In a self-mocking metaverse ‘joke,’ Heineken unveils a virtual beverage.

Image credit: BBC

A brewer has constructed a virtual beer to demonstrate the lengths to which companies would go to have a piece of the next big thing: the metaverse.

Heineken staged a simulated launch to promote the “product,” which one participant characterised as “surreal.”

Although the metaverse does not yet exist, many individuals anticipate that in the future, people will spend their time in interconnected virtual worlds accessed by a VR headset.

According to the company, it was an ironic joke that pokes fun at us and other brands.”

The simulated launch, which was attended by actual media, took place in a virtual brewery in Decentraland, a user-owned virtual environment.

The beer was produced with “binary-coded hops grown by NPC (non-player character) farmers,” according to the description.

“We realise that the metaverse brings people together in a light-hearted and immersive way, but it’s just not the best location to taste a new beer,” Bram Westenbrink, the company’s global head of brand, said.

The narrator states, “Our new virtual beer is an ironic joke.” It’s a self-aware notion that mocks us and a plethora of other companies that are playing in the metaverse with real-world objects.”

When Facebook relaunched as Meta in October of last year, Mark Zuckerberg described his vision of interconnected virtual worlds where people could work and play. The metaverse gained traction.

Brands are increasingly investing in virtual worlds and merchandise.

Nike paid an unknown sum in December for virtual shoe developer RTFKT, claiming it would help them “assist athletes and creators at the nexus of sport, creativity, gaming, and culture.”

JP Morgan Chase, which recently constructed a virtual nightclub in Decentraland, predicted that the metaverse would become a trillion-dollar industry.

The experience was “surreal,” according to Tom Fiske, editor of Immersive Wire, who was there for the Heineken launch.

I began by speaking with the bouncer, who asked for my age. Then I went into the corridor, “he explained. “There was a variety of interactive objects, including a sampling card,” says the author.