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 BeerAdvocate.com. 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 Yamquak 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 Yampy 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 Dankering Third Maus Sip’s The Stunks Belgian Tripel Slambertangeriss 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 Drammnt Humple La Bobstore Barrel Aged Thrennt Rem Wine Barrel Aged Monkay Tripel
Snarging Red Warmel Halce’s Comput Ale Fire Pipe Blangelfest Stoodemfest La Cat Tas Oo Ma Ale Ole Blood Whisk Frog Trail Ale Ricias Donkey Brain Sacky Rover Gate Rooster Cramberhand 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 Shump Morning Dave - Vanilla Coffee Stout Avidberry 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.)