Anheuser-Busch plans to further integrate blockchain into its beer production line
Anheuser-Busch InBev, the parent entity of Budweiser, Corona, and many other beer brands, recently began piloting a platform that allows end customers to track their malt beverages on the blockchain. This isn’t the first example of the company’s interest in blockchain. They previously unveiled a number of blockchain initiatives, including an ATM identity verification system and technology-based document management protocols.
“For the first time in our European operations, this project will create a fully transparent indirect supply network all the way to the end consumer,” commented Pieter Bruyland, CIO of AB InBev’s European operations, in an October 26 public statement.
The new pilot program will start in 2021, according to the statement. Using a QR code, French Leffe beer customers will be able to see the entire supply chain journey of the barley used in each pack of beer. Blockchain company SettleMint built the platform for the initiative.
Ab InBev has investigated a number of blockchain applications over the past year. One such initiative used blockchain to verify the ages of vending machine users, enabling cashier-less liquor purchases. In early 2020, the entity also inaugurated blockchain for its relationships with African ingredient suppliers, facilitating data and information management.
The majority of people who grow AB InBev’s ingredients, including international farmers, interact directly with the giant, the statement said. The new blockchain initiative “is designed for the remaining 40% of its indirect farmers, many of whom are located in European countries such as France, Germany and the UK.”
Bruyland explained: “By connecting players in the beer supply chain – farmers, malting cooperatives, breweries, warehouses and transporters – to a secure and decentralized platform, we can increase traceability. and collect data that will help us continue to grow the best ingredients for our beers in a sustainable way.
Ab InBev is not the first beer supplier to delve into blockchain. Heineken capitalized on the technology’s supply chain potential in early 2019. A number of other mainstream companies have also leaned into blockchain for supply chain management, including Walmart.