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Google launches beer

Google teams up with brewer Dogfish Head to create a beer called URKontinent. Would this be in contrast to URInkontinent?

Every day that the Earth keeps turning, Google tries to persuade us that it is increasingly sophisticated.

What better way to express that sophistication than to create a beer?

I fizz with delight to inform you that the Googlies have entered into a partnership with the Dogfish Head brewery that has produced a beer called URKontinent.

For myself, I cannot help staring at that name and wondering whether it represents the opposite thought to URInkontinent--which occurs occasionally after a few too many inferior pints.

However, given the involvement of Dogfish Head, this beer will surely at least be of a superior quality. Its Web site offers that it is brewed in the style of a Belgian Dubbel, which is presumably twice as strong as a Belgian single. Or perhaps it is merely a nod to the idea that Belgians are two peoples stuffed into one little country.

URKontinent is an expression of what Googlies would like to see in a beer. According to the finely flowing video I have embedded, Google and Dogfish Head have very similar philosophies. Yes, they slam that product out there and wait for the data to come barreling in.

The ideas for the beer's ingredients came from all over the world. Yes, even wattleseed from Australia and green rooibos from Africa. All of these ideas came in, naturally, through Google Moderator. Although one apparently was rejected on the grounds that it can induce severe vomiting.

This would be contrasted with the relatively controlled vomiting that can be induced by, say, excess of hops from your average American beer.

Google's Adam Lutz, who coordinated the project, did concede that his main function was "Staying the hell out of the way." However, the company managed to get one of its own ingredients into the beer: honey from the Hive Plex. You didn't know there was a Hive Plex? Of course there's a Hive Plex.

The beer--a limited edition--won't be available for a while, but the Huffington Post reports that this week's Great American Beer Festival in Denver may be graced by URKontinent.

Legend has it that Urkontinent was the original supercontinent. One can only imagine that this brew will be a highly original superbeer that everyone will want to download--"Beer without the fluff," as one brewer describes it.

And, yes, of course the video shows how the initial tasting for the beer was carried out via a Google+ Hangout. This is advertising, people.

Updated 9:43 a.m. Saturday: Google wants to make it very clear that it isn't making any money out of this foray into inebriation. A spokesman told me: "We encourage our employees to pursue their interests--whether they are training for a marathon, inviting their favorite author to speak, or creating the perfect cafe latte. Similarly, the project with Dogfish Head brewery was a Googler-driven project organized by a group of craft brewery aficionados across the company. While our Googlers had fun advising on the creation of a beer recipe, we aren't receiving any proceeds from the sale of the beer and we have no plans to enter the beer business." Such a pity.