The Beer Fingerprinting Project – how Artificial Intelligence could create your next pint

The Carlsberg Research Laboratory in Denmark creates 1,000 different beer samples, daily. That’s enough for more than two samples for each person living in Copenhagen, over the course of a single year.

With such a strong focus on research, it’s no surprise that Carlsberg is looking towards the future, and the opportunities that technology can provide.

The company’s new multi-million research study, enticingly named The Beer Fingerprinting Project, looks set to change the way how new beers are created and enjoyed – and it’s all thanks to Artificial Intelligence (AI).

Intelligent beer
The brainchild of Jochen Förster, Director and Professor Yeast Fermentation, Carlsberg Group, the aim of the pioneering project is to use a series of high-tech sensors which can accurately guage the delicate nuances and aromas in the beer, mapping out a ‘flavour fingerprint’ for each individual sample.

Information gained from this system can then be used to explore new brewing organisms, ultimately leading to the creation of new beers.

Created in collaboration with Carlsberg, iNano at Aarhus University, DTU Chemical Engineering, Innovation Fund Denmark and Microsoft, the system is a technological first.

Microsoft’s AI solutions including machine learning and its digital cloud platform will enable the team to select and develop novel brewer’s yeast for application in craft, speciality, core and alcohol-free beers at a much higher speed and quality.

Ricky Gangsted-Rasmussen, Industry Lead – Retail, Microsoft Denmark, comments, “This research study puts advanced analytics and intelligent cloud technology as a corner stone of the project and combines expertise within several fields of research. We are excited to see the project unfold and determine how it will impact faster go to market processes for Carlsberg.”

Beer and beyond
Strengthening the Danish position in the world beer market represented by Carlsberg, the three-year project is also expected to spark innovations and lead to new startups beyond the brewing world, as the technology can be used across other industries, such as the environmental, pharmaceutical and food industries.

Jochen Förster, Director and Professor Yeast Fermentation, Carlsberg Research Laboratory states that “The development of a sensor platform holds enormous potential for broader research and facilitate new startups. No rapid assays exist today for the determination of flavour compounds in beverages but it is crucial that we can do this to ensure that the Laboratory continues to develop beer of the highest possible quality and provide a model for brewing in Denmark and the rest of the world.

“We are excited to be part of a team with Aarhus University, The Technical University of Denmark and Microsoft and push the boundaries in sensor technology for flavour determination.”

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