AI helps brewers predict new beer varieties

Craftsmanship refers to something made with the highest quality. It requires a distinct mindset and approach. Values like durability, integrity, and calling are often associated with craftsmanship. 

In this story, AI enhances the notion of craft for a Carlsberg  brewing team, extending capabilities that have been practiced for centuries. 

Not many people know the level of technology and science built into a bottle of beer. At the Carlsberg Research Laboratory in Copenhagen, Birgitte Skadhauge and her team will use Microsoft AI in their pursuit of brewing better beer.

[From Microsoft Research] In its efforts to brew better beer since it was founded near Copenhagen nearly two centuries ago, Carlsberg has distinguished itself with its commitment to scientific research.

The Danish brewer established a laboratory in 1876 — a new concept at the time — and in 1883 discovered a way to purify yeast that enabled consistent beer production. The company decided to share it with other brewers, and the Carlsberg yeast is used in most of the world’s lagers crafted today. The lab went on to develop the pH scale that has become the standard in determining the acidity of a liquid.

More recently, building on research into how light and sound affect plants, Carlsberg installed big-screen TVs in a greenhouse and played Liverpool FC matches nonstop for the crop of red hops growing there, to create a special brew infused with the soccer team’s colors and the fans’ roaring cheers.

So it’s no wonder that Carlsberg now is leading the way in bringing artificial intelligence (AI) to one of the world’s oldest industries. The Beer Fingerprinting Project will help researchers at Carlsberg, the fourth-largest brewing company in the world with 140 beverage brands in 150 countries, use advanced sensors and analytics to more quickly map out and predict flavors. And it’s all aided by a move to the cloud to help speed along the company’s “Sail’22” growth strategy and better contend with increased competitive pressure.

“From our founder on, Carlsberg has had this history of innovation, of disrupting the brewing industry and constantly looking for ways to do things better,” says Sarah Haywood, chief technology officer for Carlsberg Group. “So this digital transformation ties in nicely with that.”

Christine Haskell, PHD has built her practice on credible, published research and data. In the Research Series, you’ll find highlights, shareable statistics, and links to the full source material.