Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner. Facebook Messenger An icon of the facebook messenger app logo. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Facebook Messenger An icon of the Twitter app logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. WhatsApp Messenger An icon of the Whatsapp messenger app logo. Email An icon of an mail envelope. Copy link A decentered black square over a white square.

80 days off alcohol inspired former oil and gas worker to take her life in a whole new direction selling non-alcoholic craft beers

Morgan Humphreys.
Morgan Humphreys.

Angus woman Morgan Humphreys swapped a career in the oil and gas industry to start up a business selling non-alcoholic craft beers.

Making a move into selling craft beer from a career in the oil and gas industry may seem a life-changing choice – and maybe a risk.

But doing it during a pandemic, and only selling non-alcoholic beverages, is not a path many have taken, never mind achieve.

But that is exactly what Morgan Humphreys has done with her young start-up The Clean Cask.

The business, which only sells alcohol-free craft beers, has been operating for seven months, but Morgan, from Carnoustie, is hugely optimistic for the future.

Morgan, 33, who completed a degree in chemistry and then did a Masters in marine science, said she never really felt a connection with science so came up with the idea of selling quality alcohol-free beers after having a period of abstinence from alcohol herself.

“I had the idea last year. I like to give myself little challenges now and again, and I decided to do 80 days alcohol free, don’t ask me why 80 days, it was just a round number to get me to my birthday,” she said.

“I’ve always been really interested in craft beer, particularly the more niche styles and I have absolutely no sweet tooth, so going to the pub and having a pint of coke was not something I wanted to do.

“You can have a pint of water with your friends, but once you have had one that’s enough, whereas you will have several beers.


“I did a bit of research while I was in this eighty-day phase and it seemed to me that there had been an explosion of alcohol-free beers in the craft market. Lots of really interesting, independent brewers doing some really exciting things – not just doing lagers that you boiled the alcohol out of, really experimenting with the way they are brewing, getting really good flavour and quality beer.

“We aren’t seeing that being translated into the pubs yet. Although if you are into craft beer and non-alcoholic beer you can order it online and drink it at home. It is missing that social element so they will go to the pub and drink an alcoholic beer because they don’t want to go and ask for a Beck’s Blue because it doesn’t have a great reputation in the craft beer world.

“If you are someone like me who likes to try a new beer when you go to the pub if they only have a Beck’s Blue it kind of takes the fun part out of it – the discovery.”

For those that don't know my story: Last year I spontaneously decided to take an 80 day break from alcohol in the lead…

Posted by The Clean Cask on Friday, 15 January 2021

Bridge the gap

However, lockdown has meant a slight change of direction for Morgan at the present time, relying on home sales with pubs being closed.

“Because of this disconnect of non-alcoholic beers not going into the pubs my idea was to be the wholesaler, the spokesperson for the market to pubs around Dundee and Angus, in the local area to bridge the gap – and then lockdown happened.

“Most of the pubs closed, or when they were open weren’t willing to take a chance on something new, they were really looking after their pennies which was completely understandable.

“From their point of view, I would go in and say ‘I’ve got these really good non-alcoholic beers, want to give them a go?’ And they would say ‘Well we’ve got this Beck’s Blue and it never sells so why would we spend some money on a different kind?’ It is usually more expensive too as it is a better beer so that became quite a difficult challenge.”

Focus on Scotland

But with the coronavirus vaccine now being rolled out, Morgan is confident that things can improve, and The Clean Cask’s offering of top-quality beer will be a winner.

“I think as Covid-19 hopefully eases I think we will see more traction. There are a couple of restaurants and a couple of health food cafes that have taken the beers and they have gone down really well so the hope is there, but it is just getting through Covid,” she added.

“I decided I wanted to focus on Scottish breweries, so there is a brewery called Jump Ship, Scotland’s first completely non-alcoholic brewery and they’re really good; Tempest who have got a really interesting fruity sours; Harviestoun, not technically a craft brewery, but have some really good dark beers; Coast who are new and they are also completely non-alcoholic; there’s a new one called Days, and Reid’s Gold in Stonehaven whose beer is called Designated Driver which is just great.

“I think I emailed nearly every brewery in Scotland at some point, but obviously they are Covid-stricken at the moment with a number being closed or staff on furlough, but the number that are doing it are sticking with it. Lots of brewers have plans to do it, so it will get bigger in the market.

“At the moment pretty much all of my sales are public sales selling directly through my website to people. I will probably keep that going and then try and get back to the original dream of the business of trying to get the beers into the social spaces because I think that’s where the stigma of the alcohol-free beer will be reduced and normalised. Maybe one day I will have a physical shop somewhere.”

Endless possibilities

And Morgan is enjoying being a beacon of light for the non-alcoholic craft beer industry.

“It is good and it is hard work. It’s so difficult at the moment, but in the future when things get back to normal the possibilities for these beers are endless.

“You can take them to festivals people are driving to and sports events – at the end of a triathlon you could be having an isotonic beer, even before you take part in the triathlon you be having an isotonic beer. It’s really something exciting to be part of.”

Read more on craft beer…