IF you like beer and supporting a more than worthwhile cause, the chances are you’ll like what Brewgooder is all about.

The social enterprise, set up by Alan Mahon and Josh Littlejohn in early 2016, is founded on a pledge to put every single penny of profit its beer makes into supporting clean water projects where they are needed most. And that is not just the drink talking. The company is currently funding 60 projects in Malawi, one of Africa’s poorest nations, which between them will have the potential to provide clean water to as many as 33,000 people.

The ultimate goal is to help as many as one million people gain access to clean water, which sounds like an almost impossible target. But when you consider its current projects - which involve creating five new bore holes and repairing 60 wells in villages in Malawi - are on course to reach six times as many people as the previous two, you get a sense of the momentum building behind the cause.

Mr Mahon, who next plans to return to Malawi in January to see the progress for himself, does not regard the one million target as a fanciful notion.

“I still think we can do it within the next five or six years,” he said, “but my next target is 100,000 by 2019.

“I think once we get to 500,000 it will be a lot easier to get the other 500,000 done. But we need the help of our drinkers to make that happen.”

For Mr Littlejohn, the motivation behind his work with Brewgooder is at least partly personal. Several years ago, the University of Glasgow politics graduate became ill after spending time travelling in Nepal.

Mr Littlejohn traced the illness, which did not manifest itself until he returned home, back to water he had consumed in Nepal, and said it was easily treated by a common antibiotic after visiting his GP. But the feeling that millions of people are at risk simply by not having ready access to clean water, “through no fault of their own”, stayed with him.

The opportunity to do something about it ultimately came after he was introduced to Josh Littlejohn, the social entrepreneur and homelessness campaigner who co-founded the Social Bite coffee shop chain, and is the brains behind the Scottish Business Awards.

Mr Mahon, now a trustee of the Social Bite Fund, met Mr Littlejohn during their student days. Belfast-born Mahon was a friend of Mr Littlejohn’s older brother and, in perhaps the most unlikely of circumstances, was offered a job over a game of table tennis. He joined Social Bite as a business development manager in 2014, before moving on to work for Mr Littlejohn’s Scottish Business Awards, a star-studded annual event whose keynote speakers have included Barack Obama, Bill Clinton, George Clooney and Leonardo DiCaprio.

The duo launched Brewgooder in January 2016 and since then the progress of the social enterprise appears to have been uniformly upwards. A little help from their friends in the Scottish business community gave them a lift in their early days.

A crowdfunding campaign to fund start-up costs was supported by Sir Tom Hunter, while BrewDog signed up early on to make the beer (its Clean Water Lager is made with crystal malts and a blend of Sorachi Ace and Saaz hops) at its brewery in Ellon (BrewDog founders James Watt and Martin Dickie are trustees of the Brewgooder Foundation).

The company then secured its first supermarket distribution deal last November with Asda, when the retail giant listed Clean Water Lager in 229 of its stores around the UK. Brewgooder was the first social enterprise to clinch a contract with Asda, which extended the deal to 350 stores in June. A distribution contract with the Co-operative Group followed, putting the lager on the shelves of 100 stores in Scotland. Mr Mahon said this deal brings Brewgooder “a lot closer to customers who will probably be drinking craft beer in the first place - people who are willing to pay more for their beer and think more about craft and about the craft section.”

Now a major focus for the firm, which has also recently made the beer available to order online, is building sales in bars across the UK. It recently hired former AB InBev executive, and latterly drinks industry consultant, Scott MacDonald, as commercial director, with a remit to build sales in the on and off-trades. Listings are in now place with Glasgow operator Kained Holdings, which owns Lebowskis and Porter & Rye in Finnieston; Stonegate Pub Company and Radisson Blu hotels.

London is a major focus for the business, with the company close to appointing a sales executive to operate in the city. Brewgooder recently secured a listing with Curzon Cinemas in the UK capital, and is also on the books of several major wholesalers south of the Border.

Having now sold 300,000 cans and 150,000 pints since launch, Mr Mahon declared that the business is “growing exponentially”.

He said: “Within the first three or four months of the financial year we eclipsed what we sold in the whole of the previous year. We will probably grow the business by about 200 per cent by the end of this year. It’s exciting to be in a business that’s doing that, but the fact that it brings more and more projects to life in Malawi is the really exciting bit about it.

“All the metrics are going the right way: headcount, turnover, and profitability, all of that stuff. It is very encouraging.”

And what about the all-important message the brand is built upon. Is that filtering through to consumers? “Definitely,” Mr Mahon said, “because we are living out what we said we would be do.

“We said we wanted to bring one million people clean drinking water. Although we are still a long way off that we are taking steps towards making that happen. I think people are starting to believe us and believe in us. That’s just evident in the increased deals… and the people we are attracting to work for us.

“We’re building up a good head of steam and [will] just keep building it until the million.”