THE co-founder of Brewgooder, the Scottish company which invests profits from beer sales into clean water projects around the world, has underlined its ambitions to become the “leading impact brand” in the industry, as it revealed the appointment of two influential figures.

The company has drafted in former Molson Coors heavyweight Andy Cray as chairman, while Helen Thompson, the former boss of social impact brand Toms for Europe, Middle East, and Africa, has joined the Brewgooder Foundation.

The foundation is responsible for distributing grants to the projects Brewgooder funds in countries such as Malawi and Mali, which have it on track to provide one billion litres of clean water over the course of its first decade, by 2026.

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The appointments of Mr Cray and Ms Thompson come as Brewgooder targets increasing turnover by 80 per cent to £4 million in its current financial year, against the backdrop of the UK’s biggest inflation crisis in four decades.

Entrepreneur Alan Mahon, who set up Brewgooder with James Hughes in 2016, said the new additions show that “we are serious about becoming the leading impact brand in the beer industry, and pioneering a new premium”.

Mr Mahon told The Herald: “To achieve this, we need a strategic and international perspective that Andy brings in abundance and, on the impact and purpose side we need someone who has led a brand that has delivered impact through commercial success in different countries and Helen has that skill set nailed down.

"Together we hope to build a best-in-class impact brand in beer, while seeking excellence in making and communicating impact to our drinkers and customers.”

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The changes come as Brewgooder, which works in partnership with Scottish brewers such as Williams Brothers and Fierce Brewing, continues to build its presence in the on and off-trades.

Last week, it announced details of a collaboration with New York’s Brooklyn Brewery to create the UK’s first beer made with fonio, a West African “super-grain”, with proceeds to support clean water projects in Mali.

Brewgooder said it will have the twin benefit of purchasing goods from West African farmers while reinvesting part of the funds into rural communities. It highlighted its hope of unlocking more than 20 million litres of water in a country where fonio farming is prevalent.

The beer itself is described as a "hazy full gold" session IPA (India Pale Ale) which is available for sale in four-packs in Co-op stores.

Asked how much potential the beer has to help people in Mali, Mr Mahon said: “I am really proud of our Fonio SIPA, largely because it is the first of our beers that puts developing communities into the beer rather than seeing benefits as the outcome.

“We've put our purpose in the pint as it were. The long-term hope for this is to develop a supply chain for brewing in the UK and elsewhere which didn't exist before and can provide a sustainable and empowering channel for smallholder farmers in the region to bring their produce to market.”

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Meanwhile, the company is gradually stepping up its presence in the on-trade. Brewgooder has become the first draught beer to be listed in renowned Glasgow nightclub the Sub Club in 30 years and is also the house lager in King Tut’s Wah Wah Hut, the city’s famous music venue.

It is developing products that will be listed by pub giant Mitchells & Butlers and recently secured a partnership with the YO! Sushi chain.

Mr Mahon said: “The proof points of progress in the on-trade are there. The key will be to scale them up. We've made headway with some of the top tier and most influential venues across Scotland with King Tut's, Sub Club, [and] St Luke’s all being places we want to seed and build the brand.

"We think there's a very clear opportunity for us in places were a younger demographic want to spend their time, as well as premium hospitality where people expect not just quality beer put a differentiated proposition and that's what our brand provides.”

Asked to comment on the firm’s turnover ambitions for its current financial year, Mr Mahon said: “We're pushing for £4m turnover this year, representing more than 80% growth from last year.

"We are trying to do this against a really challenging macro environment with inflation, a cost-of-living crisis and low consumer confidence but as they say, planes take off against the wind.”

Mr Mahon has been putting the finishing touches to a new strategy to guide the company’s development over the next seven years. That will take it to 2030 when he notes the United Nations will next be reviewing its sustainable development goals, which Mr Mahon said provides a neat “symmetry” for Brewgooder.

He said: “By 2030 the vast majority of drinkers and pub-goers in the market will be Gen Z and Millennial, and at the same time the UN SDGs are up for review of the progress we've collectively made towards a fairer world - these are important milestones for us.

“In this context our strategy is to make "impact" a new premium in the beer industry and that means mainstreaming our proposition, continuing to invest in the quality of our beers and becoming a brand without boundaries - welcoming new drinkers, exploring growing categories and internationalising the brand.”