21 April 2023

AHA Collaborative Trials 2023

Hop analysis | In order to test the performance of the analytical methods for hops, the Working Group of Hop Analysis AHA organises collaborative analyses worldwide. The AHA Collaborative Trial portfolio 2023 includes methods of analysis recently published in EBC Analytica, as well as an annual interlaboratory trial for the quantification of hop-derived aroma compounds in (dry-hopped) beer.

For more than 50 years laboratories in the hop processing industry have been collaborating with scientific research institutes in the brewing and hop industries as part of the AHA working group. AHA members perform various interlaboratory trials twice a year to test the performance of analytical methods. The trials include bitterness unit determination in hop pellets and extracts via conductometry or HPLC, polyphenol and oil analysis and the Hop Storage Index (HSI). Nitrate analysis and pesticide residues are also included within the scope of analysis. For many years, participation in the AHA Collaborative Trials has been offered both to AHA members and to non-members from the hop and brewing industries as a paid service. There are approximately 50 laboratories globally that regularly take part in the AHA Collaborative Trials.

External quality control

The participation in interlaboratory trials allows laboratories to test the accuracy and reproducibility of their in-house methods of analysis. For many laboratories, AHA Collaborative Trials are an essential element of external quality control, which nowadays is required for various certification and accreditation programs. For pesticides, the interlaboratory trials and following discussion regarding the data form an important scientific exchange between commercial laboratories and the hop industry. Based upon the high resin and polyphenol content in hops, the matrix presents unique challenges from an analytical perspective. Additionally, methods of analysis must be regularly adapted to include new active substances and metabolites.

In addition to the analysis of hops and hop products, the scope of the AHA Collaborative Trials also includes hop-derived compounds in wort and beer. Some methods of analysis recently published in EBC Analytica, including alpha acids, iso-alpha acids and humulinones in dry-hopped beer (EBC 9.50) and alpha acids and iso-alpha acids in wort (EBC 8.20), have been tested in AHA Collaborative Trials and pre-trials.

How to join the AHA Collaborative Trials

Both aforementioned EBC methods have been added to the AHA Collaborative Trial portfolio in 2023, as well as an annual interlaboratory trial for the quantification of hop-derived aroma compounds in (dry-hopped) beer. The next trial will take place in September 2023.

If you are interested in participating in the AHA Collaborative Trials or require further information, please contact Dr. Nils Rettberg (AHA President, VLB Berlin e.V.) via email ( or ) or phone (+49 30 45080106).

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