Can Agile Transformation Work in the World of Beer Brewing?

As a program manager working in an IT department undergoing an agile transformation, I have found myself looking to practice agile methodologies whenever possible. As an avid homebrewer for over 20 years and a certified BJCP beer judge, I am always looking for ways to improve my brewing processes and those of my homebrew club. This article covers how I propose to combine these two aspects of my life and use agile to brew better beer.

Recently, I was thinking about how beer brewing is often broken down into two separate hemispheres: science and art. Science is key to understanding brewing, and you can dive down an infinite chemistry rabbit hole with many aspects of brewing. Water chemistry, mallard reactions, yeast health, and diastatic enzyme reactions are all areas where brewers can go on for hours with technobabble.

However, one must never forget art. Art is responsible for all the wonderful expansion that has been seen in craft brewing over the last decade. Without art, there would no urge to push boundaries and create wild sour ales or beers that taste like cookies and donuts. It is only with time and experience that these two hemispheres of science and art blend together to create a brewer with truly ascendant skills. I always correlate this to a grandmother that cooks the best food you have ever had, but measures nothing. A pinch here, a …

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"Intelligence is not the ability to store information, but to know where to find it."

- Albert Einstein