Galway Hooker brewery was established in 2006 as an independent brewery in Ireland. The brewery is Ireland's third oldest independent brewery and Connacht's oldest brewery. The brewery based in Oranmore, Co. Galway is located in the West coast of Ireland, surrounded by the Wild Atlantic Way. Galway Hooker is a pioneer in the modern craft beer movement, with Irish Pale Ale being it's most sought after product. The beer, “Galway Hooker”, is named after the iconic sailing boats that were used to navigate the wild North Atlantic Ocean.
The beers are made by the artisans, by combing the finest ingredients along with the traditional brewing techniques. The beer is renowned for its high quality and preservation free ingredients with a key focus on brewing fully flavored beers naturally. Only four ingredients- malt, hops, yeast and water are used in producing the beer. The beer has also won many awards for its various products. The “Galway Hooker” beer is available in bottles of 500ml and as draft.
One of the first important steps for the Irish microbrewery revolution came in 2005, when Finance Minister Brian Cowen introduced a 50% reduction on the excise duty, thus helping a struggling beer industry in its revival. Many key players emerged in the Irish microbrewery. “Galway Hooker established as the first of the second wave of craft beers, and many others followed such as Trouble Brewing (Kill Co.), Eight Degrees Brewing (Mitchelstown, Co. Cork) etc. “.
Galway Hooker Brewery was started by 2 cousins, Aidan Murphy and Ronan Brenan. Aidan holds a master's degree in Brewing and Distilling and has worked in several breweries around the world. He has a work experience of more than ten years in the brewing industry. Ronan is mainly into customer focus and has wide knowledge of beers. Galway Hooker was the first permanent “pale ale” to be produced in Ireland and is also regarded as the leading light in the Irish craft beer sector.
The beer industry consists of the following components: brewing, transportation, distribution and advertisement. Brewing is the most important part of beer making as in this stage the product is actually made.
The Galway Hooker Brewery consists of six employees. The overall in charge of the production, marketing and distribution is taken up by the CEO, Aidan Murphy. The major suppliers for the Galway Hooker beer are the restaurants, pubs and bars in Dublin.
The beer industry is a very important global business with the annual revenues of $294.5 billion. Several countries consume a large amount of alcohol each year. The most widely consumed alcoholic beverage is in the world is “beer”. Beer is also the third most popular beverage after water and tea.
Irish craft beer now holds a 3% of market share in the beer industry. The no: of craft breweries in Ireland has increased by 500% in the last 5 years. In 2012, the market share for the consumption of craft beer was 0.6% while in 2017 it was 3.0%. Demand for craft beer is constantly rising by the customer preference for premium products made by artisans.
The major target audience of Galway Hooker beer is the young market from 20 years and above. It also is popular among the older generations and the Millennials. The primary location that Galway Hooker beer target is the urban areas of Dublin.
The different products offered in Galway Hooker are:
a. Galway Hooker Irish Pale Ale – The original and first Irish Pale Ale (ALC 4.3% VOL.)
2018 World Beer Awards Ireland – Winner (Category - Pale Beer, Style – English-style Pale Ale)
The Irish Food Awards 2014 - Gold
b. Galway Hooker Amber Larger – (ALC 4.3% VOL.)
2017, 2018 World Beer Awards Ireland – Winner (Category- Larger, Style – Vienna Amber)
The Irish Food Awards 2016 - Gold
c. Galway Hooker Irish Stout – (ALC 4.5% VOL.)
The Irish Food Awards 2015 – Gold
2017 World Beer Awards Ireland – Silver (Category – Stout and Porter, Style – Stout)
d. Galway Hooker 60 Knots India Pale Ale – (ALC. 5.5% VOL.)
2017 World Beer Awards Ireland – Silver (Category – Pale Beer, Style – IPA)
e. Galway Hooker Double IPA – (ALC. 8.6% VOL.)
f. Galway Hooker Honey Beer
The company also offers merchandises such as T-shirt, Hoodies and Base Ball caps which can be shipped both in Ireland and internationally.
The key competitors of the Galway Hooker beer are the multinationals such as Hop house 13 selling crafty beers (i.e. not genuine craft beers). Other competitors include the O'haras, Bru, Wicklow wolf, Dublin Blonde and Dublin Red. The competitors have better marketing strategy to segment the target audience. The lack of loyalty of the suppliers affects the sales of the Galway Hooker Beer. The product is not widely distinguishable from the other craft beers in the market.
The key threats to the craft beer industry are the excise rates charged by the government and the licensing issues. The tax on beer is €22.55 per hectoliter per cent of alcohol in the beer. In 2017, the excise rate on beer in Ireland was the second highest in the European Union. The expensive licensing laws are harming the Irish microbrewers.
Role of Social Media
Social media plays a key role in the craft beer industry. They are popular among breweries because of the low cost, direct interaction with the consumers, authenticity and affordable marketing. Facebook, Instagram and Twitter have played an important role in developing public relation campaigns, promote contests, giveaways and sponsored events. Message boards and blogs maintained by craft beer enthusiasts have greatly helped in the development of the craft beer culture. Many small craft breweries raise awareness among its international customers through the social media. Even the large players in the beer industry such as Heineken, Bud Light, Guinness, Coors Light etc. use social media for paid marketing.
Studies have shown that 63% of Millennials gets updated about the different beer brands via the social media. 46% of Millennials use social media to make purchase decisions and 84% rely on the user generated content to solidify brand trust. Social media have a firm grasp on consumer demographics but at the end of the day the product should speak for itself.
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