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Moncton brewery crafts new beer designed by Artificial Intelligence: 'It gave us a bunch of ideas'

The folks at Moncton's Tire Shack Brewing decided to have a little bit of fun with the future when it came to their latest beer. 

They've brewed a beer with the help of Artificial Intelligence (AI) that is available to the public right now. 

Brewery co-owner Alan Norman said they used ChatGPT - a language processing tool that uses AI in a human-like way to answer questions - to come up with a recipe for what future beer trends might be like. 

"It gave us a bunch of ideas," said Norman. 

Norman and his brew master Henry Soares wanted to have something more local so they asked for a New Brunswick example of a beer made with alternative fermentables and herbs. 

"So, it said honey. New Brunswick's got a lot of honey and then it said lavender, there are a lot of lavender fields in New Brunswick so you should make a honey lavender saison is basically what it told us," said Norman. 

The next step was to ask how to make it and the brew crew got an immediate response.

"I'm talking two seconds and it spits out the recipe," said Norman. 

Amazed, Norman then asked for a name for his new beer and once again, got an instant answer. 

"Garden Party, that's perfect. Bees, lavender, it kind of made sense," he said. 

They then used a different AI program to come up with a label which took about 30 seconds. 

The whole process was mind blowing for the team, but Soares said the beer recipe had its flaws. 

"Even though the ingredient list was pretty interesting, the numbers still had to be corrected to work for the beer. It would have also been like two per cent beer. No one wants to drink that," laughed Soares. "It still needed some human touch to it, but the suggestions were awesome. The beer turned out great." 

Norman said the original recipe would have been too watery and didn't have enough honey, so Soares had to doctor it a bit. 

"He was kind of proud of that," said Norman. "He said, 'hey, I know more than the machine, I'm the professional here,' so, man one, machine zero in the brewing sciences part of it." 

While everyone is happy with the finished product, Norman and Soares don't envision some dystopian-like future where beer is designed and made by AI without humans.

"No, I don't think so. It's a whole art thing," said Soares. "People want to have the human touch on it so they'll always be that aspect." 

Norman knows it's impossible to replace a human in the brewing world. 

"Anybody can write a recipe, but then to actually design it and troubleshoot, to actually be hands-on when something goes wrong and to fix that on the fly, that requires years of knowledge and actual hands on and training," said Norman. 

AI is currently at the ground-level, Norman said, and it will likely become more of a factor in people’s lives, for better or worse, in the near future. 

"AI is kind of here to stay. We just wanted to jump in and get our feet wet and see if we could have some fun in a low-stakes way," he added.


While Norman is excited about his new beer, he's also in the final stages of a massive renovation project. 

The Tire Shack is expanding to a second 5,600 square-foot building right next door to the taproom that will double their beer producing capacity.

It will also be an event space venue for weddings, corporate functions and live music and the upstairs will have a glass atrium four season rooftop patio.  

"In the summer, you'll feel like you're in an outdoor space, but it will be covered and protected with the glass, but in the winter it's almost going to have a snow globe vibe to it," said Norman.

The new building will be open some time this summer. Top Stories

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