Aussie blockchain startup BlockGrain to pilot barley-to-beer tracking

BlockGrain, an Australian agriculture and technology startup, is partnering with Mountain State Brewing Company, West Virginia’s largest and oldest brewery, to set up a pilot project to track where beer comes from using blockchain technology.

In a world’s first, the partnership will see the two companies working side by side to explore how blockchain can overcome the lack of transparency in the beer industry, allowing consumers to fully trace the product’s ingredients from the source through to the entire supply chain.

Blockchain is an emerging technology that allows for the recording and storing of millions of transactions in one single computer network. This means that each computer has an up to date record of each transaction that cannot be altered or deleted at any time, therefore empowering consumers all along the supply chain with data they can trust.

Brian Arnett, co-owner and co-founder of Mountain State Brewing Company, says consumers today increasingly want transparency and authenticity.

“As we reach a stage of excessive product proliferation, both consumers and manufacturers alike are looking for the next level of differentiation. In the case of the beer industry, we believe this can be achieved through secure ‘barley to beer’ traceability, allowing for single origin products to be adopted at mass scale.”

“Capturing and sharing this type of information with our customers will be key to the continued success of our business,” Mr Arnett added.

Pioneering companies have long realised the competitive advantage of open, transparent supply chains and sustainable manufacturing by opening up the supply chain and showcasing the people, places and processes behind products.

BlockGrain allows farmers to track their commodities from the paddock to manufacturers, such as malt houses and breweries, all the way to the end consumer. It also enables farmers to create, manage and track commodity contracts, including invoices, payments and inventory, in a single, mobile application.

Caile Ditterich, CEO of BlockGrain, said that this partnership was a strategic and natural decision for the company.

“BlockGrain was started by farmers and the technology we bring is for farmers. We’re committed to support any individual or company out there that is in the business of returning value to farmers and this is exactly what we saw in Mountain State Brewery Company.

“The team there is a great bunch of forward thinking individuals, who not only have a leading product in the market, but they are also not afraid to adopt technologies like blockchain to provide more value and get closer to their end customers.”

Willie Lehmann, Co-Owner & Co-Founder of Mountain State Brewing Company, added that the company has been a customer focused business since the very beginning.

“We would love to continue that tradition by utilising technology that will provide absolute transparency to customers by showing where every ingredient of the beer they drink comes from. We take pride in sourcing the best malt in the world, using water from the head of our watershed and we even grow some of our own hops and adjuncts. We are immensely proud of the work we do and we relish the opportunity to show our beer drinkers the work and ingredients that go into every can.”

The pilot will run for a month.


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