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This is What Happens When You Let Robots Name Your Beer

Pretty sure I've seen Barrel-Aged Chocolate Milksmoke and Devil's Chard on a menu somewhere.
Beers, (probably) not named by robots. Photo by Flickr user _molins.

According to statistics from the Brewers Association, the number of breweries in the United States grew by 16.6% last year. At this point, odds are, if you threw a bottle of Sierra Nevada, you could probably hit one of the 5,300 breweries now scattered throughout the United States. And all that beer needs to be named—which is where artificial intelligence could come in handy.

Janelle Shane, a research scientist who has used neural networks to name kittens, metal bands and paint colors, decided to see if her artificial brains could name craft beers. She joined forces with Andy Haraldson, who gave her hundreds of thousands of names he'd pulled from Beer Advocate, which covered over 90 different types of beer. Shane separated them into smaller subsets, including IPAs, Amber Ales, and Stouts and then she let the network do its thing.


"It worked," she wrote on her website. "The neural network produced unique names that were plausible, or weirdly awesome, or so outlandish that they sounded like the sort of beer you could only buy after a multi-day scavenger hunt involving hang gliding, codebreaking, and Fairbanks, Alaska."

She's not wrong. Some of the names it suggested for IPAs included Earth Pump, Heaven Cat and—my personal fave—Heart Compost. It went with Third Maus, Devil's Chard and Spore of Gold for Strong IPAs and finished the Stout category with Dark Thomblan and the Barrel Aged Chocolate Milksmoke, which honestly sounds like something I've seen on a menu.

READ MORE: We Got Drinking Advice from Adorable Beer-Loving Grandmas

Although this was—for now—just an enjoyably weird experiment, Shane's neural network has several advantages over some recent human attempts at naming beers. At least these were devoid of lame puns,

unwelcome sexism

or references to Elvis. (

Do not name your beer



.)I, for one, am ready to raise a glass of Binglezard Flack and welcome our new beer-naming overlords.