MSDS alum teams up with Champion Brewing to craft Machine Learning IPA

Master of Science in Data Science alumnus Tyler Hutcherson ('17), a data science engineer with Metis Machine, teamed up with local brewery Champion Brewing Company to develop the first-ever beer brewed using data science and machine learning. The beer, dubbed ML IPA (for Machine Learning) will debut at the Tom Tom Founders’ Festival block parties April 13-16, 2018.

Tyler Hutcherson
Tyler Hutcherson, MSDS '17

“Our goal was to demonstrate that artificial intelligence, while perceived to be quite daunting, can lend itself to many practical domains, including craft brewing,” said Tyler Hutcherson, data science engineer at Metis Machine.  “However, there’s no way an algorithm will ever be able to replace the hard work and creativity required to make a quality beer. We’re thankful for Champion and their partnership; without their resourcefulness, our model would have just produced a bunch of pointless numbers.  Artificial intelligence at its best combines statistical learning with domain expertise to produce something actionable.”

Champion provided the parameters on which IPAs are judged at the Great American Beer Festival (SRM, ABV, IBU) and matched that range with the 10-best-selling IPAs nationally, as well as the 10 worst selling IPAs at a local retailer and Metis came up with the results.

“We are stoked to be the first to use this method of creating a beer recipe," said Hunter Smith, owner of Champion Brewing Company.

The results of the endeavor are an IPA with 6% alcohol by volume (ABV), 60 IBU, a measurement on the international bitterness scale, and6 SRM, or standard reference method which is a color system used to indicate the color of the malt and finished beer.

IPA fans can be the first to try the beer this weekend at Champion’s Tap Room at 324 Sixth Street SE in Charlottesville or at Tom Tom Founders’ Festival events.