Cheers! Anheuser-Busch InBev taps data for even better beer

Your sip of Bud was born in the barley – and kissed by the cloud.

Anheuser-Busch InBev, brewer of Budweiser, Corona, Stella Artois and more than 500 other brands, is gaining fresh insights on crop hydration and soil composition in its global barley fields by piloting techniques built with artificial intelligence and machine learning.

Those technologies are helping AB InBev to analyze visual crop data extracted from drones and satellites above those fields to better predict the cost and availability of barley around the world – critical info shared with farmers.

That, in turn, allows growers to determine when to plant seeds and how much fertilizer to use, all of which bolsters growing environments and maximizes sustainability.

Beer is brewed from four key ingredients found in nature: water, barley, hops and yeast,” says Jay Emery, senior director of global IT enterprise architecture at AB InBev, headquartered in Belgium. “Sustainability isn’t just related to our business, it is our business.”

Barley helps give beer its malty flavor and amber color.

“Brewing our high-quality beers relies on a healthy natural environment and thriving communities,” Emery says.

The company is also using Microsoft Azure to centralize the IT functions from its 16 corporate datacenters, reducing the duplication of research efforts and allowing an even heavier focus on innovation, says Chetan Kundavaram, global director at AB InBev.

AB InBev plans to have 80 percent of its workload in the cloud by the end of 2020.

“We’re not just a beer company,” Emery says. “We’re a technology company.”

In the video above, Anheuser-Busch InBev shares how Microsoft’s cloud and AI are helping to power their innovation.