Beer straight from the cloud

    Anheuser-Busch InBev brewing company, producing Budweiser, Corona, Stella Artois and more than 500 brands of beer, uses a new approach to controlling the irrigation and soil composition of endless barley fields, introducing advanced technologies based on artificial intelligence and machine learning.

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    Every sip of Bud beer starts with a barley crop - and is blessed in a cloud.

    These technologies help AB InBev to analyze the data of visual observation of crops obtained using drones flying over the fields and satellite imagery. With this data, the company can more accurately predict the cost and availability of barley around the world and share this critical information with farmers.

    This, in turn, allows farmers to determine when it is best to start sowing and how much fertilizer to use, which helps maintain fertility and improve ecosystem resilience.

    “Beer is brewed from four main ingredients of natural origin: water, barley, hops, and yeast,” says Jay Emery, senior director of global IT architecture at AB InBev, headquartered in Belgium. “Sustainable development is not just related to our business, this is our business.”

    Barley helps to give the beer a malt aroma and amber color.

    “To brew our high-quality beer, we need a healthy environment and thriving ecosystems,” says Emery.

    According to Chetan Kundavaram, international director of AB InBev, the company uses Microsoft Azure cloud to centralize the IT functions of its 16 data centers. This helps reduce duplication of research efforts and pay more attention to innovation.

    By the end of 2020, AB InBev plans to transfer 80% of the workload to the cloud.

    “We are not just a brewing company,” says Emery, “we are a high-tech company.”

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