Popular beer brand Budweiser was a surprising entrant to the NFT space in August, when it purchased a Bud-themed piece from Tom Sachs’ Rocket Factory collection and used it for the brand’s official Twitter page. Now Budweiser is launching its own NFTs, and they’ll be an entry pass to the company’s larger ambitions in the crypto space.
Today, Budweiser will release its first series of NFTs, dubbed Budverse Cans: Heritage Edition. The series will span 1,936 individual NFT collectibles, referencing the year the company first started releasing beer in cans. Each NFT will feature elements of classic photos, ads, and design documents charting the history of the brand.
Furthermore, each NFT will bring as-yet-unannounced perks to holders. “These NFTs will act as your key to the Budverse and can unlock exclusive benefits, rewards, and surprises,” the brand announced on its official Discord server, noting that such benefits are strictly for owners of legal drinking age.
Today @ 1 PM EST pic.twitter.com/cUrvDyFiAA
— beer.eth (@budweiserusa) November 29, 2021
The Budverse Cans will be sold at two rarity levels, with Core Cans available for $499 apiece and Gold Cans selling for $999 each. The company has confirmed that the NFTs will be minted on the Ethereum network and sold on leading NFT marketplace OpenSea. In an interesting twist, however, Budweiser will mint the NFTs themselves before distributing them to buyers, thereby covering the transaction fees which can often be very expensive on Ethereum.
An NFT acts like a cryptographic receipt for a provably scarce digital item, and can be used for things like digital illustrations, video files, trading cards, and more. The NFT industry exploded in 2021, reaching $10.67 billion in trading volume in Q3 alone.
NFTs are seen as a key building block for the future metaverse, a vision of an evolved internet in which people interact using 3D avatars in shared, immersive spaces. Facebook is betting big on the metaverse, for example, recently rebranding its parent company Meta. Budweiser may also have metaverse ambitions, if the “Budverse” branding here is any indication.
Budweiser, which is owned by Anheuser-Busch, has also changed its Twitter name to “beer.eth.” The firm purchased that Ethereum Name Service (ENS) name back in August, alongside the Rocket Factory NFT. An ENS name is used to point to an Ethereum wallet, much in the way that a domain name or URL points to a website.
However, Budweiser quickly discovered the downside of revealing a public Ethereum wallet address to the world. Within hours of posting its Rocket Factory NFT in August, its wallet was bombarded with unsolicited NFTs sent by an array of other collectors, including multiple penis-themed collectibles.
Editor's note: This story was updated after publication to include additional details regarding Budweiser's NFT minting and distribution process.