Raspberry sour beer tasting

My Career in Beer

How did I get into tasting? 

I have a passion for all things sensory. Growing up in a winemaking family in Barossa Valley helped me develop my tasting skills and expand my palate (not to mention drinking booze in moderation). 

My interests in edible gardening, cooking and aromatherapy all contributed to my experience with describing and distinguishing aromas and flavours.

After finishing a science degree I followed what I knew working in winery laboratories near where I grew up. Fast forward a few years when I quenched my thirst for travel by exploring Western Europe and the UK for two exciting years. I still couldn’t escape the wine game as my first job was based in London doing administration tasks for the International Wine Challenge, which had over 9,000 entries from around the world. 

Little did I know that I would be working in beer years later and become an international beer judge. I’m thankful I got to some traditional pubs and bars in Belgium and Germany and attended Oktoberfest in Munich.

How did I become a professional taster?

A friend introduced me to a Sensory Analyst job working with a sensory panel at the Australian Wine Research Institute in Adelaide on grape and wine research projects. My background in wine and passion for tasting got me the job. I was fortunate to work with brilliant tasters and learn sensory science techniques like quantitative descriptive analysis.

In the years that followed, I became a sensory consultant and did all kinds of food and drink research projects. The memorable ones were presenting jelly babies and cooking kingfish to serve a group of trained tasters for detailed sensory comparisons. Another one was asking about consumer preferences for flavoured wines. I have also honed my tasting skills by judging beer, wine, cider, spirits and olive oil competitions.

Provisor sensory lab_Briony pours red wine_sensory lab

So what brought me to beer?

While I enjoyed the research side of things, I wanted sensory experience in a commercial production environment. This led to an interview in a local pub for a lab technician job at West End Brewery (part of the Lion brewery network) with a focus on sensory. I was thrilled to work in such a fast-paced industry learning new things daily.

I spent 10 years leading the in-house sensory program and training beer tasters. Besides beer, I worked with cider, spirits and ready-to-drink products which rounded out my exposure to boozy beverages.

Briony Liebich_West End Brewery_last brew 2021

How did Flavour Logic start?

It’s a case of one door closing and another opening. The closure of West End Brewery in 2021 meant I was without a job. I knew I wanted to stay in the beer world and help people better appreciate what’s in their glass. I kickstarted my Flavour Logic brand to do just that.

My goal is to help as many food and drink companies as I can to run sensory training and improve their quality control and product development programs. That could be through consulting, coaching, or connecting them with resources.

I’ve run custom staff training for breweries, distilleries and the cider industry. I have developed hands-on tasting workshops for anyone who wants to learn more about beer, cider and spirits.

Flavour Logic beer sensory workshop_Tom Huntley photo