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How Brewgooder are using beer to change a million lives

  • Episode 11 - 00hr 58mins
  • October 5, 2017

Brewgooder Founder Alan Mahon joins Andy Thorburn to discuss why making their mission to provide clean drinking water to a million people was a game changer, and how they use digital to do that.

I'm joined by Alan Mahon, the founder of Brewgooder, a social enterprise that brews 1 beer and ploughs all their profit into clean water projects in rural Africa. I’ve wanted to have Alan on the show for ages now, because being from an area of Africa that is currently experiencing its worst drought ever, access to clean water is important to me, and is still something that we take for granted when so many people simply do not have it. Apart from the social impact that Brewgooder has, Alan and his team have done an incredible job of creating a business with so few resources, that delivers on it’s promise. They’ve done that by making their business goals so intrinsic, while making it tangible to every stakeholder. We talk about their mission to provide 1 million people with clean drinking water, and how their digital marketing has been so important for sharing their mission with every potential stakeholder, and how their online store is so much more than just a way of getting beer out.

Key Insights:

How important it is to have a mission and put it at the core of everything that you do. Brewgooder make every decision based on how many more people are going to get clean drinking water

Websites and Digital marketing have been crucial to brewgooder’s success, and they make sure that they use every aspect to create a bigger following and dig more wells.

Their online store is not just a way to get beer out the door, it’s a business intelligence tool that they use to focus their sales efforts. It also makes their beer accessible to the entire country.

Show notes:

06:45 George Clooney in Social Bite

06:50 Social Bite

07:26 Harp Lager

07:44 Brewdog

07:45 Tempest Brewing

09:20 Water poisoning in Nepal inspired him to start Brewgooder

10:40 "What I think about your dreams or my dreams when we were younger, it didn’t involve anything basic or essential, it was always “I want to own my own business, I want to do this or that” because everything, we just happened to be born in a world where… I didn’t build the road systems or the rail systems..."

15:53 Forth Bridge

16:12 Brewdog Soho

20:20 Indiegogo

21:45 World water day

25:55 "We nailed our flag to the mast and said, we want to provide 1m people with clean drinking water through this beer."

30:53 "Any decision that we make, does it make commercial sense, does it make sense to the drinkers, but the ultimate factor in it is does it get us closer to a million people with clean drinking water?"

40:53 "We’re increasingly focussing on how we digitally acquire [customers] and tell our story through social media because the barriers aren’t there. It’s not like the above the line stuff, where people are competing for a share of voice which is difficult and expensive to get. It’s just you telling your story to people who are engaged with you, which should hopefully bring more people into that."

42:00 "We don’t have the luxury [of big marketing budgets] so we need to make sure that we use what we think is the best weapon in the world is and that is a passionate drinker."

45:25 Malawi Diary

47:23 Online Store

52:45 “Our online store became a business intelligence thing, we build up clusters [of buyers] and then we go to bars and say, “look people here are buying this.” It’s so much better than a scattergun approach. Rather than saying, ‘you know what’s an emerging craft beer market is north west Manchester.’ No, we can say, ‘You know, there’s a hell of a lot of Brewgooder drinkers in Oxford, but nobody there stocks it, we should go there.’”

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Alan Mahon

Alan Mahon

After moving to Glasgow to pursue a politics degree, Alan Mahon spent time Volunteering in Nepal where he decided that he wanted to work in an environment that had some sort of social impact. He joined Social Bite, a social enterprise sandwich shop that provided jobs for homeless people. Alan saw the impact Social Bite had, and realised that there was potential to do something bigger with water, and in next to no time at all, Brewgooder was born and the beer was being brewed by Brewdog. 


About the Show

Stories, insights and lessons from the incredible people behind the UK's craft beer industry. Andy Thorburn hosts a series of deep-dive interviews with various guests from the craft beer community. New episodes fortnightly.

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