As the sun burned unfamiliarly bright here in Edinburgh the other day, we were delighted to meet with Alan Mahon, the founder of Brewgooder, for a chat about their flagship beer Clean Water Lager which is in your boxes this month. Brewgooder is founded on two principles – to brew good and to do good. The ‘brew good’ part is fulfilled by their partnership with Brewdog, in whose facilities they’ve made their first beer – a refreshing session lager. The ‘do good’? Well, Brewgooder donates 100% of its profits to clean water charities. So you can enjoy a delicious beer whilst safe in the knowledge that your actions are directly helping someone else access this basic human right. We asked Alan how he came up with such a brilliant idea…
AM: The idea spawned from a real love of craft beer. I enjoyed drinking it, exploring different breweries, different styles, learning about all the different things that were going on in the industry and sharing it with the friends. Married with my career in social enterprise and running and launching social businesses – I thought there was a real opportunity to make a difference by doing what I already loved doing – drinking craft beer – and bringing this idea to people so that they could do the same. Allowing them to do something charitable, whilst doing something they enjoyed.
B52: You’ve created a delicious session lager and your giving 100% of the profits away to clean water charities – where is the balance within that for between good beer and doing good?
AM: Good beer is the most important thing. If you don’t have good beer then you’ll not make the impact – also if you don’t have good beer then what are you doing? The industry is far too good, it would spot a fake, gimmicky beer from a mile away. If you have a good beer then people will want to drink it and you make more sales – if you make more sales you make more profit – if you make more profit you make more impact on the clean water initiatives. It’s as simple as that. Without good beer, we are nothing.
B52: Yourself and co-founder Josh Littlejohn have a very strong background in business with the Scottish Business Awards and Social Bite – do you think it’s important to be good at business to do well in the UK craft beer industry?
AM: I think primarily you have to be good at the beer side of things and thats why we’ve worked with Brewdog; to get the initial scale. Those guys have proved time and time again by defying conventions within business that to be successful, to be thriving, to grow – being good at business is part of that. If you create a business where the brewer is shit hot, the accounts team is shit hot, where everybody is good at their job but they also have a passion to make great beer and have it sold all over the world – then that will build a great business and attract people who are are great at business to make it happen.
B52: You’ve had the UK release in Brewdog bars and all your crowdfund backers have been delivered their beer, what do you see as the merits of getting Clean Water Lager into Beer52 boxes?
AM: I think that Beer52 is a prime example of people who love beer and want to explore it in all it’s different varieties. And that spawns from what you guys do in terms of curating and bringing these beers to your members – because of the amount of breweries almost outstrips the amount of places you can buy the beer. So I think what you guys do is very important in highlighting great beer to people and get them tasting different styles and variations. Also its important to get out to as many people as possible and there is a huge, growing market for craft beer. For our cans to be available in Edinburgh or Scotland is one thing – but that doesn’t mean that people in Essex or Cornwall or the North of England have access to it and I think Beer52 allows people across the UK to access beers that otherwise they might not be able to find. Soon that will give us the validation we need to be able to bring it to the wider market.
B52: After a fast moving first 6 months for Brewgooder, what do you see as the next step?
AM: Just concentrating on digging wells – we need to step up and start making a difference. But also I’m keen to see us make an IPA, an APA and a Stout. They are the popular styles and styles that people can connect with, especially the hoppier varieties. So the next 6 months will see us consolidate how we approach that and continue to bring better beer to more and more people across the UK and hopefully beyond.
You can find Clean Water Lager in your Beer52 box this month and also follow updates of Brewgooder’s mission by following them on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Thanks to the guys at Thirst for providing the awesome photography.