White Hag has responded to the quickly-changing hospitality landscape by launching a brand new beer exclusively online, including pre-sales, orders, delivery and guided tasting by the master brewer.
The beer, a Hazy IPA titled ‘Phantom’, was brewed in mid-February to launch just after the brewery’s Europewide St Patricks Day tour.
However this tour of over 80 bars was cancelled due to the Coronavirus outbreak.
With no bars open to host the beer launch the brewery team are determined to get the beer to Irish and international beer fans and so is using a combination of facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Eventbrite to bring the beer to its fanbase.
The beer, carbonated on Wednesday 18th March, was canned live on camera on Thursday 19th. Cans were filmed being filled, packed into boxes and shipped to waiting customers. Sales are via pre-order on The White Hag’s own website and via other off-licence retailers around the country who also sell beer online.
When the beers are delivered to awaiting customers on today and tomorrow the brewery will livestream an online tasting hosted by Master Brewer Joe Kearns for the benefit of those who purchased the beers online.
“These are extraordinary times and we have to adapt and change how we do business to ensure we keep our business and brand alive,” said Commercial Director Bob Coggins, “We believe this to be the first time any brewery has had to resort to these measures to launch a beer.
“We’re lucky to have a loyal and supportive fanbase who also support the independent retailers who stock our beer online and around the country.
“Our sales online is necessary to serve the customers who we otherwise cannot reach with our limited traditional retail reach.
“This type of innovation will hopefully save jobs and ultimately our business and we need to act quickly to influence our customers buying behaviour.”
The White Hag sells boxes of 24 x 330ml cans from its website for €60 with free postage and packaging, next day delivery.
Launched in 2014 the craft brewery produced 4,800 hectolitres of beer in 2019. Based in Ballymote, Co Sligo, it has been awarded Irish Craft Brewery of the Year, Best New Brewery and several ‘best beer’ awards and it distributes in over eight international markets.