brewery microbiology issues, understanding CIP processes and improving GMP concerns.

Neil Witte

Neil Witte is a 20 year veteran of the craft beer business. He began his career in the Kansas City brewpub industry, moving to Boulevard Brewing Co. in 1997 as a brewer. In 2001, he took over field quality responsibilities for the brewery, acting as a quality control liaison between the brewery and its distributor and retailer network. He continued that role with the Duvel USA family of beers, including Boulevard and Brewery Ommegang, through the end of 2016. In 2017 he founded Craft Quality Solutions, which draws on his extensive field quality experience, providing field quality services to breweries, distributors and retailers. He also serves as the Quality Ambassador for the Brewers Association. Neil is certified through the Beer Judge Certification Program and is currently one of 13 Master Cicerones. He is co-author of the Brewers Association Draught Quality Manual, Draught Beer Quality for Retailers and a contributing author to the MBAA Beer Steward Handbook

Jayne Stratton 

Dr. Jayne Stratton has a Ph.D. in Food Science from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and currently serves as a Research Associate Professor and manager of The Food Processing Center’s Laboratory Services.   
As a food microbiologist, Dr. Stratton specializes in research with foodborne pathogens such as, Salmonella, E. coli O157:H7, and Listeria monocytogenes, and Campylobacter.  Other research interests include the evaluation of pathogen reduction strategies - particularly in the area of cereal grain safety, the prevalence of antibiotic resistant organisms in the food chain, and the safety of acidified foods.  She also is the Director of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s Better Process Control School, the Food Microbiology Short Course, and has received certification in HACCP.  In addition, she has been trained as a lead instructor for the FSPCA curriculum Preventive Controls for Human Foods, and Preventive Controls for Animal Foods.
The Food Processing Center Laboratory offers pathogen testing, general microbiological services, shelf life studies, High Pressure Processing studies, and customized research.   Dr. Stratton routinely participates in the scientific community through publications, presentations, and forums with her peers on different areas focused on Food Science. She is a member of the International Association for Food Protection (IAFP), the American Society for Microbiology (ASM), and the International Association of Official Analytical Chemists (AOAC).

Larry Tincher

Larry Tincher is an Agriculture Food sanitarian with the Nebraska Department of Agriculture. He has over forty years’ experience and currently inspects food facilities in 18 Nebraska counties.  Larry is a Registered Environmental Health Specialist.  In addition to his extensive experience and qualifications Larry conducts FDA audits and teaches Serve Safe Classes.


All speakers subject to change

Date & Location

July 17, 2017 - Lincoln, Nebraska, 8:15 AM – 5:30 PM

The workshop will be conducted on the University of Nebraska – Lincoln Nebraska Innovation Campus.  

If you require hotel accommodations a limited number of rooms have been reserved at The Graduate Hotel in downtown Lincoln, 141 North 9th Street, 402-475-4017.   The hotel is located in Lincoln's Haymarket District and many restaurants are within walking distance of the hotel.

Attendees are responsible for making and paying for their own hotel reservations.  To obtain the special room rate of $124 + tax per night reference the UNL Brewers Workshop when making your reservation.   This rate is for 1-2 people per room and includes a hot breakfast in the hotel restaurant each morning. This special pricing will be available until July 1or until the room block is full.   In addition, the hotel has a parking garage and offers free shuttle service to and from the Lincoln airport.  When making reservations you can also arrange with the hotel free shuttle service to and from the campus for the workshop.


Attendees must be at least 21 years of age to participate.  All attendees must bring proof of age ID to workshop

The fee for this 1 day workshop, which includes lunch, break refreshments, notebook and materials is $325 per person. 

Nebraska companies may be eligible for funding assistance through Nebraska Workforce Development. Please visit the following website for additional information:


Click the button to register. For questions or to register by phone please contact Jill Gifford at 402-472-2819 or

Registration Deadline is July 1, 2017

Space is limited - early registration is encouraged

All participants must pre-register. Walk-ins cannot be accommodated!

Refunds will not be offered for cancelled registrations

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