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13 November, 2014 - 18:00 By News Desk

Barista for beer puts the inn into innovation


Cambridge Consultants has brewed a ‘barrista for beer’ technology that puts the inn into innovation by introducing personalised pints.

The UK product design hothouse has adapted its coffee machine technology for the brewing industry. Topers can now hop from strength to strength and flavour to flavour through the Cambridge invention.

Recent years have seen a big rise in the number of speciality beers available in Europe and huge growth in the craft beer scene in the US. 

Cambridge Consultants has added a head of froth to the market. The brewing and dry-hopping process that normally takes up to two weeks has been transformed to enable the consumer to change the flavour of their pint in seconds.

“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.”

The technology could be retro-fitted to beer fonts in a bar with the barman 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.

“This gives brands a unique opportunity to differentiate themselves in what is a very competitive marketplace,” said Brunner.

“It’s a way of building on the current trend of personalisation to create new experiences and add value for the consumer. This is the latest example of our science-led innovation approach, which combines our well-proven innovation process with technical understanding of a problem to ensure the radical concepts generated have the highest chance of technical success.”

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