Champion Brewing provided data from some of the best and worst IPAs and let AI do the rest.
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As computers integrated into everyday life, a romanticism emerged: the idea that they might be able to do everything perfectly—from handling your finances to even finding you a mate. And as the field of artificial intelligence continues to grow, a brewery in Virginia has even used this technology to create what it hopes could be the perfect IPA—and the methodology they used is certainly intriguing.

Charlottesville’s Champion Brewing company recently teamed up with the nearby machine learning company Metis Machine to brew their new ML IPA—a computer’s vision of what should essentially be the ideal IPA. And since the project is based in science, Champion was very specific about what data it chose to feed into the computer.

“We provided the parameters on which IPAs are judged at the Great American Beer Festival (SRM, ABV, IBU) and matched that range with the 10-best-selling IPAs nationally, as well as the 10 worst selling IPAs at a local retailer and Metis came up with the results,” Hunter Smith, owner of Champion Brewing Company said announcing the beer. “We are stoked to be the first to use this method of creating a beer recipe.”

About two years ago, we reported on IntelligentX, a brewery that at the time claimed to be the first to use artificial intelligence to brew a beer, but their method was very different. That project requested feedback from drinkers and then plugged that information into an algorithm that would continue to tweak the beer to people’s taste with every new batch.

Since ML IPA (the “ML” is for “machine learning” in case you aren’t as quick as a computer) isn’t hitting the public until this Friday, the jury is still out on how good this IPA really is. However, Tyler Hutcherson, a data science engineer at Metis Machine, admitted that the project was about more than just brewing the perfect beer. “Our goal was to demonstrate that artificial intelligence, while perceived to be quite daunting, can lend itself to many practical domains, including craft brewing,” he said. “However, there’s no way an algorithm will ever be able to replace the hard work and creativity required to make a quality beer.”

For the record, ML IPA is said to be six percent ABV with 60 International Bitterness Units (IBU) and a six SRM, which stands for the beer color ranking system known as the Standard References Method. Sounds like a beer your calculator would love!