New technology gives beer the barista treatment

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Beer is getting a taste of innovation with Cambridge Consultants’ Hoppier: Beer Brewed by Engineers

As it’s almost the weekend and beer o’clock is just around the corner, it feels apt to close off this Friday with a beer-related post.

UK product design and development firm Cambridge Consultants is using coffee machine technology to give a new twist to the traditional pint in what it is calling ‘Hoppier: Beer Brewed By Engineers’.

These days, beer drinkers are being more adventurous quaffing speciality and craft beers. Capitalising on this trend, Cambridge Consultant’s technology allows barmen (and women) to adjust the ‘hoppiness’ level of each pint on demand.
Using a science-led approach to the project, the brewing and dry-hopping process, which normally takes up to two weeks, has been transformed to enable the consumer to personalise their beer in seconds.

The resulting technology can be retro-fitted to beer fonts in a bar – with the barman or barwoman adjusting the quantity of hops according to each customer’s taste. The technology could also be used to introduce new flavours into beer – such as spice or fruit.

//player.vimeo.com/video/111735722?title=0&byline=0&portrait=0&color=13317b

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Personalised Beer from Cambridge Consultants on Vimeo.

“Essentially, we’re making an ‘espresso’ of beer,” said Edward Brunner, head of food and beverage systems at Cambridge Consultants.

“We’ve taken our expertise in fluid technology and beverage systems, and transferred that knowledge between different industries – using some of the secrets of successful coffee machines to enable us to create personalised beer that is fresh and natural.

“We knew, for example, that pressure is fundamental to extracting flavour in espresso machines – so part of our investigation was to see whether it does anything for beer. As a result, we have speeded up the dry-hopping process – and, by adding extra hops at the point of dispense, their volatile aromas are as fresh and intense as possible.

“Additionally, the aroma of the finished pint can be adjusted by increasing or decreasing the quantity of hops and by changing the type of hops used.”

Cambridge Consultants will be demonstrating its personalised beer technology at the 3rd Annual Canadean Alcohol Innovation Congress, December 2-3, at the Millennium Gloucester Hotel London Kensington.