Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, The White Hag Irish brewing company will be the first in the world to hold an online-only launch for their newest beer, Phantom IPA.
With pubs around the country closed, the drinks sector has seen an unprecedented drop-off in trade. With their newest IPA almost ready to go, the team at The White Hag brewery in Sligo realised that it would be poured straight down the drain if they couldn't figure out an innovative way to launch and sell the "golden and hazy, juicy tropical" IPA remotely.
The beer, which was brewed mid-February, was originally set to launch after The White Hag's Europe-wide St Patrick's Day tour to over 80 bars, which was cancelled once the pandemic escalated. There are now no bars open to host the launch, so the brewery quickly turned digital in order to do it themselves.
The beer was carbonated today, March 18th, and will be canned tomorrow live on camera for fans to tune in and observe. While they await the delivery of their beer, customers can enjoy an online tasting with master brewer Joe Kearns.
What can we do?
Speaking about the digital launch, commercial director Bob Coggins told us that the business was aware that it has to adapt to survive these strange times.
"We have to adapt and change how we do business to ensure we keep our business and brand alive. We believe this to be the first time any brewery has had to resort to these measures to launch a beer. We are lucky to have a loyal and supportive fanbase, who also support the independent retailers who stock our beer online and around the country," Bob told us. "Our sales online are 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"
When asked how we could support the brewery during this trying time, Bob told us that the best thing we can do is order online
"We'd love to see customers order online, send a box to friends for birthdays and other occasions, and follow us on @thewhitehag for all our news and updates."
This is hoppy IPA, which has a lower ABV than many others, tastes of tropical stone fruits, and can now be purchased online on The White Hag website, as well as other online retailers around the country. If you buy from the brewery's own website, you can purchase 24 330ml cans for €60, which includes free postage, packaging and next day delivery. The White Hag beers can also be shipped internationally through Craft Central.