Social purpose and beer with BrewDog

BrewDog’s evolution from an anti-marketing brand to a brand that flirts with mainstream advertising has been criticized by the ad industry, and their hits and misses widely reported (this piece analyzing the brand’s body language vs its language is really interesting).

Having worked in alcohol PR for the past year and a half, and wanting to make myself more familiar with socially responsible marketing initiatives in the UK now that I’m based in London, this Brewgooder x BrewDog 2018 activation really caught my eye when I came across it this week. The campaign was a winner on last year’s The Drum Social Purpose Awards in the Best Brand/Charity collaboration category.

Supporting Brewgooder Foundation

For World Water Day 2016, Brewgooder founders Josh Littlejohn and Alan Mahon approached BrewDog with a proposal: their foundation wanted to bring clean drinking water to developing countries. They would do so by producing their Clean Water Lager craft beer and donating 100% of its profits to fund clean water charities.

BrewDog agreed to produce the beer at zero cost and distribute it on tap at their bars in the UK, starting a very natural partnership that would be strengthened in 2017 with the launch of the The Big Brew Dog Well Dig campaign. The initiative would see bars compete with each other to sell the most pints of Clean Water Lager in order to provide the most people with clean water.

In their own words:

In 2017 Brewgooder partnered with 30 of BrewDog’s UK bars to sell enough of our Clean Water Lager to end water poverty for a community of 1,200 people in Malawi. It was called the Big Well Dig. During 4 months of the campaign we smashed our initial targets, selling enough beer was sold to bring 4 new well installations to life and add to our ongoing project work in the country.

As a reward, they flew bartenders from the BrewDog top-selling bars out to Malawi for them to see first-hand their contribution to the project.


A well-rounded initiative proving that strategic collaboration, when aligned with a brand’s values and their positioning in the industry, can be very successful for sales (through an improved brand image) while making the world a better place.