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Last Best Brewing introduces new beer using blockchain technology

By Troy Hasselman, February 8 2019—

Good news for fans of local beer, technology and/or puns.

Bock Chain, a new beer made in collaboration between producers in Calgary and the surrounding area, is available as part of a limited run at Last Best Brewing and in liquor stores around the province. The brew is a collaboration between Hamill Farms and Red Shed Malting in Penhold, Canada Malting Co., Last Best Brewing & Distilling and TE-FOOD in Calgary.

The new beer uses blockchain, a technology that stores information in various “blocks” that is seeing increasing use in the food industry to link ingredients to their origins. You can scan a QR code on the can to access an interactive site with information about where each ingredient comes from. Videos, maps and photos fully capture the process, from the growth and harvesting of the grains to the fermentation process and everything in between, giving the drinker an inside look at how the beer was made.

“The main concept of the beer is that it’s a blockchain beer. That basically means giving our consumers visibility over where our ingredients come from,” says Last Best head brewer Natasha Peiskar. “There’s a little bit of a pun involved there. Bock is a malty German-style lager that’s little bit higher in alcohol and more malty than your traditional American lager. We wanted to showcase the ingredients and what better way to do it than with a malty lager?”

There was a fairly lengthy process from the original concept of the beer to the finished product, which was released on Jan. 31.

“I think the original concept for it came back in July between us, Red Shed, Hamill Farms, Canada malting and TE-FOOD,” explains Last Best brewer and Albeerta Head of Production Kyle Smythe. “Figuring out the timeline and everything took time so there was definitely a good amount of work that went into the project.”

The technological concept of the beer is meant to showcase the brewers involved in the beer, highlight the ingredients used in it and shine light on the brewing process.

“Every time we write a beer recipe, we’re trying to shine through the ingredients and balance in some sort of flavour that hits the mark on what we’re going for,” says Smythe. “We just try and think of what are the flavours we want out of the beer rather than the ingredients, and we put down a baseline for what we want to brew and build the recipe backwards.”

The beer will only be around for a short time.

“We think it’s a pretty great beer although it has a lot of malty character to it,” Peiskar says. “It’s really crisp and dry and very drinkable so I’d say it shouldn’t be around for more than a couple of months.”

Bock Chain can be found at liquor stores around the city and at Last Best Brewing & Distilling at 607 11 Ave. S.W.

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