Technologies That Intrigue Us

​Staying on top of the latest tech gadgets are hard, even if you aren’t focused on brewing beer. A few technologies that have grabbed my eye in the past year comes from the marketing world and advances in hops and barrels.

​Now more than ever, consumers are inundated with endless choices. Standing out in the crowd has become tougher as breweries look to update their brand on shelves, find new ways to target consumers and stay connected.

​For Coronado Brewing, the San Diego brewery recently used a new technology to help increase a brand awareness of its CoastWise IPA by teaming up with ThinFilm Electronics to create a coaster that users could use to connect with a branding website.

The brewery reported that the coasters drove website conversions 17.5 times more than other marketing channels.

What really intrigued the brewery about the technology was the ability to tell the CoastWise story and explain the partnership with the Surfrider Foundation. Customers could set their phone on the coaster and the brewery’s website would automatically load, with a CoastWise/Surfrider video on the homepage, making it very easy to communicate the message.

The coasters produced a 13-17.5 time increase in website conversions, as measured by visits to the website resulting from consumer-initiated taps. Overall, the tech drove an estimated 92 percent lift in mobile traffic to the CoastWise landing page.

​Also, in looking for new ways to influence consumer purchasing power, Schlafly Beer turned to beacon technology to find what CEO James Pendegraft says is an intimate way to engage its fans.

Placing beacons on tap handles — called TapTalkers — in 50 on-premise accounts throughout the St. Louis, Missouri area, Schlafly began by alerting consumers that have downloaded its app that they are near the brewery’s products. Consumers can also use the app as a GPS of sorts to find local tap handles as well.

Using a combination of the app, Bluetooth technology and an opt-in for a location finder on a iOS platform, Schlafly consumers ​were​ alerted when they are near a location with the brewery’s beer, or even other directed campaigns put on by the brewery​.​

While hop extracts have been around for years, new processes for separating the lupulin from the plant material offer new layers of complexity for brewers to explore.

Stone Brewing​’s Stone VirtuALE IPA, ​was an​ ​exploration into the world of experimental hop technology.

Stone ​said they were​ the first to put to use Incognito, a brand new proprietary technique for processing hops​ dreamted up with Hass Hops​. ​It gave Citra and Mosaic extracts different qualities​.​

Jeremy Moynier, Stone​’s​ senior innovation brewing manager​ said they have worked with different people in the industry doing hop trials for several years.

“We’ve tested some of these in combination with other hops and in this case, we combined hop pellets with hops from the INCOGNITO™ process​,” Moynier said in a release​.​”​ The final beer is definitely unique, adding another dimension to this really cool IPA.”

Also,looking to stay on the edge is Dogfish Head’s Sam Calagione, who has helped bring to life a innovative way to nitrogenized barrel-aged beers straight from the barrel.

The Rack AeriAle was showcased by the brewery ​online and in a blog post to consumers on the website​ in 2017​.

​It’s a system that brings barrel-aged beers from the barrel directly to the tap system and incorporates a smooth creamy nitro head into the process, Calagione explained.

“I shared my initial idea with Charlie [Kleinrichert, president of AC Beverage] with some notes and images of what I was thinking about and he took it from there and made the technical and mechanical magic happen.”

Dogfish Head and AC Beverage developed a process to perform beer transfers into the wine barrels for aging and nitrogen preservation to keep a blanket of N2 on the beer, protecting it from oxygen.

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