Updated: May 4
We have been hearing a lot about artificial intelligence (AI) lately. How it can write a decent term paper, produce unique pieces of art based on a simple description, or take away many of our jobs. As this technology is poised to drive significant change in the way we live and work, how could artificial intelligence possibly impact the world of craft beer?
As it turns out, AI is being used by a number of breweries in an attempt to make better beer. The technology can create a recipe for a particular style of beer, and it can also monitor various key indicators while the beer is fermenting, allowing it to make a reasonable prediction about the quality and taste of the end result. Breweries like Rio Bravo Brewing out of New Mexico, as well as the Deschutes Brewery in Oregon, have been leveraging AI, but in different ways. Rio Bravo is looking to differentiate themselves in a crowded space with something newsworthy, while Deschutes is focused on AI and machine learning to streamline the production process, maintain quality, and lower costs.
Looking closer to home, Artifex Brewing out of San Clemente has also jumped on the AI bandwagon. Earlier this year, after a discussion about the impact of tools such as ChatGPT, the team at Artifex decided to let artificial intelligence take a crack at creating a recipe for a West Coast IPA. While the process was not perfect, the Artifex team was impressed by how little adjustment was required from humans to make the recipe viable.
The first test batch sold out quickly at the brewery tap room, so there are plans to brew a bigger batch in the near future. As Artifex expands its presence to include a tasting room in Oceanside, the AI beer gives them a hook to bring people in that may not know their beers, yet. Artifex is also expanding their use of AI to design can art, as well as some of the artistic elements that will go into the new space.
It will be interesting to see how artificial intelligence will continue to impact multiple facets of our lives. In the meantime, I think the convergence of this technology with one of the oldest processes known to man will make its mark on the craft beer world, and it will be better for it.