Product Development

“We develop award-winning beers”

At First Key, we conduct thorough research, use our in-depth brewing knowledge, and work closely with our clients to develop stand-out and award-winning beers. We identify opportunities to deliver beers with distinct market suitability that align closely with their brand identity and business objectives. Whether it’s adding an entirely new beer or enhancing an existing product line, First Key helps to develop high-quality, innovative and distinct beers that directly reflect the client’s pride, passion and personality.


Beer Profile Definition

We begin by working with the client to define key characteristics of the prototype beer, such as desired flavour and aroma attributes, alcohol content, bitterness levels, body and colour. Using an extensive profiling process, we drill-down into each of these characteristics to develop a comprehensive profile of the desired beer that accurately reflects the client’s vision. This process generally includes conducting tasting panels with a representative array of comparable beers.

Recipe Development

At First Key, great taste and quality are always at the forefront when we develop recipes. We analyze the findings from the profile definition stage and develop a beer recipe that takes into account the agreed upon characteristics. Our recipes consider all of the ingredients required to make the prototype beer, and during this step key procedural elements, such as mashing temperatures and target gravities, are defined.

Raw Material Sourcing

During recipe development, we consider the regional availability of all raw materials, paying close attention to current hop and malt trends to ensure that trial brews can be accurately recreated on the commercial scale. We determine suitable suppliers for the prototype’s ingredients and procure the raw materials for trial brews.

Brewing Trials

With the profile, recipe and materials determined, First Key conducts trial brews of the prototype beer in a controlled environment using a state-of-the-art pilot brewing system designed to simulate various commercial brewing conditions and processes from many different types of commercial systems. Upon completion, the resulting trial beers are assessed against their beer profile definition, and samples are packaged and delivered to the client for evaluation.

Comprehensive Beer Analysis

Finally, we undertake a comprehensive beer analysis (laboratory & taste profiles) for benchmarking and marketing purposes. First Key’s beer profiling system uses tabular data, perceptual maps and detailed commentary from internationally-certified beer taste evaluators to give a comprehensive and independent picture of your beer. We document all key parameters for client reference and provide recommendations for next steps.