Boosting the quality for craft breweries with the Beer-o-meter

The Investment and Development Agency for the Northern Netherlands (NOM) and the University of Groningen Holding Company (RHM) announced early stage funding for Groningen based startup SG Papertronics. Their Beer-o-meter helps artisanal breweries maintain high levels of quality for their craft beers. With their simple plug-and-play testing system, the startup is able to register and analyze color, bitterness, acidity, sugar and alcohol levels, on site and within minutes.

For the fast growing craft beer industry, the testing system would be almost a real game changer, according Maciej Grajewski, of the SG Papertronics founders: “For continuous and consistent beer quality, you would normally need a laboratory and trained personnel. And for smal(ler) breweries, those costs are far too high.”

This testing system, the Beer-o-meter, drastically reduces costs and also helps brewers develop new craft beers faster. The analyses will help the growing number of artisanal breweries produce innovative new beers of both high and consistent quality.


Early stage financing

The Beer-o-meter has a lot of potential, according to the NOM and RHM, who decided to collectively make an early stage investment in the development of the system. NOM general manager Dina Boonstra: “Especially in the very first stages, it’s not about profit, but developing a good product. Later, with the first paying customers, other investors are sure to follow. We’re helping SG Papertronics get through this difficult stage. Early stage financing of this sort comes with a lot of risk and this is why there’s not a lot of capital available in the market. This is what we see as an important role for the NOM: fueling innovation.”

RHM and the NOM also believe the technology can be used for several different markets. RHM director Corina Prent: “Maciej Grajewski has worked very hard to become investor ready and sell this concept, which is not an easy task for an academic researcher, but he really delivered. The test system also uses machine learning, so it will become even more accurate after each analysis.”

SG Papertronics is currently already working together with two local breweries: Martinus and BaxBier. Several parties have also shown an interest in the technology developed in Groningen. The startup will be housed in the Innolab Agrifood, an open innovation lab at Campus Groningen.