Solana Now Has a Beer—With DeGods, Okay Bears and Other NFTs on the Can


In brief

Solana Summer Shandy is a new beer from barrelDAO, a community-governed brewery.
The cans feature imagery from numerous Solana NFT projects, and the packs are sold through redeemable NFTs.

There’s a Solana smartphone, and a Solana IRL store—and now a Solana beer.

Solana Summer Shandy just dropped today, but unlike the recently-opened store and upcoming smartphone project, this alcoholic lemonade shandy beverage doesn’t hail from the Solana Foundation or its core network contributors, Solana Labs.

Instead, the beer is the creation of barrelDAO, a brewery and distillery that is governed by users. Solana Summer Shandy is being released in limited quantities: just 333 total 16-packs of beer, each represented by a Solana NFT that can be purchased today and then redeemed starting Monday to receive the beer.

BarrelDAO intended to launch the sale earlier this afternoon on the top Solana NFT marketplace, Magic Eden, but as of publication was apparently still sorting through issues with the drop. Each 16-pack sells for 1.35 SOL, or nearly $45 at present, and that price includes shipping to the United States, United Kingdom, and Australia.

And the beer represents Solana in more than just name and redemption tokens: the cans are also plastered with original artwork by Mark Lauthier, featuring references to a wide array of Solana-based NFT projects, along with specific avatars within those collections.

Solana Summer Shandy from barrelDAO. Image: barrelDAO

Look closely and you’ll find imagery and other references to popular Solana NFT projects like DeGods, Degenerate Ape Academy, Okay Bears, Solana Monkey Business, Thugbirdz, Cets on Creck, Catalina Whale Mixer, and John Lê’s “The First Edition.”

Dave Goldman, co-founder and CEO of Barrel Labs, told Decrypt that barrelDAO itself owns about 20 of the individual NFTs that are referenced on the cans, while 23 of them appear via licensing agreements reached with the holders of the individual NFTs.

An NFT is a blockchain token that represents ownership in an item, such as digital artwork, collectibles, and video game items. They can also be used as an access pass to an event or community, or redeemed for goods. The NFT market surged in 2021, generating $25 billion worth of trading volume.

Many NFT projects allow holders to commercialize their owned artwork and use it to create their own derivative artwork, products, and other projects. The Ethereum-based Bored Ape Yacht Club is the best-known example, and holders have used their Apes for things like restaurants, candy, alcohol and marijuana packaging, virtual bands, and plenty more.

“Over the past three days, we painstakingly went through and licensed every single NFT used in this can design,” Goldman said Thursday. “We knew that this could kick off a big conversation about IP in the NFT space, and wanted to be sure that we set a standard for other [consumer packaged goods] brands to follow.”

There’s already a conversation—and some debate—over the use of IP rights around NFTs. Yuga Labs has inspired countless other NFT projects with its permissive Bored Ape license, but there’s some question over whether current rights grants are effectively transferring IP rights to holders, including whether they’d hold up in a court of law.

Just last week, crypto investment firm Galaxy Digital released a research report suggesting that the Bored Apes license in particular contains contradictions about IP ownership. It also alleges that Yuga Labs and Moonbirds creator Proof are among the Web3 builders that have “misled” NFT owners about the extent of IP rights they have.

It’s relatively early days for figuring out the legalities for IP rights around NFTs, but that debate and confusion didn’t stop a bunch of NFT owners from offering their avatars for the Solana Summer Shandy release. And it’s a conversation that could go smoother with a frosty beverage in hand.

Pseudonymous Solana NFT collector Topo Gigio tweeted about having their NFT from the Boogle project included. “When barrelDAO reached out to use my Boogle on the beer art for their upcoming release ‘Solana Summer Shandy,’ I was PUMPED to be a part of it,” they wrote.

In addition to launching NFT tokens to redeem for real beer, barrelDAO is also selling NFT versions of the digital artwork. Each edition of the artwork will sell for 0.69 SOL (about $23) and provide holders as-yet-unspecified benefits around future barrelDAO product releases.

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