What could be more social than grabbing a couple of buds and heading to the bar for a pint? How about harnessing the power of social media so that you and a few thousand of your buds can create a brand-new brew?
That was the idea that inspired a new beer from the U.K. called #MashTag, the world’s first alcoholic beverage to be developed entirely by social media users.
BrewDog brewery’s #Mashtag is a 7.5 percent American brown ale made with New Zealand hops and aged on hazelnuts and oak chips.
Wanting to raise a glass to its fans, the Scotland-based brewery let them vote on everything that went into a beer: style, malt and alcohol percentage, types of hops, the “special twist,” which included the hazelnuts and oak chips, the label design and the name.
“We handed the keys to the brewery over to our fans,” Sarah Warman, a BrewDog spokeswoman who was directly involved in the campaign, told ABCNews.com. “Every single element of that beer was decided by the public.”
Over the course of five days during the last week of March, BrewDog gave its Facebook fans, Twitter followers and blog readers a new category with three options to chose from each day, and would announce the winning choice from the previous day.
Not only was it a “really good platform to educate people about beer” and the brewing process, Warman said, but it also gave BrewDog’s fans great pride in what they produced.
“We’ve interacted with our fans at a very deep level,” Warman said. “The feedback we have had online has been epic.”
More than 5,000 votes later, the end result was announced on the brewery’s blog on May 31. Warman described #MashTag as tasting ”very Christmas-y” because the 15 kilos (roughly 33.3 pounds) of hazelnuts used in the brewing process bring “a nuttiness to it.”
The name #MashTag comes from the Twitter hashtag that BrewDog used to track conversation and votes about the new beer on Twitter — “Mashing” the malt is Step 1 in beer making.
“We live and die by what’s in our glass at the end of the day,” Warman said. “And what the fans chose was an excellent beer.”
#Mashtag is available now in participating drinking establishments in the U.K. and is for sale by the bottle or as a six-pack on the brewery’s website.
While BrewDog might have developed the first “Twitter beer,” beer companies on this side of the pond have also tried to tap into social media for its products. In April, Budweiser’s Brazil team unveiled the Buddy Cup — a cup that when tapped with another one of its kind allows the two-cup holders to become Facebook friends.
A perfect pairing, one might say.