The Quality Control Collaboratory (QC2) of the University of Southern Maine provides laboratory analysis and testing for the craft beverage industry while providing authentic lab experience and research opportunities for USM undergraduate students.

An erlenmeyer flask (chemistry glassware) is being filled from a beer tap line

Craft Beverage Testing & Education

Since our founding in 2016 by Luci Benedict, the QC2 Lab has offered professional testing and consultation services to the craft beverage industry. The analytical and microbial tests we offer are performed by our team of highly-trained undergraduate students.

Undergraduate laboratory experience that meets local industry needs

Student is sitting at a lab bench writing in her notebook. She is wearing safety glasses and there is a fume hood in the background

Lab Experiences for Undergraduate Students

Every year, QC2 hires 3-5 undergraduate students as Laboratory Assistants who are trained in the instrumental and microbial methods used daily in the lab. Lab Assistants build upon the skills they’ve learned in their lab courses to develop into first-class bench scientists.

QC2 also facilitates industry internships at breweries throughout Southern Maine. Brewery Interns spend the summer working directly in a brewery quality control department and develop skills at the intersection of science and industry.

A scientist is preparing samples for polymerase chain reaction (PCR). A micropipette is poised above a 150 uL microcentriguge tube

Testing Services for the Brewing Industry

The undergraduate students employed by QC2 perform analytical and microbial testing services that support the growing brewing industry in Maine and beyond. QC2 offers analytical tests like ABV, ABW, IBU, color, extracts, and nutritional information including gluten, calorie, and carbohydrate content. The QC2 microbial testing program offers genus-level identification of common beer spoilers including lactic acid bacteria and wild yeasts.

Maine Brewer's Guild Logo: est. 1986 Maine Brewers' Guild 
The A in Maine is a green hop cone

Founded in partnership with the Maine Brewers’ Guild

QC2 was founded in partnership with the Maine Brewers’ Guild to give Maine brewers access to world-class testing that would otherwise only be available to large breweries with established QC departments. Together MBG and QC2 work to ensure Maine beer is of the highest quality.

Some of our trusted partners

A selection of brewery logos in two rows. Top row: Foundation Brewing Company, Allagash Brewing Company, Bissell Brothers
Bottom row: Woodland Farms Brewery, Barreled Souls, Oxbow, Auspicious Brew