A Biologist Working in The Beer Industry


Lalithabai J is the quality assurance manager at United Breweries Ltd and implements the HEINEKEN standards of quality across all the breweries producing beer

When her peers were working in hospitals, laboratories and colleges, driven by her love for the fermentation process, Lalithabai J found a job at United Breweries Ltd. (UBL) which is an Indian conglomerate company that produces various alcoholic beverages including Kingfisher brand beer.

Lalithabai J had been fascinated with the science of brewing beer. So, despite studying microbiology in college and working as a microbiologist in a college for a very short time, she sought a job in the beer business. After joining the industry only, she came to know that the science of beer brewing is a lot more complex. Her interest in the subject made her attempt an international certification examination in brewing. At that time, she was one of the only two people who attempted and cleared this test.

At UBL, her initial work was to learn about the overall brewery laboratory setup and analytical techniques in brewing. Later Lalitha was promoted to senior microbiologist, and she took charge of the laboratory. Eventually, she was promoted to the role of quality assurance manager. This allowed her to work at multiple breweries and learn how to set up a lab as well.

As a quality assurance manager, Lalitha supervises several processes across different stages — right from receiving raw materials to dispatching the final product. Her main aim is to maintain the quality and taste of all the beer produced in the brewery at any time as constant and unchanging. She implements the HEINEKEN standards of quality across all breweries.

UBL also trained her for several certifications. This includes the CII certification. At present, she is undergoing training for the LSS auditor’s certification by the HEINEKEN team, which is valid and acknowledged globally. Once she clears this test, Lalitha will be part of a team that can audit the quality of beer around the world.

-Staff Reporter

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