time. But this is not a drawback, for the slightest abnormality during production is detected by the local breweries, each of which has its own quality control department. In the event of a real calamity, however, the Quality Control Section in Zoeterwoude strides into action and goes to take a look for itself at the broken piece of equipment or the faulty production process. Skilled technicians are available in Zoeterwoude to make the necessary repairs to specialized equipment. Fortunately, the factories abroad do not have to wait until something really does go wrong before they receive a visit from a representative of the Quality Control Section. Regular visits are paid to the various countries according to a fixed schedule. A good-quality product cannot simply be guaranteed by specifying the standards and recipes in bulky instruction manuals. There must also be a regular exchange of information. And that is certainly not the same as Holland simply laying down the rules. Our people from Zoeterwoude invariably learn from the experience of personnel abroad who often have to work under conditions completely different from those we are used to in Holland. This is why regular meetings are organized at which the staff responsible for product quality can swap experiences. For the same reason we have a training department in Zoeterwoude where all those who have to keep our beer up to an A1 standard are taught everything they need to know to perform their job optimally. Basically, they are all members of one big family, specializing solely in supplying the best that is humanly possible. They are assisted in this work by complicated apparatus but, when all is said and done, only a human can judge taste. This is why the samples which arrive each month are also sent to a tasting panel, whose members are given the various beers brewed in the various companies. But, to make it impossible for the panel members to be influenced in their judgement by the colour of the beer, the samples are served in red glasses. These skilled tasters have proved to be much better at identifying flavour characteristics than complicated pieces of apparatus. The latter only take over when, for instance, one of the drinks tastes wrong and an exact determination has to be made of just what is wrong with the taste. If the taster says that a drink is too bitter, the laboratory equipment can be used to establish how much of which wrong substance is causing that bitterness, after

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Heineken Contact | 1983 | | pagina 7