Feb 13, 2024 - Food and Drink

Species X brews beer with AI-generated recipes

Beer taps and empty glasses at Species X Beer Project.

Species X uses AI and machine learning to make some of its beers. Photos: Tyler Buchanan

Columbus' newest brewery has a futuristic way of crafting its beer menu ā€” and even has its sights set on outer space.

Why it matters: Species X Brewery is the latest local business to experiment with artificial intelligence, developing drink recipes that founder Beau Warren admits he could have never come up with.

State of play: The brewery touts itself as "part taproom, part research hub" that is "exploring uncharted territory to craft visionary beers."

  • The menu features two beer series, Carbon and Silicon, representing the duality of humans and computers.
  • Warren created the Carbon beers himself, while making the Silicon series "to spec" from the work of AI models.

Yes, but: AI still requires a human touch and "tight guardrails" to keep the drinks palatable, Warren notes.

  • Although AI tries to predict what humans will like, Warren holds veto power if it generates anything too unusual or beyond the brewery's physical limits.

Zoom in: Model "Chr15 P" is designed to focus only on lagers, while "Darw1n" mixes algorithms to make fruited sours.

  • Then there's "Behemoth," which operates without these guardrails and is not limited to any specific type of beer.
  • Behemoth's latest work: A Baltic porter with 10% ABV and hints of lactose, marshmallows, vanilla, chocolate, coffee and three different types of fruit.

What they're saying: "I would never even have thought of making a beer like that. It's absurd," Warren said during a recent launch party tour.

  • "But when I sat down and looked at the numbers ... it just all made sense. I was like, 'You know what? This is crazy, but let's do it.'"

What's next: Warren is not content with beer experimentation in Columbus, or even on planet Earth.

  • He created the Lunar Base blonde ale with genetically engineered yeast that he hopes to eventually brew in outer space.

Tyler's take: I liked the Lunar Base but hope I don't have to someday leave the atmosphere to get it.

Want to go? 408 N. 6th St. Open Wednesday-Sunday, hours vary.

Beermaking equipment in the Species X brewery.
Brewery equipment inside the 6th Street location.
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