Social Bite, Brewdog team up to fund clean water projects

Alan Mahon and Josh Littlejohn launch the initiative. Picture: Jeff Holmes
Alan Mahon and Josh Littlejohn launch the initiative. Picture: Jeff Holmes
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IT’S a question often debated over a pint – “how can we change the world?”

More often than not, the conversation drifts away without an answer – unless you’re Alan Mahon and Josh Littlejohn.

The founders of sandwich shop Social Bite today launched a craft beer which will donate 100 per cent of its profits to clean water projects, benefiting millions of people in developing countries.

Alan and Josh hatched the plan while enjoying a drink in their local pub and have now joined forces with beer maker BrewDog to produce 
Brewgooder,

To mark World Water Day, they have launched a campaign to finance the first 200,000 cans via crowdfunding platform Indiegog.

Social Bite, which has branches in Rose Street and Shandwick Place, where it trains, employs and feeds homeless people and gives 100 per cent of its profits to charity, attracted global attention after a visit from George Clooney last year.

Mr Mahon said: “We’re offering beer drinkers the chance to help others by doing what they love most – drinking good beer. Using beer to drive such an ambitious social change has never been tried before.

“Today, we are beginning a journey to provide one million people with clean drinking water and with our 
#DrinkBeerGiveWater crowdfund campaign we are asking the public to help us on our mission.

“We’ve come a long way since thinking this up in the pub and we’re thrilled people will be able to become the first Brewgooder drinkers by backing our crowdfund campaign on Indiegogo.

“We hope that when our campaign is successful, drinkers all over the world will be able to find Brewgooder in their local bar, restaurant and supermarket and we can start to make a big impact where it’s needed.”

Brewgooder will donate 100 per cent of its profits to the Brewgooder Foundation, whose trustees include Mr Mahon, Mr Littlejohn, and BrewDog founders James Watt and Martin Dickie, supported by philanthropic partner The Hunter Foundation.

Mr Littlejohn said: “We wanted to build on the success of Social Bite and develop other models of using business to tackle social challenges.

“There is a lovely symmetry of drinking good beer and giving clean water.

“We are excited about teaming up with a business of BrewDog’s scale to make a significant impact, with the ultimate ambition to make a dent in a global water crisis that means 650 million people have no access to clean drinking water and 1400 children die each day from water-borne diseases.”

The Brewgooder Foundation has already formed partnerships with Oxfam, WaterAid and Mercy Corps to distribute its funds, with the first project being the installation of solar powered water pumps at the Nora Docherty School in a remote village in Dedza, Malawi.

john.connell@edinburghnews.com