How Rogue Ales Makes a Great Beer from Wet Hops, Clean Water and Innovation

Rogue beers

The challenge is local and global. The world has a major perishables problem. A full 30 percent of all perishable produce and products never make it all the way from the farm to the table. For Rogue Ales in Newport, Ore., that means that some of their hops can’t be used in the best way possible, which means they can’t produce the best beer possible.

Intel has become a key ingredient in delivering fresh goods through more efficient supply chain tracking tools and management.

For the US and the world, that means less theft, less rotting and better food. For Rogue, that means fresher hops and better beer.

Hoppy Hazards

Fresh goods and efficient supply chain

Rogue produces hops meant to be used in brewing “fresh hop” or “wet hop” beers. In other words, the hops are not dried in the field but are shipped quickly for immediate use in breweries. In fact, these hops have to be dropped into a vat of beer within 12 hours of harvest, or they start to go bad.

And fresh hops can be more hazardous than you might expect. If they overheat, the volatile oils with which the brewer infuses them can infiltrate the beer and produce an “off” flavor. Think about how lovely compost smells as it decomposes. Who’d want to drink that?

Connected Reporting

Hops being shipped

Enter the Intel Connected Logistics Platform. Rogue learned that this platform is used in the shipping of 1.1 billion units of products to 24 warehouses in 68 countries worldwide. Logistics experts rely on Intel technology because the platform brings clear visibility on each shipment, helping them see exactly where the freight is and what condition it’s in.

Intel’s multifaceted tracking strategy empowers shippers to look at data on each shipment, immediately react to that data, and optimize around that data, helping future shipments arrive on time with minimal losses. All these insights are driven by Edge Intelligence, powered by a quad core processor inside of each gateway, which can deliver data whether it’s connected or not.

Saving the Hops

Using the Intel Connected Logistics Platform, Rogue set out to collect temperature and humidity data on its shipments of hops, at every stage between the hop yard and the brewery. Intel’s sensors tracked each shipment’s location via GPS and noted whether temperature or humidity rose above or below acceptable boundaries.

With the help of nearly real-time data on each step of the transit process, Intel Connected Logistics Platform has given Rogue the power to take diligent care of each shipment of wet hops. After the hop harvest process, each shipment gateway is tagged with three tags per bin – one at the top, one in the middle, and one at the bottom – to ensure comprehensive tracking from the harvest all the way to the brewing vat.

As a result of Intel’s in-depth tracking, Rogue’s shipments of hops now stay more consistently fresh. The proof is in the hops: Take a taste, and see for yourself.

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Cheers for connected beer, all hail to the Internet of Ale

Cheers for connected beer, all hail to the Internet of Ale

Now that the Internet of Things (IoT) touches almost every industry, should we also be enjoying the Internet of Beer at the end of a hard-working, internet-connected day, asks Adrian Bridgwater?

After all, the industrial process improvements that the IoT delivers are already serving (no pun intended) the brewing industry – as seen, for example, at Great Lakes Brewing Company and Deschutes in the US.

This is an international trend, it seems, promising more IoT-driven change ahead. This month sees the Great British Beer Festival (GBBF) staged at the  Olympia exhibition center in London, which showcases over 350 breweries offering close to 1,000 real ales and hard ciders (both apple and pear varieties).

The GBBF is run under the watchful eye of CAMRA, the Campaign for Real Ale, an independent volunteer organization. CAMRA seeks not only to champion and improve consumer rights, but also and improvements to premises throughout the brewing industry – and today, improvements in any business tend to mean involve a generous serving of digital transformation and technology.

Clever beer

Take, for example, London-based start-up Intelligent Layer: it has added machine learning to its beer production, in the form of what it calls ‘reinforcement learning’ algorithms.

The company has teamed up with a creative agency 10x to form a new joint operation called IntelligentX. Using a Facebook Messenger bot, IntelligentX collects feedback from customers on its products and sends it onto human brewers who tweak recipes accordingly, enabling them to test out new recipes and make product improvements.

The founders of IntelligentX think that, in the near future, we may be able to use data analytics, algorithmic logic, machine learning and artificial intelligence to develop and manufacture more ‘emotive products’ – such as perfume, coffee or chocolate – so that they are more finely tuned to people’s individual tastes.

Are these trends set to continue? The answer is a decisive ‘yes’. Smart ales and beers are flowing faster than ever.

As Barb Darrow reports for Fortune, business software companies Informatica and Zoomdata are collaborating to help a large, unnamed European beer maker check the quality of its products throughout the supply chain, from the brewery to the pub. “The software will monitor temperature and pressure of the beer in the tap and the line along with tracking the number of pints poured in real time,” she writes.

Read more: Barclays pours investment into new IoT beer pump

The four levels of Internet Beer

So it seems that the Internet of Beer is developing at a number of levels.

On a creative level, we can already see how new flavors might now be created through diversified, socially driven channels.

On a business level, brewers can now become more sensitive and attuned to market movements and consumer tastes.

On a technical level, contemporary young brewing startups can use the Cloud with its low capex (capital expenditure) model to get access to Internet of Beer tech fast and at a comparatively low cost.

Finally, on a practical level, connected IoT beer kegs mean that bar staff no longer have to strain their backs lifting flagons, firkins and other weighty vessels to test how much beer they still contain.

Cheers to connected beer, all hail to the Internet of Ale.

Read more: IoT on tap – Carling launches ‘beer button’

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Internet of Business

How IoT Tech Is Giving You Better Beer

The rules of the beer industry are about to be rewritten by three little letters, and they’re not PBR. Craft brewing has led a resurgence in the consumption of specialty beers, often imported from all corners of the globe. But until the IoT arrived, there was a great deal of guessing involved in making sure the product you received was delivered at the quality level intended. Funky beer, you say? Perhaps no, perhaps yes — the answer is more likely something in between. The process of transporting beer is a delicate one, and the complex craft brews popular with barley

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