Google has dabbled in cell phones, games, and social networking. Now, the Internet search leader is trying its hand at beer.
You read that right. Google has launched its first beer, partnering with Delaware-based beer maker Dogfish Head to create a one-of-a-kind brew based on the ingredient recommendations from Googlers around the world.
Why, you ask?
In a brilliant marketing move for both Google and Dogfish Head, a 13-minute YouTube video not only explains the process of bringing a new beer to life, it also shows how several Google products were used to do so, including Google Sites, Moderator, Hangouts, Docs, and Apps.
Dogfish Head founder and president Sam Calagione says the limited edition brew -- called Urkontinent -- was named after the thinking that the shapes of the continents can be fit together like puzzle pieces. "It’s what Google does every day -- take a fractured world of information and put it into something cohesive and whole," he says.
And it has quite a kick -- the beer has almost twice the alcohol content of typical beer.
Google received more than 100 ingredient ideas from Google offices around the world. The final recipe for the Belgian Dubbel style beer includes things like wattleseed from Australia, amaranth from South America, green roobios tea from Africa, Myrica Gale from Europe and even Google Honey, which comes from Mountain View, California, where the company keeps bees at its headquarters.
Urkontinent went on tap Sept. 27 at the Dogfish Head Brewings & Eats pub in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, and will be packaged for full distribution in the coming months in quantities depending on how people like it.
Check out the video, which is an interesting tutorial on not only how Google products can help bring a beer to life, but on the beer making process itself. Google employees not only had a hand in creating a website, compiling ingredient suggestions for Dogfish Head and bringing parties together with Hangouts, they also got to be involved in physically creating the first batch of the specialty beer.
"I’ve done a lot of things since I’ve been at Google, but this is without a doubt the most fun, most Googlie experience, and frankly a beer lover’s dream, so cheers to Urkontinent," says Adam Lutz, Google facitilities manager.
Update, 11:22 a.m.: While I believe I made it clear that Google's collaboration with Dogfish Head was a marketing gimmick to promote the many Google products used throughout the course of the beer project, a Google spokesperson contacted me after this story posted with this message: "We encourage our employees to pursue their interests -- whether they are training for a marathon, inviting their favorite author to speak, or creating the perfect cafe latte. Similarly, the project with Dogfish Head brewery was a Googler-driven project organized by a group of craftbrewery aficionados across the company. While our Googlers had fun advising on the creation of a beer recipe, we aren't receiving any proceeds from the sale of the beer and we have no plans to enter the beer business." --CD