National Geographic gets 'wild' with Heineken in branded minidoc for H41 lager

NatGeo and Heineken produced A Wild Yeast Story, a branded mini-doc focused on the discovery of its limited edition lager H41 / National Geographic

National Geographic and Heineken have introduced 'A Wild Lager Story,' a branded content partnership created to reveal the origins of its latest brew: H41 Wild Lager.

The lager, a limited-edition beer created by Heineken’s master brewers, was made from a rare wild yeast discovered in Patagonia in 2010, and named for the coordinates at which it was discovered: 41° South and 71° West.

NatGeo documented the journey on a trek to Patagonia with Heineken, retracing the footsteps of master brewer Willem van Waesberghe and Ipatec biologist Diego Libkind, who discovered the ‘mother yeast’ behind the beer.

Libkind said of having the story brought to life: “In all my initial conversations with Heineken, it was apparent that they wanted to keep the story as real as possible – something that was very important to me as well. I knew that Heineken was not just interested in the yeast, but in the story behind it and its Patagonian heritage. I’m thrilled that people everywhere can now experience this story in a new way with National Geographic.”

The branded content partnership centered around a three-minute mini documentary and various social, digital and linear edits that depict different parts of the story – each crafted for the platform they’re running on. The mini documentary is housed on a branded article page that highlights the story.

Brendan Ripp, executive vice president of sales and partnership said: “Just as we do at National Geographic, we see that Heineken places a high value on exploration, science and storytelling. We’re thrilled that this partnership and our connection to the world’s top storytellers and filmmakers has helped Heineken chronicle Dr. Libkind’s discovery and the brewing trial-and-error of their new Wild Lager series.”

Heineken brand manager Raul Esquer added: “Heineken is meticulous about our brewing process. We take a scientific approach to getting it just right, spending years exploring ingredients and perfecting the brewing process. In partnering with National Geographic, we saw an opportunity to pair our ability to craft beer with their ability to craft stories to not only drive consumption of H41 but ignite consumers’ curiosity to learn more about Heineken’s passion for brewing.”

This marks one of NatGeo's more notable branded content experiences, following work it did with Nike last year to promote the apparel maker's chase for a two-hour marathon. The company also recently spoke to The Drum about its social presence and how it utilizes content from over 140 photographers to help build its 90-plus million following on Instagram.

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