Seed-to-beer: a world-first AR label

Oct 07, 2022

Using cutting-edge augmented reality (AR) technology, the living label aims to educate in a fun and innovative way to show the journey seeds take to become a Cloudwater beer. 

The craft beer market is one that is filled with inquisitive customers keen to understand the journey of how and where their beer came to be. We relish the opportunity to connect with consumers and answer their questions, whether that’s online or at festivals and tap takeovers. Thanks to the team at KWS we were recently presented with a new way to share information with you. They invited us to collaborate with them to create a world-first - an immersive AR (augmented reality) label that demonstrated the seed-to-beer journey for our Heritage Bock release. 

To brew excellent beer you need to start with the best ingredients you can lay your hands on. Hop selection is often the focus of conversation, particularly with modern beer drinkers so interested in big, hop-forward styles. Malt can sometimes fall into the role of the unsung hero, yet it brings so much to the end product. It’s responsible for body and mouthfeel, providing sugar for fermentation, and contributes to unique flavour and aroma profiles. It’s rare that we have a chance to get into this level of detail on grain and the role that it plays; brewery tours and tastings touch on it but this immersive AR journey from seed to can is really special.

In a world becoming increasingly concerned about the effects of climate change, we know that people are paying more attention than ever to the provenance and journey of ingredients. We are collectively becoming more concerned about the sustainability of the products we are consuming. Ingrain brought our Heritage Bock can to life and made it possible to share the agricultural story of the grain we used for this beer. We hope this helps people feel more connected with the beer as they enjoy it and gives them a chance to interact with it in a completely new way. 

How does it work?

Ingrain is an initiative launched by the KWS Digital Innovation Accelerator (DIA). Simply scan the QR code on the can to download the app, or head to the App Store or Google Play.

Open the app and use it to scan the Heritage Bock can. You’ll then be taken on an audiovisual journey from seed to can. 

The beer itself is our Heritage Bock. It’s a classic lager celebrating the best of heritage pilsner grain from Germany, Italy and the Czech Republic. This malt-forward Helles Bock has lots of structure and a mix of bready, biscuit and honey flavours while retaining a super clean, crisp and drinkable finish. We brewed this as part of our Oktoberfest series, one of the most joyful celebrations of beer in the calendar where pretzels and crisp lager-styles reign supreme. 

This project has opened our eyes to the potential that technology has to enhance beer drinking experiences. It’s remarkable, especially in the context of recent years that have seen us all experience varying degrees of social isolation. We’re really excited about the possibilities this opens up in the future. What's to say a beer label can’t transport you through sound and audio to the place of production or the hop farms of Yakima? Perhaps in the future, we can look not only to flavour and aroma to transport our drinkers, but we can explore how technology can engage our other senses as part of our drinking experiences to further immerse us in the moment.


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