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Craft beer names, invented by neural network

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With over 4,000 craft breweries in the United States alone, people are having trouble finding unique names for their beers. That’s a problem, because when two breweries accidentally use the same name, it results in potential confusion at best and at worst, a legal battle. Litigation over craft beer trademarks is noticeably on the rise.

I decided to find out whether a neural network can help.

A neural network is a type of computer program that, among its many talents, can learn to imitate datasets just by looking at enough examples. I’ve used them to name kittens, metal bands, Pokemon, paint colors, and more.

I knew I wanted to train the neural network separately for different kinds of beers. Different categories of beers have their own distinct naming conventions; in theory, you should roughly be able to tell a stout from an IPA from a double IPA by the name alone. 

Ryan Mandelbaum of Gizmodo sparked this project by putting me in touch with Andy Haraldson, who very generously provided me with a huge dataset of hundreds of thousands of beer names that he extracted from There were over 90 types of beer in the full dataset (for example, black ales, belgian dark ales, euro dark lagers, schwarzbier, dark wheat ales, and english mild dark ales). To make the task manageable (and to combine a few datasets that only had a few hundred unique names) Eva Gulotty sorted them into broader groups. And then I set the neural network to work on each category.

It worked. 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.

I give you: craft beer names, invented by neural network.


Dang River
Earth Dock IPA
Bigly Bomb Session IPA
Binglezard Flack
Jain Is The Dog
Earth 2 Sanebus
Tower Of Ergelon
Toe Deal
Juicy Dripple IPA
Flying Rocks IPA
Yall In Wool
Earth Pump
Heaven Cat
Heart Compost
Wicked Geee
Text 5 Of The IPA
Cockamarin Hard IPA
Test Tha IPA
Widee Banger Fripper IPA
Oarahe Momnila Day Revenge Bass Cornationn Yerve Of Aterid Ale

Strong Pale Ales (Doubles, Triples, etc)

The Great Rebelgion
Trippel Lock
Thick Back
The Fraggerbar
Third Maus
Sip’s The Stunks Belgian Tripel
Third Danger
Track Of The Wind
Devil’s Chard
Spore Of Gold
The Actoompe
Brother Panty Tripel
The Oldumbrett’s Ring
The Vunker The Finger
Gunder Of Traz
Cherry Boof Cornester
Strange Fast
Humple La Bobstore Barrel Aged
Thrennt Rem Wine Barrel Aged Monkay Tripel

Amber Ales

Snarging Red
Warmel Halce’s Comput Ale
Fire Pipe
La Cat Tas Oo Ma Ale
Ole Blood Whisk
Frog Trail Ale
Ricias Donkey Brain
Sacky Rover
Gate Rooster
O'Busty Irish Red
Helusto’s Humpin’ Red
The Hunty
Rickin Organic Red Deaath
River Smush Hoppy Amber Ale
Rivernillion Amber
Special North Wish Leifstic Imperial Red
Ambre O Woo’s Omella Imperial Red Ale


I The Moon
The Bopberry Stout
Cherry Coconut Mint Chocolate Stout
Black Morning
Sir Coffee
Shock State
Take Bean
Single Horde
Whata Stout
Shany Lace
Black Sink Stout
Barrel Aged Chocolate Milksmoke
Morning Dave - Vanilla Coffee Stout
Dark Thomblan
Jrankers Java Stout
Spulgican’s Chocolate Coconut Pamper
Cherry Trout Stout
Bold Oot Stout
Pimperdiginistic The Blacksmith W/ Cherry Stout

Want more beer names? Want worse beer names? I had so many names that I couldn’t fit them all in this post. Sign up here and I’ll email you a pdf of about 100 more beer names. For these names I turned the neural network’s creativity variable higher and got results that can be described mainly as … interesting. And of course, there’s the inevitable beer named Fart. (It’s a stout. Of course it’s a stout.) 

(Beer label templates from

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5 days ago
It's like I'm programmed to drink IPA and like IPA names.
Test Thai... Dang River ... I need these.
6 days ago
Pint of Oldumbrett’s Ring and a shot of paint thinner, please.
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What Are You Watching…And Who’s Watching You This Summer?

What are you watching this summer... and who's watching you?

There are two things that are constantly on my mind this summer: Big Brother and network neutrality.

Let me tell you what they have in common, what it has to do, and why you should be thinking about net neutrality, too.

What Does Big Brother Have to Do with Net Neutrality?

We're just a couple weeks into what is already one of the zaniest seasons of the television show Big Brother. Paul's back as a lovable antagonist mastermind; Cody is the worst, but his days are numbered; it's a shame about Christmas. . . .

Have you been following along? If not, good for you. Seriously.

If you, somehow, don't know what the show is, here's the description on the CBS site:

BIG BROTHER follows a group of people living together in a house outfitted with dozens of high-definition cameras and microphones recording their every move, 24 hours a day. Each week, the Houseguests will vote someone out of the house. At the end, the last remaining Houseguest will receive the grand prize of $500,000.

big brother live feed screenshot of all the little hamsters

When I admit to watching this show, I'm almost always met with the same two questions:

  1. “You actually watch that?” (I really do — and I drag my family into it.)
  2. “Who would be willing to be on that show?” (I may have considered it.)

There are a lot of different reasons people trade their privacy for the chance at half a million dollars. Some are voyeurs; others are looking for celebrity. Some are even just taking a (horrible) paid vacation or looking for a “showmance.”

Whatever their motive is, they all have one thing in common: they've opted in explicitly. They've chosen to forfeit their privacy for a chance to play the game.

Unless you're reading the pencil-on-paper first draft of this, you're online — and whether you know it or not, you've made a similar agreement. Every moment you spend online, you're being watched.

I'm not saying this to scare you off the Internet. I just think everyone should know what they're getting into.

Let's Meet the Houseguests

Just like the Big Brother Houseguests, you've filled out your profile.

How many companies know your name, age, birthday, and first pet's name? How many bio blurbs of yours are floating around out there? How many privacy policies have you just clicked “agree” without reading? All of them, right?

Every website you sign up for is tracking your every move while you're on its site.

And thanks to the prevalence of Google Analytics and the Facebook Pixel, the tracking doesn't end there. Each jump, from page to page and site to site, can be tracked. Major advertising platforms like Facebook and Google are nearly omniscient online.

This data is used to build your profile. Your likes, your dislikes, what times you're active, and when you're asleep. If you're using a smartphone, they know where you shop, eat, and hang out.

This data is then used to allow advertisers (like us) to target people very closely, serving ads that appeal to the individual.

All this data is anonymized, but as far back as 2010, researchers found it was possible de-anonymize it. Analytical and predictive artificial intelligence has come a long way since then, so who knows what they can do now. . . .

“Don't Talk About Production”

Back to our Big Brother Houseguests. Before going into the house, they agreed to a list of rules dictating what they can and cannot say and do. They haven't just given up their privacy; they've also given up control.

If you tune into the available 24/7 live feeds, what you see is much different from the highly produced television show. They're lazy, bored, and restricted in how they can spend their ample excessive downtime.

BB19 jessica bored chess

If they sing a copyrighted song that can't be broadcast, a booming voice fills the house: “Stop singing.” If they complain about the voice, or say anything that could allude to how the show is run: “Don't talk about production.”

Don't Give Up Your Control Online

We may have agreed to give up some of our privacy to be online, but it's important we don't give up control over our experience, too.

Today, the free Internet is in jeopardy.

The major Internet service providers (ISPs) and some of their cohorts at the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) are pushing to roll back fundamental net neutrality laws.

Soon, we could find ourselves taking stage directions from our ISPs. They could have legal power to control what you have access to online, prioritizing higher-paying media sources over those who won't pay to play, even blocking web content entirely at their discretion.

I'm sure you saw the pop-ups on July 12. There was a massive, worldwide protest to protect net neutrality.

If you didn't participate, it's not too late to help. Learn more about net neutrality and why it's so important for all of us.

Then, contact the FCC and tell them that you believe that Internet service providers should enable access to all content and applications, regardless of the source, and without favoring or blocking particular products or websites.

You're not getting paid $500,000 to be told how to use the Internet . . . but if the ISPs get their way, you'll be the one paying for it.

Take Action — Help Save the Open Internet

Photos copyright CBS Interactive BB19, 2017

The post What Are You Watching…And Who’s Watching You This Summer? appeared first on 9 Clouds.

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