TEDx Glasgow Highlight– The Scottish Beer That Aims to Save the World

31 May 2018

For many brewers around the world, creating a delicious beer is the ultimate goal – but not Brewgooder.

Sure, this Scottish craft beer company wants to produce the perfect craft lager, but they also want to bring one million people clean and safe drinking water.

Brewgooder founder, Alan Mahon, will be taking to the stage at this year’s TEDx event in Glasgow, which is celebrating its 6th year. He’ll be sharing the story of his company, how he came across the idea and also what the future holds for other social enterprises. In anticipation of this, we wanted to provide a little insight into Brewgooder’s amazing story.

Charitable beginnings

So what’s the connection between beer and water – besides the obvious? Well, the incredible thing about Brewgooder is that they donate 100% of profits from their craft beer sales to clean water charities in some of the poorest parts of the world. They do this in part thanks to the help of Scottish brewing legends, Brewdog, who brew their beer at zero margin, allowing them to maximise the amount of money that helps those in need get access to safe drinking water.

The company launched on World Water Day in 2016, a day for the global community to come together to highlight the importance of freshwater. Since then, They’ve helped to fund 60 projects for over 40,000 and want to push this number up to 100,000 by 2019.

The facts are stark – a massive 844 million people around the world do not have access to a clean water supply, and every minute a new-born child dies from infection caused by lack of safe water and an unclean environment.

That 844 million figure felt a lot closer to home for Alan Mahon after catching a waterborne parasite during a trip to Nepal. Luckily for him, he was able to gain access to the medicine he needed to heal quickly, but he also realised at the same time that many people aren’t that lucky. In some parts of the world, it is a sad truth that just drinking a glass of water means taking a serious risk with your health every single day.

Social Enterprise

At the TEDx Glasgow event, Alan will be talking about the growing movement of ‘altruistic consumerism’ – how people can change the world by changing their everyday spending habits. His mission is to bring social enterprise brands into the mainstream, and if Brewgooder’s success is any indication, people are starting to embrace companies that care about more than their bottom line.

Brewgooder became the first social enterprise brand to gain a national listing with Asda in October 2016, just three months after launching their Clean Water Lager with a successful £60,000 crowd fund. Now it’s stocked by over 1,000 shops across the UK and is still continuing to grow. The incredible growth of Brewgooder means that not only do people love a good craft beer, but they love supporting a good cause. 

Alan’s support for social enterprises goes far beyond his work at Brewgooder. He was also involved with the growth of Social Bite, another of Scotland’s incredibly successful social enterprises. Social Bite and its founder Josh Littlejohn is dedicated to the cause of ending homelessness in Scotland and the chain of high street sandwich shops and restaurants employs, trains and houses some of Scotland’s most vulnerable people.

He has also supported Sleep in the Park, which raised an incredible £4 million and released 500 houses for rough sleepers in Scotland at the end of 2017. Alan is relentless in the pursuit of his goal – to show people how the power of choice can be harnessed to democratise philanthropy by making everyday consumption habits acts of charity.

Alan believes that drinking good beer can help make the world a better place – and who are we to argue? Grab a beer with a friend, help people in the developing world get access to the clean drinking water that they need. We’ll drink to that.

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