Save the Brewery

with Broughton Ales

Season 1


Episode 83

On this week’s episode we’re joined by David McGowen from Broughton Ales talking all about their campaign to save the brewery.

There’s not a brewery or business out there that hasn’t been hit hard by the global pandemic. No one could imagine an entire industry being put on pause for weeks, months even, on end.

But now that pubs and bars have started to reopen around the world, furloughing schemes reach their natural conclusions and businesses restart on a rather unsteady footing as everyone tries to find ‘the new normal’, the pending months ahead offer uncertainties that equally need figuring out as we head into a looming recession.

What kind of state will the industry be in when the banks start reclaiming those bounce back loans? What will the Small Breweries Relief reform tapering actually look like, and how will it affect monthly cash flow?

And, as we head into autumn with schools reopening and the darker, colder winter months – still, at this point, without a proven vaccine – will we be plunged into further lockdowns throughout the UK, Europe and the rest of the world?

I don’t envy anyone running a brewery at the moment. Cash margins are fairly tight at the best of times and those relying mostly on the hospitality trade to sell their produce may be in for further turbulence yet.

I often find myself wondering what it would have been like had I taken out the lease on a railway arch I was looking at in Sheffield back at the start of 2018 to kickstart Emmanuales as a fully independent brewery and autonomous business.

Where would I be now?  What would that mean for my family and our livelihood?

If a business goes under because of bad management, poor products and procedures, and just a general lack of care, then that’s sad on one level, but at least there’s an opening at the bar for someone else.

But whenever I see an independent business in trouble for reasons through no fault of their own, with good people at the helm, fighting to stay afloat like a trawler on stormy seas, my heart genuinely goes out to them.

This is what happened when I came across a video from a Scottish brewery I’d never heard of before. Broughton Ale, based in Scotland south of both Glasgow and Edinburgh, are on a mission to save their 40 year old brewery.

Established in 1979, the brewery has weathered many storms in that season, but none as detrimental to the business as the impacts of COVID-19.

But, as we’ll hear from David McGowen, the owner since 2015, they’re reaching out to fans – old and new – to raise funds through crowdfunding to save the brewery and release innovative new products to market, and – ultimately – making sure they reach the end of this pandemic with as many employees in the ship as they set off with.

You can play your part in helping to save the brewery by visiting and pledging an amount to their crowdfunding campaign.


Check out our friends over at to find out how you can apply for this week’s spotlighted brewing job.

This episode is sponsored by...



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