An Overview of Bacteria Found in Brewing Ecosystems

Eric Jorgenson. Highland Brewing Company, Asheville, NC, U.S.A.
Whether a brewery quality department is just starting a micro program or has been interpreting petri dishes for years, identifying microbes and ruling out harmful ones are key to tracking down contamination vectors and ensuring smooth-running operations. This article covers some basic classical identification tests to aid in identification, summarizes characteristics and risks posed by bacterial genera found in brewing ecosystems, and briefly elaborates on known mechanisms behind brewery adaptation. Bacteria covered include the family Enterobacteriaceae and the genera Acetobacter, Gluconobacter, Zymomonas, Megasphaera, Pectinatus, Kocuria, Bacillus, Leuconostoc, Lactobacillus, and Pediococcus.