What’s perhaps most surprising is that it wasn’t ancient customs or religious teachings that brought about his epiphany, but rather the illness he suffered after contracting a parasite from drinking contaminated water.
“The experience left its mark on me in realising the extent of inequality and the everyday barriers preventing so many people, through no fault of their own, from pursuing the future they want,” he said.
“After returning home I joined a social enterprise in Scotland where I discovered the role that brands could play in reducing these barriers, alongside charities.”
The next step came while ‘putting the world to rights’ over a few drinks in the pub with friends.
“Beer was something I loved and I’d always witnessed the social power it had to bring people together, whether celebrating or just catching up.
“So the concept for a beer brand that harnessed this power to make a positive difference in the world was almost the culmination of all these experiences and interests.”
In 2016, at the tender age of 25, Mr Mahon set up Brewgooder, a company with a mission – to help provide clean water, support social justice and care for the environment.
Profits from every can and pint of its beer sold go to its Brewgooder Foundation, which funds community projects spanning vital areas such as clean water and sanitation, hunger and inclusion.
Now, as the purpose-led beer brand marks its seventh anniversary, it is celebrating its biggest year yet of social impact and record growth in sales.
Since Brewgooder was born, the company has funded more than 150 projects in developing countries, unlocked in excess of 100 million litres of water and had a positive impact on hundreds of thousands of people in vulnerable communities across the globe.
“Seven years on and it’s surreal to see the impact our drinkers have made through Brewgooder and its impact partners,” Mr Mahon said.
“Around 200,000 lives have been empowered through our foundation.”
And the firm’s charitable ethos is proving popular with consumers, as well as winning industry accolades.
In 2018 Brewgooder became the first Scottish beer brand to achieve B-Corp status – a designation recognising high standards of verified performance, accountability and transparency on factors from employee benefits and charitable giving to supply chain practices and input materials.
The firm has for the past three years been listed by B-Lab as one of its Best for the World organisations, placing it in the top five per cent of B-Corps in the world.
In the past year alone, revenue has grown by 180 per cent, while new outlets such as high-end supermarket chain Waitrose and more pubs and restaurants have signed up to stock Brewgooder products.
But the team is not sitting still – there is much work still to be done, according to Mr Mahon.
“It’s not just about the immediate benefits of clean drinking water. In the longer term it accelerates better outcomes in health, education and gender empowerment,” he said.
“Put simply, clean water is the basis of a good life.
“While we’re super proud of what we’ve been able to achieve, we’ve got huge ambitions for the future.”
The firm has set its sights on achieving a target to benefit one million lives by 2030 – in line with the UN's Sustainable Development Goals.
Mr Mahon added: “Much of our project work contributing toward this goal is within clean water and sanitation.
“When you look at the world water crisis, the problem is enormous, but we could also see that it was solvable.
“There are organisations out there making a real difference in the world and we wanted to be one of them.
“Over the years of funding these projects, our impact partner – Charity Water – has estimated that every pint of beer we’ve sold across the majority of our range has enabled 100 pints of clean water to be accessed by communities.
“This points to just how much of a difference our drinkers have made on a global scale through supporting this type of work.”
Brewgooder is also putting a massive focus on the sustainability of the brewing side of things. The firm operates a fully distributed brewing model, outsourcing production to established craft breweries across the country.
Mr Mahon said: “This negates the need to invest carbon dioxide in building an ever-growing brewery of our own, and has the added benefit that we only use energy at the point of brewing so there is minimal wastage in producing our beer.”
The firm, based in Edinburgh, is now looking forward to the next seven years – and the 2030 deadline for its ‘million lives’ mission.