The training center, called Granja Comary, is considered sacred
ground to Brazilian soccer fans, and one of the two iconic symbols
of Brazilian soccer, along with Rio de Janeiro's Maracana stadium,
he said. That inspired the idea of making beer from ingredients
sown on the field where Brazil grew more World Cup-winning
teams—five--than any other country. It's usually not
available for growing a crop of barley, but in a stroke of luck the
Brazilian Soccer Confederation was remodeling its headquarters at
the Granja Comary, and the training center wasn't being used during
"Good ideas have an ingredient of luck," Mr. Gordilho said.
After Africa Lab, the agency's innovation and product
development unit, came up with the idea, A-B InBev's agronomists
and brewers spent two months preparing the soil, which was ideal
for growing grass, to instead raise a crop of barley. Then the soil
was planted with barley, and harvested.
Luiz Felipe Scolari, the Brazilian soccer team's famous coach
who is also known as Big Phil, took a personal interest in the
project, and the fixed camera that recorded the barley growing
captured plenty of images of Big Phil checking out the growing
"That's priceless," Mr. Gordilho said.
As the brand's ambassador, Mr. Scolari's signature will appear
on all the bottles.
The name Brahma Selecao Especial comes from the name in
Portuguese, Selecao Brasileira, for the Brazilian national soccer
team that competes in international events like the World Cup.