You probably don’t think too hard about where your favorite spirits come from, or the intense level of craft it takes to produce the contents in each bottle. But every complex spirit has its own complex story—and the brains behind one ultra-premium tequila brand are aiming to tell theirs with the help of some ridiculously cool tech.
Patrón—fresh off its brand-new release of Extra Añejo, a blend aged for more than three years in small oak batches—has just launched an augmented reality (AR) platform designed to take you behind the scenes of its tequila production in Mexico’s Jaliscan Highlands, one of the best agave growing areas in the world thanks to its unique red soil and high level of acidity.
Upon downloading “The Patrón Experience” in the Apple App Store, you’ll see one Weber Blue Agave plant on your screen. (Per Mexican law, all tequila has to be made from this plant.) Then you’ll use your phone’s camera to focus on any nearby flat surface, where you can plant the agave in its “field.” Like magic, you’ll transform the surface into a vast agave field, with a model of the Hacienda Patrón—one of the most exclusive tequila trips in the world—gleaming in the distance.
From there, you can interact with virtual bartenders, who will explain tasting notes and the barrel-aging process for each bottle in Patrón’s core line. Though you can try the experience anytime, anywhere, it’s cooler with a glass of tequila in hand. (Isn’t everything?)
Patrón is the first spirits brand to experiment with AR, and wanted to time the app’s release around iOS 11’s ARKit. “We believe the new ARKit technology is going to change the way consumers use their mobile devices to learn more about their favorite drinks, places and beyond, and we’re proud to be the first spirits brand to help them to do that,” says Adrian Parker, VP of Marketing for Patrón.
Besides, Parker says, the company constantly needs to adapt in order to stand out from the pack. “Tequila drinkers are becoming savvier every day,” he says. “We developed this augmented reality experience to not only create a virtual sense of place for where Patrón is made, but also give drinkers access to an experience that differentiates our tequilas.”