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This Beer Was Brewed Using Tweets

A British marketing company has created a beer using data collected from thousands of social media posts. Apparently it tastes like “optimism,” “love,” and “imagination.”
Phoebe Hurst
London, GB
February 15, 2016, 1:00pm
Photo via Flickr user Alan Levine

Social media is great. Where else can you argue with an egg named @nazz91 about the new Beyoncé video or find out what your hot new coworker ate for tea last night ("Delish ramen bowl #fresh #veggies #japenesfood," if you were wondering.)

And now, it seems the great virtual connectivity tool has yet another way to improve our lives—this time with booze. A British marketing company has just created a craft beer using data collected from thousands of social media posts. We may have reached peak Millennial.

READ MORE: This App Uses Your Genes to Tell You What Beer to Drink

Havas Helia, a company that uses "data, technology, intuition, and creativity to connect people to brands in a meaningful way" (me neither) set out to create a beer that would capture the spirit of New Year. Analysing thousands of Tweets and Facebook posts for "emotional keywords" at the end of 2015, they compared these to a set of predefined emotional states.

Evidently having never endured the ill-advised snogs or surge charge Ubers that define most people's NYE, Havas linked 38 distinct emotions with the time period, including "love," "joy," "harmony," and "cheerfulness."


The team then fed this information to Watson—the IBM supercomputer that recently "wrote" a cookbook using data on foods commonly enjoyed by humans—and tasked it with finding the ideal beer recipe from a pool of 2,800 that met the Havas tasting notes. Watson used its Personality Insights tool to assign each recipe with its own emotional keyword, such as "assertive" or "friendly."

Using this information, Havas then picked ten beers they deemed closest to their 38 New Year feels and combined the most common ingredients.

READ MORE: How Beer Made from Leftover Bread Could Help End Global Food Waste

And thus, the ultimate New Year beer came into being: a cream ale from English microbrewery High Peak Brew Co., made with honey and Nelson Sauvin hops. According to its website, the beer tastes like "Optimism. Love. Imagination" with "gentle overtones of excitement." Only 500 bottles of the data-driven elixir were brewed but the company is predictably giving away bottles to those who tweet about the story.

The rest of us will just have to reminisce on New Year 2k16 with a pessimistic can of Beck's and some unimaginative kettle chips.

Probably a more accurate representation, anyway. Cheers.