Civilization & Beer (plus AI).

Let that quote sink in for a moment, it’s not just froth . It’s a quote that has real body to it. Okay, beer puns to one side for those readers who can barley stand it, Charles Bamforth, Anheuser-Busch Endowed Professor of Brewing Science at the University of California [Hard work typing out his full title] makes an excellent point:

“Because before beer was discovered, people used to wander around and follow goats from place to place. And then they realized that this grain [barley] could be grown and sprouted and made into a bread and crumbled and converted into a liquid which gave a nice, warm, cozy feeling. So gone were the days that they followed goats around. They stayed put while the grain grew and while the beer was brewed. And they made villages out of their tents. And those villages became towns, and those towns became cities. And so here we are in New York, thanks to beer.”

Or to boil it down wort and all…. into a layman’s equation:

Discovery of Beer + Thirst = Desire for more Beer = Innovation

The desire for a refined product ushered in an era of change, not just in the means and production of beer, but a greater and wider effect on the surrounding environment and farming as a whole . This is the progress of technology.

[Or in other words, the taste of beer back in ye olden days SUCKED!]

So what is technology?

Alan Kay

In this case technology and its progression has allowed us to reap, reward and refine our product [beer] and it continues to this day.

Time for a quick history lesson, we’ll jump back 6,000 years to ancient Sumer where the Sumerians honored the patron Goddess of brewing, Ninkasi, with a poem that contains the oldest surviving beer recipe. Accompanying the poem was a depiction of several people drinking from a communal bowl through reed straws.

Reed straws? It doesn’t sound very appetizing, does it?

Reed Straws?

We have since discarded our reed straws (and thankfully improved the brewing process)and have lurched forward to the year 2017 and analyzing data, we can see that here in Merry Old Englandshire, we have an unquenchable thirst for a particular type of beer produced by micro breweries. Craft Beer.

“This increasing popularity has transformed many microbreweries into highly profitable businesses for entrepreneurs looking for a niche position in the food and drinks market.” James Simmonds, Partner at UHY Hacker Young.

We’ve established that there is an appetite for microbreweries here in the United Kingdom, but how can a 6 thousand year old industry utilize the opportunities of Digital & Tech?

In days gone by, ascertaining what your customer likes about your product would take time and money, which is really thirsty work!

“I’m drunk and you’re still ugly”

(Pssst Ed, you forgot the part about AI).

Let’s say we introduce artificial intelligence into to the equation of data science in the form of a chat bot, you suddenly expedite the process.

This feedback can allow the brewer to produce a beer that would please the largest percentage of drinkers and behold automated market research!

But don’t take my word for it, this is exactly what the guys at IntelligentX Brewing Company did and you can hear all about it by clicking the video below.

IntelligentX’s beer-brewing algorithm, called ABI, uses customer feedback data, provided via a Facebook Messenger bot, to tell the company’s master brewer what to brew next.

The perfect beer? I’ll drink to that!