Edinburgh social enterprise pub chain sold to well know operators

Edinburgh businessman Chris Thewlis has sold Beer for Good CIC to Swedish businessman Mike Christopherson and his wife Anna.

The couple is well known in the capital’s hospitality industry, already owning six bars in the city including Akva, Boda, Hemma and Joseph Pearce’s.

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They will now take on responsibility for the entire Beer For Good portfolio, which includes two pubs – the award-winning Harry’s Bar in the city’s west end and Harry’s Southside, and two cafes – Harry’s Courtyard Café at the Craiglockhart Leisure Centre and Harry’s On The Hill at Drumbrae Leisure Centre.

The couple intend to continue running the operation as a social enterprise.

Since helping set up Beer For Good, Scotland’s first-ever hospitality social enterprise group, three years ago, Mr Thewlis has transformed it into a successful high-impact business.

“It’s been a remarkable journey with Beer For Good in many ways,” said Mr Thewlis, a Yorkshireman who has lived in Scotland since moving from Huddersfield to study at Napier University in 2008.

“It was great fun creating Scotland’s first hospitality social enterprise group. It was a privilege to help the chain grow since its formation three years ago, delivering on our social mission to help improve people’s lives along the way.

“Mike is well positioned to take on the pub side and it was a great opportunity to do a good deal as he intends to keep it going as a social enterprise.

“He is very socially-minded so the whole thing fitted in perfectly. I’m sure it will go from strength to strength with him in charge as he continues to deliver sustainable change in the community.”

Mr Thewlis was voted E2E’s Social Impact Entrepreneur of the Year at the company’s recent Edinburgh awards.

A mentor to Big Society Capital and board member of Social Enterprise Scotland, he added: “This deal shows that the CIC model works; that a viable exit from a social enterprise is possible if the proper groundwork is put in.

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