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This AI Is Better At Naming New Beers Than Most Breweries

This AI Is Better At Naming New Beers Than Most Breweries
[Photo: Adam Wilson/Unsplash]

Can you guess which of these craft beer names are real, and which were created by a neural net?

Whata Stout.

Hoppy Ending Pale Ale.

Yampy.

Duck Duck Gooze.

Human Blockhead.

Spore of Gold.

Surprisingly, Hoppy Ending Pale Ale, Duck Duck Gooze, and Human Blockhead are all real craft beer names. The rest were generated by a neural network created by Janelle Shane, a research scientist based in Colorado. Shane used thousands of beer names scraped from the internet to train a neural network on four major beer categories (IPAs, Strong Pale Ales, Amber Ales, and Stouts), all of which have more specific naming conventions, she points out on her blog. The results range from believable (Barrel Aged Chocolate Milksmoke) to utterly nonsensical (Thick Back). “And of course, there’s the inevitable beer named Fart. (It’s a stout. Of course it’s a stout.),” she adds.

But Shane didn’t train the neural nets just for fun. There are more than 4,000 craft breweries in the United States, and breweries are actually having trouble finding unique names for their beers. Two breweries using the same name can result in litigation (and general confusion for customers). Will her neural net solve this problem? The suggestions sound so realistic that new breweries could feasibly use it for beer-naming inspiration; she even offers to send more names over email upon request.

But for the rest of us, Shane’s hilarious list of favorites–including Binglezard Flack, Devil’s Chard, The Fraggerbar, Helusto’s Humpin’ Red, Barrel Aged Chocolate Milksmoke, and Shump–are perfect craft beer caricatures.KS