London brewery creates DNA-based beer

London brewery creates DNA-based beer

London-based Meantime Brewery claims it can create the world’s most personalized beer. The unique beverage is made based on your DNA profile and costs $30,100. Clients have to provide a saliva sample that will be analyzed for sensitivity to certain chemicals that have impact on flavor perception. You will then receive about 2,000 personalized pints delivered to your home and that are ready to serve. Meantime Brewery’s Sheeraz Gulshe explains the beer making process and why it’s better than others.

How did you come up with the idea to create this DNA-based beer?

Meantime’s brewmaster Ciaran Giblin submitted a simple saliva sample to personal genetics company 23andMe to obtain a genetic blueprint about what makes him ‘him,’ including an analysis of his perception to bitter tastes. Following a hugely successful test batch of beer that he created to match his preferences perfectly, the craft brewer has announced the launch of “Meantime Bespoke.” The package, now available to the public to purchase, is a one-of-a-kind service offering passionate craft beer fans the opportunity to brew the ultimate in personalized beer — using genetic profiling to individually tailor it to their palate.

What’s the main point of it?

Ciaran’s DNA results showed that he had a preference to bitter flavors. His oral taste receptors (the TAS2R38 gene) showed that he was less likely to detect propylthiouracil (PROP) — a chemical similar to many compounds found in cabbage, raw broccoli, coffee, tonic water, and dark beers — meaning he has a hereditary proclivity for bitter tasting foodstuffs. This informed the creation of a double hopped, and incredibly bitter pale ale for his taste.

How do you technically create the beer?

The first step for Meantime Bespoke is for the participant to take a DNA test, which gives analysis on a person’s sensitivity and tendency to dislike or enjoy certain levels of bitterness. This provides a uniquely personalized framework to brew a modern craft beer; bitterness is an important factor in determining which beer styles a person may or may not enjoy — it provides a good starting point to work from. The brewing team then helps narrow down desired beer style, ingredients and method of brewing in order to create the best beer to match an individual’s taste preference.

Once the results are in, the participant meets Ciaran Giblin and Meantime’s brewing team to have a session to analyze the results and work on the beer they would like to create. Once plans are in place, the participant will be able to brew the beer from start to finish in the state-of-the-art Pilot Brewery and onsite laboratory.

What Meantime’s package include:

• A one-to-one consultation with Meantime’s Brewmaster to take part in the creative process.

• Exclusive access to the state-of-the-art Pilot Brewery and onsite laboratory.

• Hands-on with the physical brewing process.

• A minimum of 12 hectolitres of personalized beer in participant’s choice of bottles or kegs — equivalent to over 2,000 pints.

• Naming their tailor-made beer, working alongside Meantime’s creative team to put their individual touches to the packaging design.

• The opportunity to customize all elements of their beer from start to finish, and work alongside a world-class brewing team to bring their beer to life.

• A study course, “The Knowledge,” to allow Meantime Bespoke customers to gain a deeper understanding of the brewing process.

• Once bottled, the brew will be hand-delivered to them to consume and share with family and friends as they wish.

Why is this personalized beer better than a normal one?

The beer is engineered towards an individual’s taste receptors, therefore its taste is tailored specifically to the participant’s proclivity to specific flavors. Moreover, we offer personalization at every stage of the brewing process, over and above just a DNA test — as participants are provided with near full control (bar some guidance from Meantime’s Brew Master) of a beer’s flavor profile, ABV, mouthfeel and style. All produce is made in one of the UK’s most technologically advanced breweries, at Meantime’s headquarters in Greenwich.

Aside from having control of the taste and type of beer created, participants will design the bottle label alongside a creative team. They also have the option of having a pint glass created that is molded to fit the drinker’s hand.

So, for different people your beer tastes different?

Yes – each person’s ability to taste sweet and bitter flavors is completely unique.

It costs $30,000+. Why is the price is so high?

Because our package incorporates a variety of exclusive elements and access to Meantime’s industry leading brewing team and brewery.

What’s next?

The service has been opened up to the public. Meantime, its’ exciting to work with beer fanatics from across the globe and to help them create their own perfect brew.

-Dmitry Belyaev

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