The Leuven Institute for Beer Research has extensive expertise and state of the art equipment and facilities for beer and beverage research, and beyond. We collaborate with companies and institutes interested in our expertise in yeast, fermentation, flavor, natural aroma's, flocculation and cellular research, hops, malting, flavor analysis in complex solutions like wort, brewhouse technology and brewing.

Malting & Brewing Technology

LIBR turns brewery concepts into mainstream solutions, from basic and applied research through scale-up services. We provide breweries and malt houses with a range of services aimed at optimizing beer and malt quality and operational efficiency, including evaluation of raw materials and process parameters. We have facilities for state of the art brewing on 0,5, 2 and 5 hL scale (fully automated) using a course milling-lautertun or a fine-milling membrane assisted thin bed filter, beer filtration with filter sheets or a kieselguhr candle filter, filling and bottling equipment with double pre-evacuation and foaming before capping and a CIP unit for kegs and fermentation tanks.

Genetics and genomics

We combine theory and experiment to investigate how biological systems work. Our research lies on the broad intersection of genetics, genomics, computation, biochemistry and molecular cell biology. We translate our findings into applications for the fermentation (beer, wine, bread, chocolate, ethanol) industry. We offer:

  • A collection of over 10,000 different yeast strains, including hundreds of industrial yeasts suitable for beer production (ale and lager), wine making, ethanol production and food fermentation. Each of these strains is carefully characterized in our laboratory, enabling us to select yeasts with specific characteristics (aroma production, fermentation efficiency, flocculation...).
  • Expertise in analyzing and optimizing industrial yeasts using either natural techniques (isolation, selection, breeding, genome shuffling, crossing, directed evolution...) or genetic modification. We can optimize almost any selectable/measurable characteristic of a given yeast strain, including aroma formation, flocculation and sugar utilization.
  • Expertise in genotyping and characterizing yeasts, including DNA fingerprinting and whole-genome sequencing.
  • State-of-the-art research equipment, enabling us to tackle complex questions using the best approaches, including a 4-laser BD Influx Fluorescence-Activated Cell Sorting (FACS), live cell imaging, ascus dissection, directed evolution in chemostats, turbidostats, batch or fed-batch fermenters, genetic engineering and biochemical analyses.

Molecular diagnostics, Microbial Ecology & Gushing

We develop and use state of the art molecular-based approaches for rapidly and accurately assessing biological samples for fast and reliable (multiplex) detection, identification, and quantification of target organisms such as for example pathogens and spoilage organisms from the malt and beer environment and their metabolites (in particular hydrophobins). Scientific understanding of the primary gushing phenomenon in beer in order to prevent primary gushing is an example of recent fundamental research with applied spin-off. The above techniques are useful for high-throughput analyses in practical laboratory settings as well as for epidemiological and ecological studies. In addition, using metagenomics techniques we study the structure and functioning of complex microbial communities. One major advantage of these techniques is that they do not depend on culturing, leading to fast, efficient and complete analysis. LIBR has an ISO 17025 certified analysis laboratory for routine microbial testing.

Chemical analysis

We have extensive expertise and state of the art equipment and facilities for chemical analysis of beer, beverage and fermentation products. The main arsenal of specialized equipment is listed here. We offer standard beer analysis including:

  • Sweet wort (Plato)
  • Reducing power (Indicator Time Test)
  • Specific density
  • Total polyphenol content
  • Dissolved protein content
  • Fermentability
  • Vicinal diketone content (Diacetyl)
  • Alcohol contect
  • Bitterness
  • Free Amino Nitrogen (FAN)
  • Foam stability (Rudin & Nibem)
  • pH
  • Turbidity
  • Color (EBC)

In addition we have optimized methods (both HPLC and GC) for determination of :

  • Hop acids
  • Conventional and reduced iso-alpha-acids
  • Polyphenols
  • Amino acids
  • Sugars (mono-, di- and oligosaccharides)
  • Aldehydes (aging)
  • Hydroxy fatty acids
  • Yeast aroma's (25+ different compounds)
  • Total hop oils and hop essences

Sensory analysis

Next to chemical analysis of fermentation products, we offer sensory analysis by a trained panel of experts for the purpose of evaluating (your) products.

LIBR has different brewing lines, including a 5 hl state of the art automated brewery and pilot fermenters


Using state of the art equipment and facilities for beer and beverage research & technology, including 3 pilot brewing lines, a large pilot-scale (5 hl) state-of-the-art and fully automated brewery and pilot fermenters we are well equipped to support the beer and beverage industry.

LIBR has a collection of 10.000 yeast strains with specific characteristics

Yeast characterization

The collection of over 10,000 different yeast strains, including hundreds of industrial yeasts suitable for beer production, wine making, ethanol production and food fermentation is carefully characterized, enabling us to select yeasts with specific characteristics like aroma production, fermentation efficiency, flocculation, etc.

LIBR uses directed evolution to improve ethanol tolerance of yeast

Directed evolution

Experimental setup for directed evolution in chemostats to harness the power of natural selection to evolve yeast strains with desirable properties.

LIBR has advanced ansd state of the art analytical equipment and is able to measure anything that you desire

Chemical analysis

Quantitative determination of complex sugars (mono-, di- and oligosaccharides), aging aldehydes and hydroxy fatty acids using optimized GC-MS methods.

LIBR uses mategenomics for fast and reliable multiplex detection, identification, and quantification of micro organisms

Molecular Diagnostics

Molecular assays based on Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR), real-time PCR and DNA arrays are being developed and exploited for fast and reliable (multiplex) detection, identification, and quantification of micro organisms like beer spoilage organisms.