Artificial Imbibement: Barossa brewer debuts personalised beer machine

An SA company has unveiled an ‘AI generated ale’ maker which it says can create beer personalised to one’s specific tastes.

Jul 24, 2023, updated Jul 24, 2023
Deep Liquid's innovation claims to produce personalised beer using AI. Photo: Deep Liquid.

Deep Liquid's innovation claims to produce personalised beer using AI. Photo: Deep Liquid.

Deep Liquid founder Denham D’Silva – also behind Barossa Valley Brewing – has been working with the state’s top minds in artificial intelligence to bring the innovation to life.

After drinkers complete a survey on flavour preferences, results are processed by Deep Liquid’s algorithm which spits out an ale to titillate one’s particular palate.

It builds on work done by Deep Liquid since 2020, when D’Silva teamed up with the directors at the Australian Institute of Machine Learning (AIML) at Lot Fourteen to use AI to optimise the output of his craft brewery in the Barossa Valley.

Barossa Valley Brewing built a neural network in collaboration with the AIML to launch an AI generated beer in 2021. In that year, the brewery won Champion Small Brewery for the first time.

This year, Barossa Valley Brewing took out a medal for all 12 of their entries into the Royal Adelaide Beer & Cider Awards, and also won Champion IPA, Champion Larger, Champion Reduced Alcohol Beer and Champion Small Brewery – four of the 10 trophies available in the competition.

With its machine learning lessons in tow, Deep Liquid built a prototype ‘AI generated ale’ machine which “deconstructs beers then reconstructs them based on your personal preference” according to D’Silva who showed his invention off to attendees at the recent Beer & BBQ Festival.

Participants were given four different types of chocolate to try and then completed a survey on which treat they enjoyed the most.

“They reviewed that chocolate and then that created a QR code for the bar to create a personalised stout based on their flavour profile,” D’Silva said.

“If you liked the rocky road it was more cherry flavoured, if you liked the peanut butter it was more of that, if you liked the coffee flavour it was a bit more bitter with coffee notes.

“People’s eyes were jumping out of their heads.”

D’Silva said Deep Liquid’s work was changing preconceived notions of AI by using it for good rather than to manipulate people’s purchasing patterns.

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“You can take control of your data and work with AI to create a product or service that you want,” he said.

When pressed on how the machine actually works, D’Silva declined to reveal too much – “we have a patent pending” – but believed it was the next evolution of the craft beer industry.

“Craft beers are able to cater for regional tastes, but we were never able to cater for personal tastes until now,” D’Silva said.

“The holy grail is to be able to personalise and cater to individual tastes.”

Participants use an app to curate their unique flavour experience. Photo: Deep Liquid.

The company – bootstrapped and supported by research and development grants – is considering deploying its prototype as a software as a service (SaaS) product for other breweries, assisting them in developing personalised versions of their existing beers.

“The AI is a powerful tool for brewers to make the best-informed decisions and enhance quality,” D’Silva said.

“It is a boon and a benefit to smaller producers because it directs people to try the independent brewer beers because they know they can come and get their own personalised beer.”

The innovation also has broad applications for the entire fast moving consumer goods space according to the Deep Liquid founder who says he is talking to partners about expanding the algorithm beyond beer and into other beverages, including non-alcoholic ones.

“This is really pushing AI and tech innovation, but at the same time we have a long, proud and important legacy as small producers in South Australia,” he said.

“That’s where Deep Liquid could fit, in that nexus between AI and small producers. We can use what we’re developing to really give small producers an amazing tool for them to compete.

“We are in a region with great palates. AI allows us to process every – and I mean every – review or comment about our products.”

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