Don’t Put Bacon In Your Beer–An AI Exploration Of A Bad Idea

Bacon feels like it’s always apropos, and it’s one of those things that seems to go along with beer so well, bacon, burgers, beer. Classic summer fare right?

In my experience, they can be put together too well. I’m a big fan of smoky rauchbiers, it’s a great style, but a delicate one. In typical American fashion, sometimes it’s over done here. Take, for example, this bacon beer I had at a Bacon fest at a German biergarten on Long Island in 2015. They’re having the fest again this year. They mention specialty drinks, but do not mention beer.

Does that look appetizing? It wasn’t. I wrote “eh” on Untappd, and “poor execution” on Facebook when I posted about it originally. It just wasn’t particularly good, and adding all the oil directly into the beer did nothing. I don’t know if this was just a beer with a piece of bacon in it, or if it had any smoky qualities that were just masked by the actual meat, but this is not a win.

As many things do these days, this experience gave me the idea of using it as a prompt for some of the text-to-image AI models out there these days. Most of these were done with DALL-E.

AI generated photo of a plastic cup of beer with a piece of bacon floating on it
PROMPT: food photography, a plastic cup of German pilsner with a piece of bacon in it

This one uses the bacon as a condiment. Just sort of tosses it in there, which I guess is fine. It’s floating on the foam, adding little. In a plastic cup, because that’s what I asked for, and that could definitely be a Pilsner.

AI photo of a glass mug of beer with a piece of bacon floating in it
PROMPT: food photography, a  German pilsner with a piece of bacon in it

Left out the plastic cup part of the prompt here, and now it’s in a nice glass, but the bacon is just free-floating in there like a fish. No oil coming off the bacon either, AI doesn’t really seem to understand the interaction here.

a pint glass 2/3rds full of an amber beer, with the words BACATER poorly printed on it. There is a piece of bacon sticking up out of the middle of the glass through the foam
Prompt: instagram post of my german lager in a beer glass made out of bacon

Switched over to instagram from food photography in the prompt, and get this gem. DALL-E can do letters, but it often fails to do whole words correctly. BACTER? BACTEN? I dunno, but it often has funny results. That’s now how bacon acts in a liquid either, just sticking up out there. Nice glass though. I dare you NOT to Instagram this if you were served it.

AI beer in a mug shaped mottled mug with a pilsner in it. There is an outline along the top of the glass design that looks a lot like the Lowenbrau Lion. There's a ribbon of bacon coming out of the foam of beer.
PROMPT: a german pilsner with a piece of bacon in it.

I think this is my favorite. Simple prompt, so it’s a black background. But it’s got an attempt at the Löwenbräu Lion along the rim there, and that bacon is..not how bacon looks? It’s like a ribbon or a sheet of think bacon. Some pieces off in the foam.

A Marge Simpson tall mug of beer on a blue and white plate on a picnic table. It's an amber beer with a big head of phone and then strips of bacon in a circle going up from there
Prompt: Food photography: A large Maß of German bier with a piece of bacon in it, served at a German Biergarten, full shot

One of the fun things about these text-image models is that you can go crazy making tiny modifications to terrific results, though it does eat into your generation quotas. I just ran this one now, for one final image. Marge Simpson ala Bacon Beer. With a garnish for some reason.


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