Beer O’Clock

1st August 2017


Vikking Ventures, the importer of Goa Premium Beer, has revealed that the recipe of its gluten-free craft beer has been tweaked, as it embarks on a consumer-lead push.


The announcement comes in the immediate wake of receiving a prestigious English Asian Business Award for ‘Best Marketed Business’ at a glittering ceremony held at the Mercure Manchester Piccadilly Hotel on 31st July.  Avocado Media, which also handles the marketing for the Asian Catering Federation and its Asian Curry Awards, ran the campaign.


Brewed by the family-run boutique Impala Distillery & Brewery in Goa, which was acquired in 2015 by Bollywood actor and film producer Sachiin Joshi, the beer is popular as an accompaniment to spicy foods.


Following consumer research as a stand-alone product, taste tested alongside leading premium pilsners, it was felt the formula needed to be enhance if it was to succeed in smart night clubs and style bars.


“We bought our head brewer a plane ticket and invited him to taste leading European pilsners,” said Viiking Ventures MD Ben Parmar. “Goan beers have a unique robust style, and are usually high strength, which can be something of an acquired taste for Western palates.”


Results from blind and open tastings are highly positive.


In blind tastings, with three other leading beers sold in Indian and Bangladeshi restaurants, Goa was the clear leader, being preferred by more than 50 per cent of the sample.  When presented with beers in branded glasses and informed that Goa Premium Beer was gluten-free and an authentic Indian import, rather than brewed in the UK under licence, that rating rose to 74%.


The brewer has switched from the use of a 6-row malt, to a finer 2-row which delivers a brighter colour, with improved clarity and more subtle taste. The strength remains at 4.8% ABV.


In this first phase of its introduction to the UK, the focus has been on direct sales to restaurants and retailers, whilst securing wholesale distribution channels.


The emphasis has been on supporting restaurants’ special events, charity fund raisers, gourmet dinners and the introduction of gluten free menus, with PR, social media support, point of sale materials, merchandising, competitions, waiter incentives and a unique Brand Ambassador scheme. A dedicated 10-strong field sales team has ensured rapid take up by restaurateurs and independent retails, with distribution through wholesalers including Booker and Makro.


The focus will now switch to a consumer awareness campaign through Avocado Media.  Restyled packaging has been introduced and restaurants will be equipped with a new branded glass with slimmer waist.