The competition between the nearly 10,000 craft breweries across the U.S. is stiff. With today’s emerging technologies, many brewers, especially smaller ones, are harnessing the power of AI and looking for more efficient ways to make their final products better. For Experience Magazine, Tony Rehagen reports on this trend: Beermakers in Australia are using consumer feedback collected via QR codes to fine-tune an IPA, while breweries in the U.S.’s drought-plagued Pacific Northwest are tweaking recipes with genetically modified hops.

Can AI deliver a perfectly hoppy concoction that’s fit for even the most discerning Benedictine monks of the past? This is a relatively shorter piece than most longreads we recommend, but it feels very of-the-moment (and entertaining, like other Experience Magazine stories I’ve recommended).

In 2021, Deep Liquid, an Adelaide-based company that partners with the Australian Institute for Machine Learning, helped nearby Barossa Valley Brewing create AI2PA: The Rodney, an AI-generated IPA. On each can of AI2PA, a QR code allows drinkers to submit their thoughts on the beer’s flavor, aroma, and mouthfeel. That real-time feedback goes straight into a data set that is then plugged into an algorithm that can adjust the recipe accordingly.

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Cheri Lucas Rowlands

Cheri has been an editor at Longreads since 2014. She's currently based in the San Francisco Bay Area.