Even Heineken thinks its new metaverse ‘beer’ is a dumb publicity stunt

Heineken wants to have its metaverse beer and drink it, too.

The brewer is the latest company, and second beer manufacturer, to jump on the metaverse bandwagon with its Thursday release of Heineken Silver — a “virtual beer” that the company insists is, yes, as dumb as it sounds. For starters, Heineken is quick to let everyone know, you definitely can’t drink whatever this new thing is.

“Our virtual beer is made only from the freshest pixels: no malt, no hops, no yeast, no water, and also, no beer,” the company explains. “The result? An unusual & inaccessible premium lager with a tech and meta finish that no one can enjoy.”

In fact, you can’t do much of anything of substance at the company’s new digital brewery located in Decentraland, also unveiled Thursday, other than wander around and watch a boring executive talk. But you can, with the help of Heineken’s marketing department, snap and then share some screenshots with (wink wink, nudge nudge) the “cool and relevant hashtag: #awesomeheinekenmarketingstunt”

Screenshot of interior of Heineken's Dencentraland "brewery" depicting a cartoon man juggling a beer can like a soccer ball.

How do you do, fellow metaverse kids? Credit: Screenshot: Deventraland

Lest metaverse diehards miss Heineken’s knowing self-effacement, Bram Westenbrink, the global head of Heineken brand, is here to redirect their attention.

“Our new virtual beer, Heineken Silver, is an ironic joke,” Westenbrink is quoted as saying in a Heineken press release. “It is a self-aware idea that pokes fun at us and many other brands that are jumping into the metaverse with products that are best enjoyed in the real world.”

Maybe unlike real beer, consumption of the virtual Heineken Silver leads to improved judgement — at least when it comes to how seriously we should take buzzword-heavy Next Big Things like the metaverse.

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