Heineken claims to have launched the world’s first virtual beer which boasts "no calories, no hidden ingredients, and no beer". The virtual Heineken Silver is exclusively available in its virtual brewery within the immersive digital platform, Decentraland.
Heineken's tongue-in-cheek unveiling presents a beer with “the finest, 100% computer-generated ingredients.” According to a media release, “our special A-yeast, usually brewed in horizontal tanks, has been replaced with A-Pixels. Forget hops harvested in fields, virtual Heineken Silver is brewed with Binary Coded Hops grown by NPC (non-player character) farmers. And of course, the whole virtual brewing process is overseen by Heineken's dedicated Virtual Brewing Assistants, digitized stand-ins for our Star Brewers.”
The virtual beer was unveiled at a product launch event in Heineken's virtual brewery, “where guests were able to learn about how the beer is made in seconds, while enjoying pixelated lobster and caviar and rubbing shoulders with Heineken ambassadors, including Thierry Henry,” a French professional football coach.
To add a little more flavor to the metaverse and the virtual Heineken Silver, Heineken has partnered with Spanish self-taught street artist, J. Demsky to help design parts of the virtual home of Heineken Silver.
However, despite of all the advantages of the metaverse, Bram Westenbrink, Global Head Heineken Brand admits that “it's just not the best place to taste a new beer.” He adds, that “our new virtual beer, Heineken Silver is an ironic joke. It is a self-aware idea that pokes fun at us and many other brands that are jumping into the metaverse with products that are best enjoyed in the real world. For now, you can't taste pixels and bytes. So, we want to make a joke about that and remind everyone that nothing beats the taste of a refreshing beer, including our new virtual Heineken Silver, in the real world."
The real-world Heineken Silver, a smooth and easy-to-drink beer with only 4% ABV was launched in April 2019 and is the first product co-launched by China Resources Snow Breweries and Heineken since the two companies joined forces in November 2018 (inside.beer, 5.11.2018). Building on this success, Heineken plans to roll-out Heineken Silver internationally to reach more than 20 markets in 2022. (inside.beer, 16.2.2022)