The Story of Clean Water

10 March

The #DrinkBeerGiveWater crowdfund is now in full swing. I hope this is the start of a long journey, making great tasting beer and providing access to clean water to 1,000,000 people. It’s been incredible so far, from the idea we first talked about in a pub to where we are today. To celebrate how far we’ve come, I thought I’d share my personal journey with you.

“What if, instead of just talking about the Big Problems while enjoying beer, you could actually tackle some of them by drinking beer?”

How many times has “a few drinks with friends” turned into conversations about the Big Problems facing humanity? Plenty, I’d guess. There just seems to be something in these moments that turns our attention to putting the world to rights. Funnily enough, these same moments also seem to bring out the best in our creativity (that or we lose our ability to tell a good idea from a bad one after our third BrewDog Punk IPA).

It was during one of these moments that the idea first struck me. What if, instead of just talking about the Big Problems while enjoying beer, you could actually tackle some of them by drinking beer? And so the concept of Brewgooder was born. It was a simple idea really. Make a great tasting beer, sell it all over the world and invest all the profits in funding clean water projects in Africa, the Middle East, and Central & Southern Asia. In essence – turn beer into clean water.

“With Brewgooder we’re hoping to take on an even bigger, more global challenge.”

This isn’t my first taste of social business. Together Social Bite co-founder, Josh Littlejohn, and I developed the socially conscious sandwich chain’s corporate catering business to tackle homelessness and fund solutions to local issues. Since its founding, Social Bite has grown into a large independent caterer and recognisable High Street name across Scotland, generating employment for 25 homeless people and providing hope for hundreds of others along the way. In November 2015, Hollywood Legend George Clooney visited our Edinburgh branch to launch a Christmas campaign that raised enough money to provide 73,000 meals for homeless people across Scotland.

We’ve also worked on the Scottish Business Awards, with Josh attracting names such as former US President Bill Clinton, Sir Richard Branson and – of course – George Clooney to speak at the largest business dinner in Scotland’s history. Through this we’ve made an impact nationwide, raising over £4m for charity while bringing Scotland’s leading companies and entrepreneurs together to demonstrate the power of social business. But with Brewgooder we’re hoping to take on an even bigger, more global challenge.

“More than 500,000 children die each year from perfectly preventable water-borne diseases.”

Water is the basic necessity for life. We use it every day for absolutely everything. Drinking, cooking, cleaning, washing – you name it. You can’t go a day without using it. (It’s also absolutely crucial to brewing beer.) But even in 2016 there are still 650 million people around the world who live without access to safe drinking water and a further 2.3bn who don’t have access to adequate sanitation. The result? More than 500,000 children die each year from perfectly preventable water-borne diseases. Lack of clean water also affects educational achievement, access to nutritious food and healthcare. It’s no coincidence the world’s poorest people don’t have access to clean water.

Brewgooder’s vision combines entrepreneurial know-how and social spirit to address this. We want to grow a successful company with the bold ambition of providing clean drinking water and sanitation for 1,000,000 people within five years, lifting entire communities out of poverty for good. What’s more, we’re going to make it possible for drinkers to express their altruism without radically altering their behaviour. We’re inviting them to do exactly what they love: drink good beer.

“The past few months have been fantastic, but the real work starts now.”

But if our prior experience has taught us anything, it’s that passion, hard work and a socially-conscious business philosophy counts for nothing if you don’t have the right product. A well-intentioned ‘charity beer’ just won’t cut it long-term if it doesn’t taste good. And as much as we enjoy drinking it, Josh and I know very little about how to actually make beer.  So we approached BrewDog – the best brewers in the business in our opinion – to make sure our cans and pints taste the best they can.

The past few months have been fantastic, but the real work starts now. If you believe in the power of beer to change the world, please give us your support and back our Indiegogo campaign and become a Brewgooder Founder Member today!

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