Helping Brew a Better Beer

Posted: September 15, 2015

What's it like to be a young founder and CEO of a startup tech company in State College, tasting beer and coffee for your job and working in a former frat house?
Jason Cohen, founder and CEO of startup Analytical Flavor Systems, tells his story Sept. 30 as the Harbaugh Forum speaker

Jason Cohen, founder and CEO of startup Analytical Flavor Systems, tells his story Sept. 30 as the Harbaugh Forum speaker

Find out when Jason Cohen, founder and CEO of Analytical Flavor Systems, a Happy Valley startup company, tells his story Wednesday, Sept. 30, (6 p.m., 262 Willard Building) as the Harbaugh Forum speaker, part of the Entrepreneurship & Innovation Program’s lineup of fall events.

Cohen, 24, is a Penn Stater who developed the startup company’s “Gastrograph” tool after 3 ½ years of research into sensory science and data mining.

“Our sensory system can flag and predict flaws, taints, contamination and batch-to-batch deviations in real time from 3+ product reviews at any stage of production,” says Cohen.

When craft beer brewers and coffee roasters want to know why the flavor of their product is off and what to do about it, they tap Analytical Flavor Systems.

The company, operating since 2011, uses machine learning and artificial intelligence to build quality control and flavor profiling tools for the food and beverage industry. The company gathers and analyzes data to flag problems then leverages data for flavor profile optimization, demographic targeting and cognitive marketing.

Which means, in part, that tasting beer is part of the job for Cohen, his 10-person team and product reviewers.

The company works with U.S. craft beer brewers and third-wave coffee roasters and is expanding its customer base to include tea, wine, and chocolate producers.

Cohen also founded The Tea Institute at Penn State and served as its executive director, overseeing more than 20 researchers in five fields of study in traditional Chinese, Japanese and Korean tea. Cohen is a professional coffee, tea and beer taster who enjoys rock climbing, ice climbing and fencing.

Three things you may want to ask Jason Cohen about, based on his background and this blog post on the website for NVIDIA, a visual computing company:

How does one become a professional tea taster quite early in life?

Can you help us understand how technological innovation is leading to a better pint of beer?

Is there any advantage to locating your company offices in a former frat house?

Join us Sept. 30 for Jason Cohen’s story, answers to these questions and more. All are welcome to this free talk.