Scottish Courage is fitting intelligent radio frequency tags to two million beer kegs over the next year, in the first large-scale implementation of the technology.
Trials have shown that the system can help the brewery to dramatically reduce the proportion of beer kegs that are stolen, go missing or are illegally re-sold.
The brewing industry estimates it loses about 300,000 kegs a year at a cost of £12m.
The project will be watched carefully by other manufacturers and retailers who are also keen to use intelligent tagging technology to cut their supply chain costs.
Scottish Courage will use the tags to record a variety of details such as the keg's weight, maintenance history and contents. Dreymen will use hand-held devices to take an accurate record of which kegs have been delivered to which pub, and will feed the results directly into Scottish Courage's enterprise resource planning system.
"We know where every single keg is going. We can identify customers who have a record of not returning the containers and chase them up," said Graham Miller, logistics director.
Retailers Sainsbury's and Woolworths are also carrying out trails of the technology.