At Philadelphia’s first microbrewery, Dock Street Brewing, drones are helping to brew beer.
In a recent ‘brewday’ drones literally flew hops across the factory and poured hops directly into the brew tank. A payload on the drone had a motorized scoop to carry and deliver the hops.
The drones were flown by Exyn Technologies, which builds drones designed to navigate complex, GPS-denied industrial environments. Exyn’s drones carry onboard sensors to help navigate and map their environment (which, by the way, is indoors), including high-resolution LiDAR. Most of Exyn’s business is centered around industrial applications such as mining, construction, and nuclear power.
And now, Exyn’s A3R drone has another line on its resume: Assistant Brewer on Dock Street Swarm Intelligence Pale Ale.
Watch how drones helped brew beer here:
The two companies are located next door to each other in south Philadelphia, just walking distance from the city’s expensive Rittenhouse Square neighborhood. Dock Street Brewing has a few locations; their Dock Street South location next door to Exyn opened as a brewery, mess hall + restaurant, lounge, and coffee bar last summer. Brewing and canning is done onsite at the Dock Street South location.
And the partnership started after the two neighbors struck up a conversation and realized they could work together.
We have always been motivated by innovation and being ahead of the curve – we started our craft brewery in 1985, well before the microbrewery revolution hit the rest of the country. ” said Renata Certo-Ware, Events and Marketing at Dock Street Brewing.
Together, the two companies created a brew called Dock Street Swarm Intelligence, 4.9% ABV 40 IBUS. It’s a pale ale, made from a simple grain bill paired with local orange blossom honey that its creators say has a light, floral, and slightly biscuity base.
The drone-made brew was released in January. For now, the drone-made beer at Dock Street is just a one-off event for a single brewday. But it could signal another creative use case for drones. Other companies have already been putting drones to work to carry out other jobs like inspecting beer factories.
Exyn last year announced $16 million in Series A funding led by Centricus, with other investors including Yamaha Motors Ventures, In-Q-Tel, Corecam Family Office, Red and Blue Ventures, and IP Group, Inc.