In 2012, British entrepreneurs Mark Roberts and Chris France abandoned their careers in marketing to pursue their passion for crafts and speciality beer. They dreamt of offering UK craft beer fans the unique opportunity to enjoy the very best beers from around the world, in the comfort of their own homes. Their fledgling online brand, Beer Hawk, quickly grew from strength to strength, stocking over 1,000 beers online. In February of 2016, following staggering year-on-year revenue increases of up to 110%, Beer Hawk was acquired by ZX Ventures, a subsidiary of the brewing giant Anheuser-Busch InBev.
Beer Hawk’s loyal customers are passionate about discovering their next favourite beer, while others want to purchase beer for birthdays, anniversaries, Father’s Day and Christmas. Key corporate partnerships with brands including Amazon, Moonpig.com and Not On the High Street, now make up a third of the company’s revenue. In the past year alone the website has seen over 150,000 transactions across both B2C and B2B. Beer Hawk’s Magento Open Source store was starting to feel the pressure. A side effect of the shop’s massive growth was its three million lines of code. “It had slowed the business down,” says Mark Roberts. Beer Hawk needed an e-commerce solution to increase stability, reduce technical debt and enable agile marketing.