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Beer full of cheer brewed from data

Customer engagement agency Havas helia has worked with IBM Watson to capture the mood of the nation during the New Year party season to create a beer that tastes of joy and optimism.

Data experts at Havas helia analysed thousands of New Year related messages on social media and matched them with a range of emotional states. The top most shared emotions were love, joy, harmony, cheerfulness, optimism, resolution and excitement.

Next step to the path of beer happiness was for IBM Watson to analyse 2,800 different beer recipes while feeding the computer descriptions of the ingredients, recipes, tasting notes and beer reviews to identify the perfect recipe.

By using Watson Personality Insights, a tool that analyses language to produce a personality profile, Havas helia was able to categorise each beer according to different human characteristics, such as assertive, friendly or intelligent.

The top ten beers that matched each of the most shared New Year emotions on social media, such as joy, harmony and so on were then identified and, through further analysis, all of these beer recipes were then combined to find the most common ingredients.

Emerging as the top three most common ingredients were honey, the Nelson Sauvin hop variety and the Hallertauer hop. Each of these was used to create the data-powered New Year beer 0101. Honey denotes love and cheerfulness, Nelson Sauvin is for optimism, imagination and resolution, and Hallertauer is for excitement and emotion.

The beer was brewed in partnership with independent microbrewery, High Peak Brew Co, which is based in the Peak District. Havas helia chose to work with High Peak Brew because the company’s brews are unfined and unfiltered, enabling the brewery to get an exact taste that would match the data as closely as possible.

Steven Bennett-Day, executive creative director, Havas helia says: “We wanted to use data and technology to interpret something abstract such as positive feelings and emotions and turn it into an experience. We thought what could be better than a beer that lets you drink in the optimism of the New Year?”

4 February 2016 - Felicity Murray The Drinks Report, editor