Open Source Brewing With Modern Times Beer

on 09/10/12 at 12:51 pm


In my last post, I mentioned that we’re going to be completely open with our recipes. To that end, I provided links to all of the posts on Mike’s blog detailing what we’ve done so far, and I also mentioned that we’re going to put a bounty on crowdsourced improvements to our recipes. This is what I call “open source brewing”, and I’m going to flesh it out a bit right here and now.

Here’s the Wikipedia (itself something of an open source project) definition of ‘open source’: “In production and development, open source is a philosophy, or pragmatic methodology, that promotes free redistribution and access to an end product’s design and implementation details.”

Open source is most commonly associated with software, but it’s kind of part of the craft beer ethos as well. Some breweries provide homebrew scale recipes for certain beers at the request of magazines or the occasional determined fan. Others treat their recipes as trade secrets, making employees sign non-disclosure agreements, and a few even go to great lengths to hide details like fermentation temperature from their own staff. No brewery that I know of makes a policy of posting all of their recipes. We will.

And we’re not just putting the recipes out there passively; we expect feedback. The real beauty of open source is that it allows for the collective intelligence of a community to create something better than any singular entity could achieve.