A year in review: Our highlights of 2020
Well, 2020 was…interesting.
From starting off the year on a high working towards the Global Gathering (only to have a global pandemic and lockdown shatter our hopes), the first few months of the year were a tumultuous time for the team — adapting to the ever-changing restrictions and conditions of Covid-19.
However, as we reflected on the past year, we realised just how much we have accomplished. While it’s always good to reflect on what we could have done better, in a year that could have ended us, we want to celebrate the many highs we’ve achieved as a team this year!
2021 will see a lot of changes for Brewgooder. With a rebrand on the way and a revised approach to how we do business, we hope to make a lot of positive impact across many communities in the years to come!
Here are some of our highlights of 2020, categorised by our pillars of Empowerment, Compassion and Inclusion (a hint of what’s to come in 2021!)
Our Clean Water efforts have now impacted 65,235 people
The cancellation of many Global Gathering events sadly impacted the strides we hoped to make this year, but we’ve still managed to increase our impact total! Our support of clean water projects has now directly impacted a total of 65,235 people.
Although this seems like slow progress, we are grateful to have been able to make any impact at all this year — enabling those in less fortunate areas to empower their communities through access to clean water systems. This mission remains at the core of Brewgooder as we move forward into 2021.
Moyo Juice and Chilloozy launch
What better time to launch two new core beers than in the midst of a Global pandemic? Yes, after four years we finally moved from one core beer to three, with the launch of two new beers! Tripling our opportunities for empowering communities.
Moyo Juice, a 3.9% Tropical Pale Ale and Chilloozy, a 3.7% Session IPA, were a long time coming, and they’ve gone down a storm with our drinkers. We are thrilled to have tripled our offering, and with it to finally have a mixed pack of beers available! (Which you can buy HERE).
Despite cancellations and postponements across the board, over 130 breweries were able to release their Global Gathering beers. The effect of the delay meant that beers were released over several months, rather than on the same day, which ended up being a great experience and kept the Gathering alive for longer! We are so grateful to every brewery who took part, even if they couldn’t launch their beer. To those who were able to release AND donate, we can’t thank you all enough for your commitment and generosity!
The Global Gathering was our first real test of how we can help to empower others to make their own impact. We look forward to learning from this as we work towards our next rendition of the Gathering in 2022! The final total of funds raised from this year’s Gathering will be announced on New Year’s Eve!
Our first stout in collaboration with Pact Coffee
With shared values and a love of beer and coffee, working with subscription coffee kings Pact Coffee was a perfect match. We decided to brew a 6.5% coffee and vanilla stout, using Pact’s house blend from Rwanda and Brazil, and with profits being donated to a water construction project across three districts of Rwanda. Oh, and we called it Impact, because the wordplay was too good to resist. The feedback from this beer has been some of our best yet, so much so that we may consider a re-brew in the New Year. If you’d like to see that happen, let us know!
Our collaboration beer with BrewDog was a great success. The 4% New England IPA became Co-Op's 2nd best selling seasonal craft beer over the summer.
Supporting the NHS with #oneonus
As the pressure on the NHS grew and grew, we knew we wanted to do something to say thanks. Our heroic NHS staff have been working tirelessly to keep our hospitals running smoothly, and look after our loved ones — so we decided to say cheers in our own way. With beer. Enter thousands of strangers donating the cost of a 4 pack of Clean Water lager, along with a message of support that an NHS worker could claim from our website. Over 28,000 beers were paid forward to over 7,000 very deserving and thirsty NHS staff, receiving UK-wide attention in the media — the campaign was even featured on STV news!
All Together Now
We joined Other Half's All Together Now campaign, raising funds for Hospitality Workers impacted by Covid-19. We collaborated with Overtone to brew our take on the All Together Now recipe, a 6% New England IPA hopped with Columbus, Mosaic, Citra and Cascade. The beer was so popular it's been rebrewed! You can grab it HERE.
Panto in a Box for the performing arts
As we looked to decide what our Christmas campaign might be this year, James came across a newspaper article discussing the impact of Covid-19 on pantomime season, and that thousands of performers, theatre workers, freelancers and creatives were out of work. Not to mention receiving little to no government support. Thus came the idea of a Panto in a Box, along with our very own pantomime story, with all profits going to the Theatre Artists Fund and other emergencies funds providing support for performers and freelancers most affected by the pandemic.
With an original script from panto legend Johnny McKnight, Mondo, Gipsy Hill, and Wild Beer on board to brew some delicious beers reflective of our characters. It wouldn't be a panto without theatre snacks, so we got Tony’s Chocolonely and Love Popcorn on board to supply the treats! We boxed this all up in a beautiful “stage” concept box, and Jack and the Beer Hops was born.
The response has been incredible, receiving praise from the media, theatre lovers, beer lovers and actors alike. A few famous faces have even purchased a box (oh yes they did!).
To top it all off, we brought together some actors to perform our panto story over Zoom (the icon of 2020). You can find it at brewgooder.com/panto until December 31st! As Panto season goes into January, there’s still time to buy your box! Buy it HERE.
Work in Progress
Like many, the aftermath of the death of George Floyd left us with a realisation that it wasn’t enough for us to be non-racist, we had to be anti-racist. After much consideration and discussion, we came up with 14 action points that we called our Work in Progress; a commitment to becoming a more anti-racist company. The points included setting up a bursary in conjunction with Heriot Watt’s brewing and distilling course to support Black and Ethnic Minority students in their studies and offering 100 hours of mentoring time from our founder Alan, to Black-owned businesses and entrepreneurs. You can see the whole list of action points HERE.
After announcing these action points, our friends at Mondo Brewing noted interest in wanting to follow suit with a similar set of actions points, with several other breweries also showing an interest. It was from this point that we realised that Work in Progress had the potential to be a much bigger movement, and so we opened it up to all breweries worldwide if they wished to join. The initiative aims to promote and support inclusivity and diversity in the brewing industry in a number of areas, including LGBTQ+ representation, female representation, disabled persons representation alongside Anti-Racism and Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic Representation.
There are currently 29 members of Work in Progress, and we hope to see this number grow into 2021. Work in Progress is very much a Work in Progress. With the affects of the pandemic, some breweries haven’t had as much time to focus on their action points and initiatives as they might have hoped, and we have some work to do on allocating the resources to be able to improve the social media and website presence of the initiative. However, we have some great plans for 2021, and hope to see Work in Progress grow to becoming an industry standard across the brewing community, to show the world that beer is for everyone.
New Board Appointments
As part of our steps to being more inclusive and diverse, we are thrilled to have made a few board appointments this year that will help us to drive these action points forward.
First up, we welcomed the brilliant Drew McCusker as our first ever board advisor for LGBT+ inclusion. Drew has pioneered inclusion within the Scottish legal profession through The Glass Network and fought for the human rights of LGBT+ refugees in Uganda with the United Nations.
He will be helping us to try and create a company where everyone can be themselves at work, and a brand that shows up for LGBT+ people.
More recently, we were thrilled to welcome Nicolle Sinclair and Helen Thompson to our board of non-executive directors.
Helen’s most recent position at TOMs saw her lead a business with strong purpose and charitable giving at heart. Her experiences building commercial consumer brands, leading For Profit purpose-led consumer businesses that actively drive meaningful change and her work with a leading Not-For-Profit organisation will complement our board as we build the next exciting phase of Brewgooder.
Nicolle joins us to focus on our People and Talent Strategy, following a career which has focused on scaling start-ups through a people centric approach across the USA, Europe and Australia. Nicolle sat on the BrewDog Foundation board which allocated £1 million to charities who applied for funding and worked as a key representative to ensure the money made an impact to those in need.
We look forward to the impact that these three additions to our board will make into 2021, and hope to add more brilliant additions to our diverse and talented board.
WILD CARD HIGHLIGHTS
A few other highs that we didn’t think fit into the other categories!
Before lockdown was a thing, we managed to hit up our one festival of the year, at Brew LDN. We poured Moyo Juice and Chilloozy for the first time, made lots of new contacts and had lots of happy new drinkers being introduced to our brand! Plus everyone loved to SPIN. THAT. WHEEL!
Making it through the year!!!
Our final high of 2020 – making it through the year! We’re sure we won’t be the only ones to admit that we didn’t think we would make it through this year. With the pandemic affecting our on-trade sales, kegs going to waste and the Global Gathering not going as planned, there were some tough times for team Brewgooder. However, with some great campaigns, new beers and growth in our online shop and off-trade listings, we’ve seemingly made it through.
This year has been incredibly tough on breweries and their staff, many who have not been as lucky as we have been in making it through in one piece. We encourage you to support your local breweries and independent businesses, because this pandemic isn’t over, and we still all need you more than ever.
So that’s a wrap on 2020, and we are grateful to every single person who has bought our beer or supported us through any means to help us see it through the year.
2021 looks to be a very exciting year for Brewgooder as we transition into the next stage of our brand. Keep your eyes peeled for lots of exciting updates in 2021!
Until then, Merry Christmas and here’s to a New Year with hopefully less lockdowns and more pints.
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