Neural networks are the best way to come up with the name of your next favorite craft beer

Image: Theresa O'Connor

Research scientist Janelle Shane has put neural networks to work in some interesting ways lately, such as new pickup lines or paint colors. She recently observed that as craft beer has surged in popularity, so too has the competition for naming those beers, which has increasingly led to lawsuits between breweries. Neural networks to the rescue!

She says that this is a problem that machine learning can help with, given the huge dataset out there. She was provided with a database of hundreds of thousands of beer names from BeerAdvocate, which she then had organized into broad categories. The result? Tons of “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.”

If you’re a fan of IPA beer, you’ve got names like Dang River, Yamquak, Yall in Wool, Wicked Geee, Yampy, and Oarahe Momnila Day Revenge Bass Cornationn Yerve Of Aterid Ale. Like strong pale ales? Trippel Lock, Third Maus, Third Danger, Spore of Gold and Drammnt. Stouts more your thing? Look for Sir Coffee, Shock Slate, Take Bean, Black Sink Stout, Shrump, Avidberry, or Cherry Trout Stout. Sign up for her mailing list, and she’ll send you a list of a hundred other names that are “even weirder”.

Undoubtably, at least one of these names will appear on a 24 oz tall boy in your local craft beer store in the near future.


There needs to be a registry of beer names so breweries can stop suing each other.

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