Nestled in the hub of Milngavie, Mark Hazell the owner and founder of Jaw Brew has taken his passion for home brewing and turned it into a successful business, suppling unique craft beer to the local community. The ethos of Jaw Brew is to offer consumers the opportunity to enjoy and experience a variety of products that only a local independent brewer can create.
Jaw Brew makes and serves all its beer on the premises so, for those customers interested in sustainability, there are no food miles involved.
Mark has been a keen home brewer for many years, yet it was in 2014 when he took voluntary redundancy that he decided it was time to turn his hobby into a business.
Mark was told by other brewers in the area that it was not going to be an easy ride to success, however ,he was determined to fulfil his vision and felt he would always have wondered ‘what if?’ had not started the business.
The name Jaw Brew comes from the cottage where Mark and his wife reside, named ‘The Jaw’ which in traditional Scots means ‘a wave’ or ‘to pour’.
The nautical theme was continued throughout the company with each beer being named to suit, such as ‘Spinnaker’, ‘Surf’, ‘Drift’ and ‘Wave’, a charming link to the heart of Jaw Brew.
Once various styles of beer were meticulously tried and tested Jaw Brew launched at the Glasgow Real Ale Festival and quickly moved to supplying to pubs and bars across Scotland and Northern England. Unfortunately, it became clear that competing for business in pubs and bars across Scotland against market giants who could undercut their prices was uneconomical for Jaw Brew. So Mark made the decision to sell directly to customers, allowing them more freedom of choice.
This led to the next stage in the Jaw Brew journey, with the goal to open a micro-pub in the heart of Milngavie to help the business expand. It is situated opposite the Milngavie train station and is a warm and welcoming environment with additional space to allow for brewing on site.
It’s the ideal location for Jaw Brew as the station is the starting point on the popular West Highland Way route for tourists, along with other commuters.
The micro-pub launched on Friday the 13th, December 2019 but, due to Covid-19 restrictions, was closed in March 2020. However, this did not dampen spirits and, thanks to a loyal customer base, Jaw Brew managed to continue to supply home delivery orders throughout lockdown to the local community.
Despite the trials and tribulations, the fountain of knowledge and sheer passion that Mark displays has undoubtably been the key to his success. With a genuine determination to provide the best quality products to customers, Mark has placed great focus on being sustainable within his brewing process, winning a VIBES award for their efforts in circularity. All cleaning chemicals have been replaced with products which are safe to dispose of with no detrimental impact to the environment. Waste is reduced by suppling spent grains to farmers locally to feed livestock, surplus bread rolls are provided by local bakers and used in some of the beer recipes and there are currently plans in place to use by-products to make cereal bars which will be distributed locally.
With community at the heart of the brand, Mark also likes to give back. Jaw Brew is the main sponsor of Milngavie Cricket Club who hold weekly meetings in the micro-pub along with other local societies and clubs.
In addition to brewing, Mark tried his hand at distilling in 2018 and has now extended his range from the original ‘Bardowie’ London Dry gin to add in organise, raspberry and Navy strength alternatives.
Mark has been coming to the Scottish Game Fair for many years but noticed that there was a lack of craft beers on display and, when the opportunity for him to supply his beer and gin at the NFU Mutual stand presented itself, he was more than happy to get involved.
As the world begins to recover from the pandemic, Jaw Brew is beginning to see greater volume of orders for larger events and it is clear that with strong values and a genuine desire to make a difference for consumers and the community there is no stopping it.
Mark McBrearty, NFU Mutual regional Mmanager in Scotland said:
“We are delighted to have Jaw Brew as our sole beer provided at the Scottish Game Fair this year. It is our pleasure to support and work with Mark Hazell and his team to further promote their produce and celebrate in their continued success. I encourage visitors to come along and give it a try.”