Ask people where their Budweiser comes from and you’ll probably get a lot of different answers - and they all could be right. The fact is beer is a natural product and to enjoy it at its freshest, it’s mostly brewed not far from where it’s consumed. The majority of AB InBev beers are made with locally sourced ingredients and water, by local people, at breweries that are the pride of their communities. In short, beer is about as homegrown as a beverage can be.
Local crops and tastes have led innovation in beer for centuries. Be it Eagle Lager, a Ugandan favorite made with sorghum, or a new craft seasonal brew from Argentina’s Andes Origen featuring ‘mountain honey’ from native bees, there are thousands of examples. And the practice continues yet today as seen here by some of our newest, oldest and most unique brands.
Since late last year, HANMAC has been making headlines in South Korea as OBC’s (Oriental Brewery) first beer crafted with Korean rice. The signature ingredient is sourced from local farmers and made by our OBC brewers who developed the crisp and flavorful “K-Lager” to suit Korean tastes. In just a few months it’s proven to be satisfying to even the most discerning of palates; HANMAC was just awarded the top honor for lager beers at the 2021 South Korea Liquor Awards.
Leffe, our 781 year-old maker of abbey beers, is using 21st century tech to show people just how local their brews are. In select European markets we are adding a QR code to Leffe packaging that allows consumers to view the farm where the barley in their beer was grown, reaped and malted, letting people see the origin of their beer unlike ever before.
The QR code is part of a larger blockchain-enabled project with our partners Fujitsu and SettleMint, that’s improving transparency in our supply chain to ensure the quality and security of our locally sourced ingredients. It also will allow AB InBev to work with suppliers going forward to help improve farmers’ use of natural resources, crop yields and livelihoods.
Going one step further, in some communities AB InBev brands are creating a market for local ingredients to help boost the local economy. In Brazil, our brewer, Ambev, joined with community organizations and governments in 2018 to build local farm networks in four states suffering from high unemployment.
Thousands of workers now help grow cassava, a tuberous root native to the area, for four unique beer brands, each brewed and sold by Ambev within its respective state. The Nossa beer brand is made in Pernambuco, Legitima in Ceará, Magnífica in Maranhão and Esmera in Goiás. The inventive project has injected more than $1.25 USD million into the local economy, is creating jobs, improving local agriculture and giving residents of northeast Brazil one more reason to enjoy a delicious, homegrown brew.
In many countries like Uganda and Brazil our local sourcing is supported by our own agronomy and research teams who work with farmers to build resilient supply chains as a part of our Smart Agriculture Goal.