The breweries’ brewing quality:
- Appearance and taste: nose, head retention, hue and clarity, flavors, hops and malts balance, body (mouthfeel), residual tastes.
- Ingredients and brewing technique: Purity of ingredients, i.e. Reinheitsgebot; intellectual properties, i.e. yeast strain; top versus bottom fermentation, and overall recipe confidentiality; horizontal versus vertical lagering, lagering time and temperatures; etc.
- Stability: shelf-life, quality longevity including head retention, nose, appearance (clarity), carbonation, and taste.
The breweries heritage and traditions are considered from two distinct perspectives:
- Old World Traditional Brewery considerations include: when brewery was founded and founder(s), i.e. monastery brewery; does today’s owner reflect the original heritage and traditions; current countries of exports; and have these products been previously exported to the USA; etc.
- American Craft Brewery considerations include brewery’s age relative to America’s craft brewing renaissance; awards and accolades earned; experience and tenure of the brewmaster; current excess seasonal production capacities; etc.