18 Aug 2020 — New DSM research, surveying 20,000 consumers across 20 countries, explores the increasingly complex beer brewing landscape. Speaking to FoodIngredientsFirst, Theo Wijsman, Product Application Expert Beverage at DSM Food Specialties, details the evolving consumer preferences leaning toward locally sourced brewing ingredients, alongside a prominent gap in the market for beers marketed with a health halo. The company’s research further highlights the impact of climate change on beer ingredient composition – bringing a new host of challenges for formulators.
DSM’s research found that 54 percent of consumers are heavily influenced by ingredient claims, while 39 percent of people are looking for beer produced with locally sourced raw materials. “We have observed that the trend for products developed with local ingredients is linked to rising consumer demand for more sustainable beer varieties, and is increasingly entering the mainstream,” Wijsman details.
Evidently, he further notes, consumers are expecting beer brands to change the way beer is produced. To meet evolving preferences, brewers must find ways to lower the impact their processes have on the environment. To meet this end, DSM offers a toolkit of brewing solutions that enable savings on energy and water consumption.
The company’s new consumer survey also identified that the trend for premium beer continues to gain traction, with people willing to pay more for such varieties. “Low-calorie and gluten free beer, in particular, are rising in popularity,” says Wijsman continues. “In fact, 65 percent of consumers surveyed are concerned about the impact beer consumption has on their waistline.”
“As 45 percent of respondents are likely to continue drinking beer despite their concerns and 52 percent of people find a gluten free claim appealing, it is clear that there is a gap in the market for products that support a healthy lifestyle,” he adds.
“But this alone will not convince today’s discerning shoppers. Quality and taste are just as important when it comes to creating strong consumer appeal. This offers brewers an exciting opportunity to reach more people with high-quality, great tasting beer that meets evolving preferences.”
Brewing processes are traditionally time-consuming and resource-heavy. “The conventional stabilization process, for instance, requires brewers to add silica gel to remove proteins, and polyvinylpolypyrrolidone (PVPP) to eliminate polyphenols, while a deep cooling and rinsing procedure removes the protein-polyphenol complexes. Producers worldwide are, as a result, facing pressure to increase the resource efficiency of beer production,” notes Wijsman.
Climate change is making the occurrence of extreme weather events more common, affecting the yield of brewing raw materials like barley, rice or sorghum, he points out.
“Barley is a particularly popular choice for European brewers, as the continent’s climate traditionally creates ideal conditions for growing the plant. Research suggests, however, that the harvest of all dominant (non-tropical) crops in Europe, including barley, has decreased over 6 percent in recent years and the situation is expected to worsen in the future.”
Such weather conditions are also likely to impact the quality of raw materials like barley, which can contribute to the crop containing higher levels of protein. “This may result in beer that is more sensitive to haze formation, reducing beer stability and shortening the shelf life of beer. The extract yield of barley can also be impacted, leading to malted barley that contains less starch to be converted into fermentable sugars that are needed to produce beer with the desired alcohol levels and flavor profile,” says Wijsman.
A toolkit of brewing solutions
In DSM’s range of ingredients developed for boosting brewing efficiency, Brewers Clarex is a patented enzyme that streamlines stabilization by avoiding the formation of haze in beer. This enables brewers to skip the deep cooling step, shortening stabilization time from days to minutes and reducing water and energy usage.
“Because Brewers Clarex is applied easily as a liquid, there is no need for powder filtration aids (PVPP or Silica Gels) which reduces the risk of oxygen introduction and supports first time right results.”
“Furthermore, it’s easy to apply to any brewing process, it needs no big investment and has no impact on beer (taste or foam) quality. By implementing Brewers Clarex, producers can reduce water use by 1 percent, achieve energy cost savings of up to €70,000 [US$83,000] per one million hectoliters of beer produced, as well as cut the carbon footprint of their operations by 5 to 6 percent,” Wijsman notes.
Brewers Clarex is a patented enzyme that streamlines stabilization by avoiding the formation of haze in beer.
Next in the DSM’s toolkit is the Brewer’s Compass solution, which enables adjunct brewing – a switch from using malted to unmalted barley. Added as an optimized liquid blend at the start of mashing, the solution provides the enzymes that are usually developed during the malting process of barley and are needed to complement the enzymes naturally present in the crop.
“Adjunct brewing allows manufacturers to produce high-quality, great tasting beer with optimal clarity. As Brewers Compass is capable of processing a wide variety of raw barley qualities, this solution plays a role in aiding the local production of barley in emerging economies and truly contributing to the local and sustainable sourcing of brewing raw materials. It also decreases barley use by 10 percent, reducing producers’ dependency on the crop. And as malting is water- and energy-intensive and accounts for 10-15 percent of the carbon footprint of beer, adjunct brewing reduces the resources used and the environmental impact of beer production,” details Wijsman.
Filtrase is another functional solution within the company’s range of brewing ingredients. Added at the start of mashing, it is formulated to improve wort, beer filtration and yield, while eliminating the effect that a variation in raw materials can have on the brewing process.
“This means brewers can easily switch between ingredients, depending on availability, to enable a more versatile and flexible production process that can overcome climate-related challenges. To maximize operational viability, this solution also helps to produce high-quality beer from a range of crops more quickly,” concludes Wijsman.
FoodIngredientsFirst recently spotlighted the role of novel functional enzymatic solutions in raising the manufacturing efficiencies and sensorial properties of beer, as part of a Special Report on the topic.
By Benjamin Ferrer
Added at the start of mashing, Filtrase is formulated to improves wort and beer filtration and yield, while eliminating the effect that a variation in raw materials can have on the brewing process.
To contact our editorial team please email us at
If you found this article valuable, you may wish to receive our newsletters.
Subscribe now to receive the latest news directly into your inbox.