Beer Sensory

Over 20 Years of Beer Sensory

FlavorActiV is committed to promoting good sensory practices across the whole beverage industry. A team of expert taster trainers, supported by consultant beverage experts, are combining their years of insider experience with advanced human calibration tools, tailored sensory programmes and instruments to give unparalleled sensory support.

FlavorActiV have a history of working alongside the industry’s leading organisations, establishing and maintaining good sensory practices globally. Moving forward, FlavorActiV continues to build on its goal of establishing an industry-wide global beer flavour language, supported initally by FlavorActiV’s GMP flavour standards to train tasters to recognise defects and positives in Beer, and progressing to measure and maintain tasters skills and education level through advanced proprietary calibration tools and software.

If you have any questions about beer sensory management, please contact

The Industry Standard

FlavorActiV GMP (Pharmaceutical Good Manufacturing Practice) Flavour Reference Standards are used the world over to train beverage sensory panels as they learn how taints, positive and negative flavours can influence quality and brand expectations.

They are safe to both smell and drink, the compounds within our capsules impart the aroma, taste and mouthfeel of a specific defect or positive flavour into a beverage for the purposes of taster training, calibration and quality control. Once a panel has undergone its initial training the flavour standards are used to maintain their abilities in double blind proficiency testing, supported by FlavorActiVs proprietary taster software.

FlavorActiV produces its industry leading encapsulated flavours in its state-of-the-art pharma facility designed from the ground up at the direct request of its global customers as they looked to move away from inferior food grade ‘certified flavour standards’ to GMP Pharma quality, a standard that ensures safe, stable, traceable, consistent and long shelf-life products. The MHRA audited facility is located near Liverpool in the UK.


Identify actionable areas for improvement throughout the brewing process with the Micro ESR and FlavorActiV's Beer Freshness Package.

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Automate IBU measurement

The IBULyzer® is an at-line beer analyser developed by direct demand of the beer industry. The analyser automates the manual isooctane extraction method for bitterness tests on anumber of sampling points.

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Shop GMP Pharma Beer Flavour Standards:

Shop our range of Beer Flavour Standards, sold as single flavour packs each containing five capsules (all individually blister packaged). We also offer sensory kits at beginner, intermediate and professional level for those seeking a pre-selection of core beer flavour standards.

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GMP Pharma Beer Flavour Standards

Each of the 57 flavours below has undergone evaluation by FlavorActiV's Sensory Systems team as well as the Beer industry directly prior to inclusion within FlavorActiV's latest Beer Flavour Lexicon and Library as important beer flavour reference standards.

Icon FlavorActiV Name Descriptor Chemical Name
Acetaldehyde (Acetal) Under-ripe fruit, green apple acetaldehyde
Acetic sour, vinegar, sharp, acidic acetic acid
Alkakine caustic, chemical cleaner sodium bicarbonate
Almond marzipan, bitter almond, cherry benzaldehyde
Astringent dry, puckery saponin
Brett-Barnyard band aid, medicinal, sweaty, horses 4-ethyl phenol
Bitter bitter taste iso-alpha acids
Bromophenol electirc fire, inky, chemical 2-bromophenol
Butyric baby vomit, rancid, cheese, parmesan butyric acid
Caramel chocolate, caramel sweets 3-ethyl-2, 5-dimethylpyrazine
Catty blackcurrant, tom car urine p-menthane-8-thiol-3-one
caprylic goat, waxy, tallowy octanoic acid
Chlorophenol disinfectant, antisepticm mouthwash 2,6-dichlorophenol
Cooked Vegetables cooked cauliflower, cabbage methylthio-acetate
Diacetyl buttery, butterscotch, creamy, toffee butane-2,3-dione
DMS sweetcorn, tomato sauce dimethyl sulphide
Earthy wet earth, damp soil 2-ethyl fenchol
Ethyl Acetate mail enamel, acetone ethyl acetate
Ethyl Hexanoate fruity, apple, aniseed ethyl hexanoate
Geraniol floral, rose water geraniol
Freshly Cut Grass leafy, headge trimmings cis-3-haxanoate
H2S sulphury, rotten eggs hydrogen sulphide
Honey ethyl phenyl acetate
Hop Oil Hops oil derived from target hops
Indole pigs, faecal, farmyard, coliform, jasmin indole
Isoamyl Acetate fruity, banana isoamyl acetate
Isoamyl Alcohol fusel oil, fruity, banana, estery isoamyl alchohol
Icon FlavorActiV Name Descriptor Chemical Name
Isolvaleric sweaty, cheesy, rancid isovaleric acid
Kettle Hops ketones and terpenes from hop oil
Lactic sour milk, yoghurt lactic acid
Leathery mouth drying, animal hyde pyralone (6-1 methyl propyl) quinolone
Lightstruck skunk, sulphur 3-methyl-2-butene-1-thiol
Malty/Biscuity toasted grain, malt 2-acetylpyridin
Methanethiol rotten vegetables, leek-like methyl mercaptan
Mercaptan sulphury, drain gas ethanethiol
Metallic metal, iron rust, blook-like ferrous sulphate
Methional peeled potato, mashed potato 3-methylsulfanylpropanal
Motor Fuel diesel, heavy solvent, gasoline p-cymene
Mousy mouse, white crackers 2-acetyltrahdropyridine
Mushroom fungus, metallic octan-1-ol
Musty corked wine, musty, damp 2,4,6 trichloroanisole
Cooked Onion garlic like dimethyl trisulphide
Oxidised old beer, aged, standing beer oxidised
Papery wet paper, cardboard trans-2-nonenal
Phenolic spicy, herbal, cloves 4-vinyl guiacol
Plastic polystyrene, melting plastic styrene
DMDS rotten vegetavkesm sulphury dimethyl disulphide (DMDS)
Salty salt sodium chloride
Smoky all spice, clove oil eugenol
Sulphitic struck match, choking sulphur dioxide
Sweet sugar sucrose
Sour lemon, acid, sour milk citric acid
Yeasty fermented, sulphurous, yeast active dried yeast
Vanilla Cusstard-like, Cream Soda Vanillin
Grainy Green Malt, Fresh Grains 2-methyl propiondaldehyde

Beer Sensory Plan

1 › Train
Train using FlavorActiV's GMP Beer Flavour Standards & Kits. Our multi-lingual team provide training in over 15 languages.
2 › Calibrate
Receive regular beer proficiency kits to test your abilities. Input data into our proprietary software to benchmark your results globally.
3 › Maintain
FlavorActiV advanced training sessions and industry specific workshops will see your sensory knowledge continually grow across the range of flavour reference standards.
4 › Improve
Continual optimisation and analysis of support and package coupled with supply of GMP Flavour Standards.

We Ship Globally
We usually ship direct, however, for some regions we use distribution partners: Brazil, China, Japan, Mexico, Russia, India, Vietnam, Indonesia, Thailand .