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Virtual Brewing: the future of beer online?

Ever thought that an online beer order didn’t match up to its description? Well, an entirely novel concept has just been announced by Best of British Beer, that aims to put all of the decisions about how a beer will taste in the hands of web users.

“Virtual brewing” promises visitors the chance to define their own craft beer, in exchange for a membership investment of £10.

This move is seen as an opportunity to take advantage of the resurgence of microwbrewing in the UK, increasingly beer drinkers want something that tastes unique.

When the beers are produced, they will be labelled featuring the name of every person who became a member and bought a share, before being sold via the Best of British Beer website.

“There is currently a huge resurgence in the world of micro-brewed beers and the UK boasts over 1000 privately owned breweries – the highest level since World War II,” says Will Sherwin, Managing Director of Best of British Beer.

Beer by the people, for the people

“There is a trend for people turning their backs on bland, mass-produced imported lagers in favour of more local ales with quality ingredients made in the traditional way. To go one step further and be a part of the brewing process will definitely appeal to the discerning customer.

“Ultimately we want to produce a beer than can be entered into beer festival competitions and hopefully be recognised as an award winner.”

Will is enthused by offering BoB’s customers the chance to become virtual brewers and thinks the company’s loyal customer base and prospective purchasers will be excited by the idea too.

“We’ve had the idea of ‘a beer brewed by the people, for the people’ bouncing around inside our heads for a long time now, and as soon as we knew Ian and Viv from Lymestone were keen to get involved, we just had to get cracking,” he added. “We’re giving people the opportunity to choose the beer’s colour, strength, style, flavour and name. Even decisions such as label design will be made weekly via our website.”

Already the Pro-Am virtual brewery idea is inspiring new ideas about how beer can be produced and consumed. Some drinkers are even proposing a new model of retail, where they pay a brewer to produce their beer and a pub to ‘host’ the barrels. In this way, some believe that when they visit the pub, they are drinking their own property and could therefore be exempt from taxes. 

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