Photo: Sini Pennanen

Hanna TalviOja: Excellent beer in every glass – thanks to research

As the Research Manager at Sinebrychoff, Hanna Talvioja ensures that beer lovers can enjoy consistently excellent beer made from Finnish barley malt.

A summer night in the product development department of a beer brewery sounds like the dream of every technology student. For Hanna TalviOja, then a student of Chemical Technology at the Helsinki University of Technology, the summer job in the Stockholm brewery of Pripps (now part of Carlsberg) was a turning point for her career.

“I was interested in breweries when I was still a student, but that summer job settled it definitely,” TalviOja says.

TalviOja opted for biochemistry-related subjects in her studies, which provided her with solid base knowledge for the brewery field. A further guarantee for finding a job was a year’s worth of studies in Brewing and Beverage Technology at the Technical University of Berlin.

After graduation, Talvioja started working at the Technology and Development Department of Sinebrychoff. Since graduation, she has also completed the degree of Brewmaster at the Scandinavian School of Brewing located in Copenhagen.

Beer lovers do not often think about how much research is involved in the various stages of beer brewing.

The acquisition of high-quality raw materials requires the improvement of the malt barley, a further development of the malting process, some detailed knowledge on the behaviour of the barley and the malt, and much more. In the production process, on the other hand, the behaviour of the yeast and the preservation of flavours need to be known thoroughly.

“Today, a large share of research concentrates on the environmental sustainability of the production process, including reducing the consumption of water and improving the efficiency of washing without compromising the microbiological safety of the product.”

TalviOja points out that research is a guarantee of more uniform and safe products.

“Research is also what gives us the opportunity to enjoy excellent beer produced in Finland from malt that has been malted from Finnish malt barley.”

Text: Matti Remes