Lynsey Cunningham, entrepreneurial development manager at Ulster Bank, with Brendan Smyth, left, chief development officer at arc-net, and Liam Brogan, co-founder and firector of Ireland Craft Beers, with the new Downstream beer
A world first has been achieved by two Northern Ireland businesses that were brought together by the Ulster Bank-powered Entrepreneurial Spark hub in Belfast.
Ireland Craft Beers and technology firm arc-net have collaborated to create a beer brand that will be placed on a Blockchain platform — the first time this has been done — to enable consumers to fully trace the product’s ingredients from source.
arc-net has uniquely marked and authenticated each bottle of the new Downstream IPL, allowing full traceability of each bottle through the brewery and the supplier network to the ultimate consumer.
Customers need simply scan a QR smart code on the label of the beer to be taken to an online experience that allows them to uniquely identify every single bottle produced.
Ireland Craft Beers has already secured a listing for the new beer in the popular Honest Brew online store, as well with a major multi-national retailer that is expected to stock the beer in more than 400 stores across the UK.
Lynsey Cunningham, entrepreneurial development manager at Ulster Bank, said: “Ireland Craft Beers and arc-net came together through their involvement with Entrepreneurial Spark, and are demonstrating the power of collaboration. This is an innovative venture that has the potential to bring real change to how consumers engage with information about the products they buy.”
Trusted and respected
Liam Brogan, co-founder and director of Ireland Craft Beers, added: “More than ever, consumers want to know where their food and drink comes from, so capturing and sharing production, process and product data with customers is central to having a brand that is trusted and respected. Consumers want transparency, they want authenticity, and blockchain enables that.”
Kieran Kelly, chief executive of arc-net, added: “The arc-net platform provides Ireland Craft Beers with the opportunity to tell the story behind their brand. The new era of transparency on the blockchain helps to ensure the people and process behind the craft brewing process is made available.
“In a crowded market, products on the arc-net blockchain now have a voice. Liam and Shane (ICB) have a vision to promote and protect the craft brewing process across the globe. arc-net is delighted to support ICB in their vision for the future and we are looking forward to building a sustainable platform to support the craft brewing community.”
Ireland Craft Beers is a distributor of craft beers from the island of Ireland to export markets. It is working with Mourne Mountains Brewery to brew the new Downstream IPL.