Brewers association

Don’t panic! Checklists are your friend

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Think back to the days of planning your brewery. Do you remember the excitement you felt writing your standard operating procedures? What about the excitement you had anticipating your first visit from an FDA agent? I guess that’s probably not the case.

When we talk about the beer industry, our conversations often focus on taste, presentation and experience. It’s easy to lose sight of the nuts and bolts that keep things running smoothly behind the scenes. This includes establishing best practices, implementing checklists for employee safety and brewery consistency, and laying the groundwork to handle inspections regardless of preparation time.

There is of course an inherent benefit to establishing regular procedures, keeping logs and maintaining checklists for your brewery’s standards, but they can also be used as an educational tool during inspections. Inspectors may be more or less familiar with brewery operations, especially compared to some of the more “traditional” facilities they are used to walking through. The availability and use of these resources can help train inspectors and lend credibility to your brewery’s operations.

6 educational resources to keep your brewery under control

The brewing association technical team, along with the BA sub-committees, have created a series of guides and checklists to help breweries maintain a high level of consistency in many areas. Whether you use them as “plug and play” templates or as building blocks for your own custom how-to guides, the resources listed below are invaluable for safety, compliance, employee training, and inspection success.

  1. Good Manufacturing Practices for Craft Brewers (GMPCB) – Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) is the set of standards used to determine if a manufacturer is following the practices defined by federal, state and county regulations. This resource includes a series of downloadable PDF checklists that provide best practice recommendations for items ranging from equipment to personnel.
  2. Best Management Practices for Surviving an OSHA Inspection – This document provides a step-by-step process for BA members to use when developing OSHA-compliant safety programs and policies.
  3. Food Safety Plans and Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) – Whether or not you sell food, this section focuses on GMPs as they relate to FSMA and consumer health. This resource also includes a series of downloadable templates and journals for use in your brewery or brewery.
  4. Principles of hazard assessment – This guide provides breweries with Best Management Practices (BMPs) for developing and improving brewery safety programs, standard operating procedures and worker safety compliance in the brewery.
  5. Good practices for the management of confined spaces in breweries – These resources provide helpful and consistent guidelines for brewers and employees to use when working in and around confined spaces in breweries.
  6. Protective clothing for brewery workers – This section covers everything you need to know about protective clothing for brewery workers, based on typical hazards that might be found in and around your brewery.