The Driftwood Spars Brewery, in Trevaunance Cove, Cornwall, has announced that Mike Mason (pictured) is its new head brewer.
Formerly head brewer at Brewhouse & Kitchen, in Lichfield, Mike was appointed before the Covid-19 lockdown, but has only recently been able to begin work on a full-time basis due to interruptions to brewing supplies.
Mike said: “Heading up a microbrewery by the Cornish coast is a dream job for me, and I am so pleased to be getting stuck in now. There is an incredible legacy of brewing here at Trevaunance Cove, and I will be working very hard to live up to that.”
The brewery and its conjoined pub, The Driftwood Spars, lost a much-loved colleague and friend earlier this year when former Head Brewer Pete Martin sadly passed away following a short illness.
Before he became unwell, Pete had been in contact with Mike who, keen to relocate to Cornwall, had visited the brewery and been offered a job as second in command.
Sadly they never got to work together, but the fact that Pete effectively chose his replacement is a great comfort to Louise Treseder, landlady of The Driftwood Spars and owner of the brewery.
‘It is obviously a very challenging time for pubs and breweries, but we are staying positive’
She said: “Microbrewing is such a personal thing, and it was really Pete’s wonderful talent and great palate which dictated the style and character of our ales. I’m so lucky that he found someone who shared his vision — it made appointing a new head brewer much easier.
“It is obviously a very challenging time for pubs and breweries, but we are staying positive and selling plenty of beer direct from the brewery in bottles and mini-kegs. We are also using this time to overhaul the brewery’s website to make it easier to buy our beer online.”
Mike began as an experimental home brewer before he scooped a job in the industry with Brewhouse and Kitchen — a chain of 22 brewpubs across the UK. The Lichfield branch, which he operated, has a 400-litre brewpub set-up which produces a core range of four cask beers, four keg beers, and two seasonal kegs.
Mike has already won several industry awards, including two Society of Independent Brewers (SIBA) silver awards, and was a judge at the World Beer Awards in 2019. He also presented a beer and food pairing to MPs at Parliament on behalf of the All-Party Parliamentary Beer Group in 2019.
Mike and Louise have pledged to work together to keep producing Pete’s core range — including Alfie’s Revenge and Lou’s Brew — alongside seasonal specials, ensuring consistent future production of these unique and award-winning ales, all of which are gluten free.
Mike will also be experimenting with new varieties of English hops and wants the Driftwood Spars Brewery to lead the way when it comes to home-grown British ingredients.
He is already developing an exciting new series of small-batch craft beers. The Cove will complement the current range and launch the Driftwood Spars Brewery into the canned beer market.