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A science quest for the world beer diversity: Buy us a beer ▸▸ we study its DNA ▸▸ we trace a tree of beers ▸▸ you discover new beers.
A scientific quest to understand beer at molecular level: Send us a beer ▸▸ we study its DNA ▸▸ we trace a tree of beers ▸▸ you discover new beers.
A scientific quest to understand beer at molecular level: Send us a beer ▸▸ we study its DNA ▸▸ we trace a tree of beers ▸▸ you discover new beers.
124 backers pledged €10,773 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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BeerDeCoded: the 1,000 beer genomes

€10,773

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Join this simple citizen science project: you nominate or send us a beer, we decode the beer DNA to explore the beer diversity in the world and get back to you with the all results and an experimental genomic Cicerone.

You walk into a bar and are overawed by the beer list. The dozens of beers stress you out, so you drink the same old beer.

BIG FAIL. A missed opportunity for you and the amazing craft beers waiting to be discovered.

Why some beers are awesome and other deters you?

Taste is a private experience. To understand your taste -- not the taste of others, we need to understand what is inside beer.

BeerDeCoded is a scientific mission to study the beer composition. What is inside a beer? This campaign studies the beer DNA.

Mad scientists like Darwin and us have classified animals and plants for many years. All we want to do is a create a 'tree of beers' with the DNA of 1,000 beers.

So, if we are funded, we will analyse 100 beers. And we are motivated to expand to 1,000 beers if the campaign is very successful. With the beer's DNA, we will sort all these Gigabytes of ATCG letters and perform bioinformatic analyses to generate a tree of beers.

And we will send an interactive online version back to you: the tree of beers cheatsheet. Now, it's time to work together.

Once you receive the cheatsheet, pick a beer you like and see what else is on the branch. Try one beer. Do you like it? Stay close to your comfort zone. Wander away a few branches for something new. Feeling adventurous? Try something on the polar opposite side of the tree. Give us your feedback.

Without the help of the community, we will not be able to create something meaningful with the tree of beers! We would love to meet our backers on our BeerDeCoded Slack channel to answer any questions and collaboratively brainstorm. Give us your feedback as part of the BeerDeCoded advisory board.

With your help, with some more backtesting and with even some more beers, we might have a first genomic sommelier.

Let us share our vision. Imagine an app that compares the biochemistry of the beer you like with the other 1,000+ genomes, proteomes, metabolomes of the beers of the world. The app finds where your taste lie on the tree of beers and gives you suggestions. This is your taste--not the taste of others. We are working on this, DNA is our first small step, and we need your visionary help.

 Your pledge will help to cover:

  • Cost of raw materials: Beer and reagents;
  • Cost of sequencing: Usage of the DNA sequencing machine and computer power to run the genome analysis after sequencing;
  • Cost of labor: Creating and analyzing the raw data to build the beer genome tree and app.

Pledge €5 or more: Nominate a beer!

We can buy one more beer for analysis.

You can nominate a beer!
Fill a simple form and your beer will be considered for inclusion in the study.
+ We will thank you on twitter and tweet your nomination.
+ We are planning surprises for the most interesting nominations. Thanks!

Pledge €25 or more: Sequence a beer!

We can buy reagents for one beer analysis.

You can vote a beer!
Vote the beer on a simple form, the top 100 will be analysed.
+ We will thank you on twitter and tweet your vote.
+ Join the BeerDeCoded advisory board with a private invite on our slack channel.
+ Beta test (online) the tree of 100 beers cheatsheet made with DNA.

Pledge €49 or more: Adopt a beer!

We can run the whole analysis for one beer.

You can adopt a beer!
Choose the beer on a simple form (first come, first serve).
We will analyse it.
+ We will thank you on twitter and tweet for your choice.
+ Join the BeerDeCoded advisory board with a private invite on our slack channel.
+ Beta test the tree of 100 beers cheatsheet and future larger versions.

Pledge €79 or more: Sequence YOUR beer!

Early bid. We will sequence YOUR beer.

You can send us YOUR beer, commercial or home-brewed.
+ Your beer included in our sommelier's brain.
+ Detailed genetic report of your beer (and top competitors).
+ Join the BeerDeCoded advisory board on Slack.
+ Beta test the tree of 100 beers cheatsheet and future larger versions.
+ 30 min hangout with the team.
+ Post with a picture of YOUR beer in the lab on our FB page.

Pledge €79 or more: Sequence a Slovenian beer @Biotehna!

Sequence a Slovenian beer @Biotehna!

You will join Biotehna.org a great bio-hacking lab in Slovenia, extract the DNA from a Slovenian beer and learn to make your own tempeh, a fermented food.

+ Slovenian beer included in our sommelier brain.
+ Detailed genetic report of Slovenian beer.
+ Join the BeerDeCoded advisory board on Slack.
+ Beer DNA workshop at Biotehna (Ljubljana, Slovenia)
+ Learn how to make delicious tempeh.

The lab visit includes a workshop with the following activities:
++ beer DNA extraction and visit of Biotehna - bio-hacking lab in Lubiana; ++ Beta test the tree of 100 beers cheatsheet.

Pledge €129 or more: Sequence YOUR beer @Hackuarium!

We will sequence YOUR beer and welcome you in our lab.

You can send us YOUR beer, commercial or home-brewed.
Alternatively, choose a Swiss one from our premium list.
+ Your beer included in our sommelier's brain.
+ Detailed genetic report of your beer (and top competitors).
+ Join the BeerDeCoded advisory board on Slack.
+ Beer DNA workshop at Hackuarium.ch (Lausanne, CH)

The lab visit includes a workshop with the following activities:
++ beer DNA extraction and visit of Hackuarium biohackerspace;
++ visit of the micro-brewery La Nébuleuse that is located just downstairs.
++ Beta test the tree of 100 beers cheatsheet on live!
++ Biohacked surprise gift.

Pledge €199 or more: Sequence your BREW!

We will sequence three beers from you and we will drink them on video.

You can send us three (3) beers for analysis.
+ Your beers included in our sommelier's brain.
+ Detailed genetic report of your beers (3x) and top competitors.
+ Join the BeerDeCoded advisory board on Slack.
+ Beta test the tree of 100 beers cheatsheet and future larger versions.
+ Hangout session of 30 minutes with the BeerDeCoded team.
+ Post with a picture of your beer on our FB page.
+ Video of us degustating your beers on our social media.

Pledge €499 or more: Sequence your BAR!

We will sequence ten beers from your bar and make a special tree of beers just for you.

You can send us ten (10) beers for analysis.
+ Your beers included in our sommelier's brain.
+ Detailed genetic report of your beers (3x) and top competitors.
+ Join the BeerDeCoded advisory board on Slack.

+ We will make a personalized tree of beers for your bar
++ Online version (to easy incorporate in your bar App / website)
++ Laser-cut in 3D, made in Hackuarium

Pledge €3000 or more: Sequence your World!

We are at your disposition.
We will develop a custom project to sequence your beers, wines, cheeses, foods.
We will develop personalised solutions.
We will host an events on our 400 sqm space for you.

You are our visionary hero.

From project funding to raw data release (sequences) we anticipate the timeline to be 4-5 months. You will join the BeerDeCoded advisory board on Slack asap to select and nominate beers and help us in shaping this citizen-science project. You will receive monthly updates on the major milestones of the project. Expect a first beta test with the tree of beers cheatsheet on January 2016.

Here is a breakdown of our timeline after successful funding:

Sample Collection, Raw Data analysis, and Beer Genome Processing:

1 month mark: Buy Beer
Acquire the first few batches of 100 beers and start the initial sequencing process.

2 month mark: Sequencing
Receive beer samples from the Sequence YOUR Beer Reward and commence sequencing. Continue sequencing process.

3 month mark: Data Analysis
The DNA analysis will be complete for the first few batches of purchased and DIY beer and raw data will be compiled and analyzed.

4 month mark: Continued Brainstorming
Commence monthly hangout brainstorming session with teams made with our advisory board. Continue data analysis and compilation.

5 month mark: Mapping and Rewards!
The first few batches of sequencing and analysis will be complete and mapped to the beer genome tree. Rewards will be sent out as sequencing is finalised for the first batches.

First, DNA in my beer? Really?

Beer is full of DNA. But is DNA related to taste? Beer's DNA comes from its ingredients: hops, grains, yeast, and other microbes, some of which form as a result of a specific brew's fermentation process.

Update June 16, 2015 - The DNA from one beer bottle, interesting data!

DNA is the coding information for the enzymes that break down the sugars during fermentation to make a beer taste great. Mapping a beer's DNA can give unique, data-driven insights into what gives it its specific taste.

Mapping DNA from 1,000 beers will help us, other beer professionals, and you to compare beers and their flavor profiles along many dimensions. A few big companies are already doing similar work, but their results are essentially trade secrets.

We are making our data open access so people can learn from our experiments. This is science: we make hypotheses and we try our best to test if they hold. The only way to know is to untap some beers and give it a try. Thanks for joining us in this adventure.

Mapping the beer genome is beneficial to our society. Beer may well be the first biotechnology product, brewed for the first time over 10,000 years ago. When a known brewery isolated the yeast S. carlsbergensis in 1883, they made the visionary decision to give it to other breweries for free. Beer DNA should be open and available to all. So, we will make the first 1,000 beer sequences completely Open Access. When you will help us, you will help mankind to brew better beers.

Common sense  Look, we're more than just the DNA that defines us biologically. Beer is the same way. We know that this DNA analysis alone won't tell us every single detail about a beer, its history, all the recipes that were tested before it was perfected, and so on. But an integrative analysis of beer composition will far surpass any tools currently available for comparing the thousands of kinds of beers. Face it, IBUs don't cut it.

Finally, we're looking to have some fun with our community, you're welcome to join.

Join us on Facebook.com/BeerDeCoded or chat with us on twitter @beerdecoded

Gianpaolo Rando, University of Geneva - project director

Jonathan Sobel, EPFL Lausanne -  bioinformatics

Vanessa Lorenzo, HEAD Geneva -  interaction designer

Alex Hantson, digital marketing

Clément Drévo, agronomist and beer expert

Nicolas Rotman, biologist

BeerDeCoded is a joint citizen science project run by Hackuarium and SwissDeCode. PRESS KIT. Les amis francophones, régardez nôtre interview sur RTS A Bon Entendeur.

Hackuarium.ch is a community that demystify, inspire and innovate with DIY-biology. Using beer DNA as example, we provide unbiased information about DNA sequencing technologies to the general public.

SwissDeCode.com is a spinoff of the University of Geneva that develops mass-market genetic technologies to enable any party to understand their world on the go, and to make informed, data-driven decisions.

Interested to write a story? Check the BeerDeCoded Press Kit.

Thanks to the Sloan Foundation for a fellowship to attend the Science x Kickstarter Hackathon in NYC on February 28 (and to our team members Judy Zhu, Carmen Mercado, Steve Hershman and Carmine Lengua Jr., the voiceover guy). Thanks to StartInnov that helped us to make a more solid business case out of this project. Thanks to Sasha and the White Oak for serving us beers for shooting.

A special thanks to Amstein.ch for being our gold sponsor and providing the first batch of beers to analyse.

Thanks to One Codex for free access to their microbial genomics API. You can also register for the free beta.

Risks and challenges

Can we obtain the data? We do not anticipate technical problems, and several members of our team have over 10 years of experience in DNA analysis. If problems arise, we can count on our extended team from laboratories in Geneva and Lausanne to help us in getting things done.

There are dependencies in our timeline--such as obtaining beers, securing time on the genome sequencing machine, and conducting analysis on the genomic outputs--but we will continue until we obtain the beer meta-genome. And yes, there is DNA in beer.

Will the three of beers meaningful? We have arguments, including current and previous work on brewer's yeast and wines, to think that the DNA in beer influences the beer taste. There are many biochemical analyses available for beer. We decided to start with DNA for strategic reasons, and we look forward to expand to other measurements with time. For instance, if you have a spare mass-spectrometer in your garage, ping us: we are happy to measure other parameters

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Support this project

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge €5 or more About $5

    Nominate a beer!

    We can buy one more beer for analysis.

    You can nominate a beer!
    Fill a simple form and your beer will be considered for inclusion in the study.
    + We will thank you on twitter and tweet your nomination.
    + We are planning surprises for the most interesting nominations. Thanks!

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    36 backers
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    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

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  2. Select this reward

    Pledge €25 or more About $27

    Sequence a beer!

    We can buy reagents for one beer analysis.

    You can vote a beer!
    Vote the beer on a simple form, the top 100 will be analysed.
    + We will thank you on twitter and tweet your vote.
    + Join the BeerDeCoded advisory board with a private invite on our slack channel.
    + Beta test (online) the tree of 100 beers cheatsheet made with DNA.

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    Estimated delivery
    25 backers
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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge €49 or more About $54

    Adopt a beer!
    We can run the whole analysis for one beer.

    You can adopt a beer!
    Choose the beer on a simple form (first come, first serve).
    We will analyse it.
    + We will thank you on twitter and tweet for your choice.
    + Join the BeerDeCoded advisory board with a private invite on our slack channel.
    + Beta test the tree of 100 beers cheatsheet and future larger versions.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    24 backers
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    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

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  4. Select this reward

    Pledge €49 or more About $54

    STRETCH! Synthetic iGEM Beer!

    You can adopt a London beer and help the London Biohackspace team to fly to Boston for the most important competition in synthetic biology. At iGEM, London Biohackers will present a synthetic beer developed using the beer DNA information that we are decoding. Be part of the London Biohacker’s project!

    + Vote which features of the synthetic beer you would like to be developed. For example fruity flavor (limonene/vanillin).
    + Get involved with the biohackspace! We offer skype meetings or visit the space and we’ll give you a tour!
    + Your name added to the supporter wall on London Biohackspace sponsorship page.
    + Beta test the tree of 100 beers and future larger versions.
    + Join the BeerDeCoded board with a private invite on our slack channel

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    Limited 1 backer
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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge €79 or more About $87

    Sequence YOUR beer.
    Early bid. We will sequence YOUR beer.

    You can send us YOUR beer, commercial or home-brewed.
    + Your beer included in our sommelier brain.
    + Detailed genetic report of your beer (and top competitors).
    + Join the BeerDeCoded advisory board on Slack.
    + Beta test the tree of 100 beers cheatsheet and future larger versions.
    + 30 min hangout with the team.
    + Post with picture of YOUR beer in the lab on our FB page.

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    Estimated delivery
    Limited 14 backers
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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge €79 or more About $87

    Sequence a Slovenian beer @Biotehna!

    You will join a great bio-hacking lab in Slovenia, extract the DNA from a Slovenian beer and learn to make your own tempeh, a fermented food.

    + Slovenian beer included in our sommelier brain.
    + Detailed genetic report of Slovenian beer.
    + Join the BeerDeCoded advisory board on Slack.
    + Beer DNA workshop at Biotehna (Ljubljana, Slovenia)
    + Learn how to make tempeh.

    The lab visit includes a workshop with the following activities:
    ++ beer DNA extraction and visit of Biotehna - bio-hacking lab in Lubiana;
    ++ Beta test the tree of 100 beers cheatsheet.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Limited 3 backers
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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge €79 or more About $87

    STRETCH! Join BeerDeCoded at EXPO15 - VIP

    Get an admission ticket to EXPO15 (valid for October 22 only) and join the BeerDeCoded team for a VIP event at the Swiss Pavillon.

    Have a look at the final shape of the tree of beers, admire the Swiss beer panorama and have a conversation with the BeerDeCoded team about DNA testing in food and beverages.

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    Limited 0 backers
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  8. Select this reward

    Pledge €129 or more About $141

    Sequence YOUR beer @Hackuarium!

    We will sequence YOUR beer and welcome you in our lab.

    You can send us YOUR beer, commercial or home-brewed.
    Alternatively, choose a Swiss one from our premium list.
    + Your beer included in our sommelier brain.
    + Detailed genetic report of your beer (and top competitors).
    + Join the BeerDeCoded advisory board on Slack.
    + Beer DNA workshop at Hackuarium.ch (Lausanne, CH)

    The lab visit includes a workshop with the following activities:
    ++ beer DNA extraction and visit of Hackuarium biohackerspace;
    ++ visit of the micro-brewery La Nébuleuse that is located just downstairs.
    ++ Beta test the tree of 100 beers cheatsheet on live!
    ++ Biohacked surprise gift.

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    Estimated delivery
    Limited 6 backers
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  9. Select this reward

    Pledge €199 or more About $218

    Sequence your BREW!

    We will sequence three beers from you and we will drink them on video.

    You can send us three (3) beers for analysis.
    + Your beers included in our sommelier brain.
    + Detailed genetic report of your beers (3x) and top competitors. Includes microbiological analysis.
    + Join the BeerDeCoded advisory board on Slack.
    + Beta test the tree of 100 beers cheatsheet and future larger versions.
    + Hangout session of 30 minutes with the BeerDeCoded team.
    + Post with a picture of your beer on our FB page.
    + Video of us degustating your beers on our social media.

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    Estimated delivery
    Limited 4 backers
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  10. Select this reward

    Pledge €499 or more About $546

    Sequence your BAR!

    We will sequence ten beers from your bar and make a special tree of beers just for you.

    You can send us ten (10) beers for analysis.
    + Your beers included in our sommelier brain.
    + Detailed genetic report of your beers (10x) and top competitors.
    + Join the BeerDeCoded advisory board on Slack.

    + We will make a personalized tree of beers for your bar
    ++ Online version (to easy incorporate in your bar App / website)
    ++ Poster version of the tree of beers.

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    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 1 backer
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  11. Select this reward

    Pledge €3,000 or more About $3,285

    Sequence your World!

    We are at your disposition.
    +We will develop a custom project to sequence your beers, wines, cheeses, foods.
    +We will develop personalised solutions.
    +We will host an events on our 1000 sqm space for you.

    You are our visionary hero. You understand consumer genetics will not much about our DNA but about the DNA surrounding us.

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    Limited 1 backer
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Funding period

- (32 days)