A MORAY craft brewer has flagged the importance of e-commerce activity in filling the gap arising from the “severe impact” of the coronavirus crisis on trade sales.

Kinloss-based WooHa Brewing Company flagged increased e-commerce sales as it announced the addition of “session pale ale” Hello Friday to its range of core bottled beers. WooHa plans to raise production by a factor of 17 over three years, expanding in-house brewing capacity from 5,000 hectolitres to 88,000 hectolitres by June 2023.

Also in WooHa’s core range are craft lager Northern Mischief, an IPA named Hop Pinata, porter Rauch N’Roll, and “Scotch ale” Rogue Clan.

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Asked about the effect of the Covid-19 crisis, a WooHa spokeswoman said: “Although there has been severe impact on trade sales, we have filled the gap with e-commerce sales.”

She noted five of the craft brewer’s 13 staff were currently furloughed.

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WooHa exports to Russia, Italy, and Sweden, and it supplies the US military. In the UK, it sells beer directly to consumers through its own website, and Amazon, as well as through trade outlets. The brewer, founded by chief executive Heather McDonald, flagged a rebranding of its product range, moving away from its “widely recognised cartoon cow imagery, while still paying homage to its Scottish provenance”.

WooHa's current 6.2-acre site gives it capacity for its planned increased production

The brewer’s exports account for 41 per cent of total sales so far in 2020. WooHa aims to increase exports to 70% of total sales as it builds its network of global distributors.