Genius Brewing goes prime time as co-founders enter Dragons' Den

The co-founders of My Name’5 Doddie Foundation partner Genius Brewing are in for a grilling on BBC One on Thursday, when they face stern-faced potential investors in the new series of Dragons’ Den.

Wednesday, 7th April 2021, 4:30 pm
Jason Clarke and Charlie Craig make their pitch in the new BBC One series of Dragons' Den.

Jason Clarke from Earlston, a former teammate of Doddie’s, and business partner Charlie Craig will face the formidable Dragons in search of £120,000 of equity funding to grow their craft beer business.

Genius Brewing is now in its fourth year as an official fundraising partner of the My Name’5 Doddie Foundation, donating 5p from every can of its low-calorie Gen!us craft lager to support Doddie’s MND charity.

Last year, filming of the iconic BBC show was interrupted by Covid.

The Genius team were due to film in Manchester in July but lockdown restrictions saw production postponed until September.

It was a nerve-wracking experience, even for former TV director Jason.

“I wasn’t fazed by the filming environment, but pitching to the Dragons is another matter," he admitted.

"When the lift doors open and you’re suddenly faced by Peter, Deborah, Touker, Tej and Sara, the pressure is definitely on.”

Charlie, co-founder and the company’s operations director, knew that preparation was critical.

“It’s well known the Dragons like to drill into your numbers and so we prep’d thoroughly; turnover, margins, you name it, and with the cameras rolling, and the Dragons firing questions left and right, there was certainly no place to hide,” he said.

Launched in 2018 by Charlie and Jason, Genius Brewing is on a mission to make healthier drinking a pleasure.

Its Gen!us Craft Lager, the UK’s first light craft lager, is 3% ABV and 79 calories per can.

The firm had a resilient 2020. With Covid hitting the hospitality industry, the

company pivoted to ecommerce, launching on Amazon and selling direct via their own website.

“Last year was a tough year for the industry, but with lockdowns now easing and

the trend for healthier drinking growing strongly, we’re optimistic about 2021,” Jason added.

The pair appear in Dragons’ Den on BBC One at 8pm on Thursday, April 8.