The following piece is from our sister publication, Germination.
Olds College Brewery has announced the launch of Barley Trail, the College’s first traceable beer using blockchain technology and barley grown on the Olds College Smart Farm.
The project, aptly named Field to Glass, was a collaborative effort between Decisive Farming, Grain Discovery, Red Shed Malting and the Olds College Smart Farm. Consumers can look forward to scanning the QR code found on every can to learn about the complete journey the ingredients took from the field into their glass.
“Through the use of Decisive Farming’s farm management technology — My Farm Manager and Croptivity — the entire process was monitored and recorded,” said Brianna Gratton, SmartAg Techgromist, Olds College. “This software was used by the Smart Farm team to track and record the process of growing barley from seeding, to processing at Red Shed Malting, to the final product being brewed and packaged at the on-campus Olds College Brewery.”
The farm management software, My Farm Manager and Croptivity, provide teams with the tools to manage field tasks and inventory, along with efficiently auto-capturing records. The use of variable rate technology — Optimize Rx-s and Rx-f — was also used, which helps to ensure the right amount of nutrients are applied at the ideal seeding rate.
Once the Olds College Smart Farm team harvested the barley, it was sent to longtime partner of Olds College — Red Shed Malting, for a three step process of steeping, germination and kiln. Upon completion of the malting process, the barley was transported back to the on-campus Olds College Brewery for brewing and packaging by brewery students and staff.
The variety used for brewing was CDC Copeland, developed by Bryan Harvey from the Crop Development Centre at the University of Saskatchewan. It was grown by Westway Farms of Didsbury, Alta., operated by seed grower Tom Hadway.
The final product — Barley Trail lager, a fully traceable beer packaged with a QR code created by Grain Discovery, that once scanned from a mobile device, provides consumers with a complete storyline of its journey from field to glass. View the storyline at fieldtoglass.ca.
“We are excited to offer a uniquely Canadian lager to our customers,” said David Claveau, General Manager, Olds College Brewery. “Barley Trail is the first Olds College Brewery beer to use blockchain technology. Our customers will be able to scan the QR code found on the label of every can revealing everything about the beer, from its ingredients to the brewing methods.”