Carlsberg turns to AI for brewing help
Renegade Brewing, Denver. Photo: Image: Andy Cross/The Denver Post/Getty Images
Since we’ve sequenced the human genome and created a tool that can edit it, the logical next step is Carlsberg’s Beer Fingerprinting Project, which uses machine learning to predict a beer’s taste profile — bitter, sweet, toasty, and so on.
The big picture: Brewing is chemistry, and computer-assisted analysis can help fine-tune recipes or processes that can make a lot of money for beer companies. It was only a matter of time before AI snuck into the brewery.
The details: This project from the centuries-old Danish brewer will allow it to iterate more quickly to come up with new types of beer to sell.
- It's gimmicky, sure, but cutting down on costly, time-consuming brewing rounds can save a big brewery money.
- The big question: Even if the system can eventually predict a beer's flavor profile — for now, it can only differentiate between types of beer — can it guess what tastes good to actual people?
"It may sound nice to have to taste a lot of beers every day, but we create hundreds of small microliter brews and beers, in such small volume that they’re not really testable."— Jochen Förster, director of Carlsberg Research Laboratory, in a Microsoft blog post
Be smart: There is no industry that won’t try shoehorning AI into its work — whether because it makes sense or because it’s the buzzword du jour.
- Förster told CNET: "We have had an unexpectedly positive marketing benefit from working with artificial intelligence."
Steve LeVine’s thought bubble: Do we really need more types of beer?
- My thought bubble: Yes.
Drink up: Microsoft’s blog post describes how it helps analyze the data from Carlsberg’s sensors.