Surrounded by rugged wild beauty at its home in North Cornwall, Sharp’s Brewery is continually committed and giving back to the coast that inspires its creativity and its beers.
For the 2019 Royal Cornwall Show, the brewer went above and beyond from an environmental perspective. And the extra effort was recognised, with the Sharp’s Beach Bar taking first prize in the best large non-agricultural trade stand category.
With Sharp’s Ultimate Beach Bar, the team is committed to reducing any plastic use to a bare minimum. Continually building with wood and natural materials throughout, the Sharp’s team is working with suppliers and their processes to ensure every step of the way is as sustainable as possible.
Key elements include recycled ‘scaf’ and floorboard materials, upcycled beer kegs as bar stools, timber signage, all benches and tables built from recycled wood, and flooring including sand from the Doom Bar and the Camel Estuary.
It was all of this extra effort that caught the eye of judge Mags Clark, who awarded the stand first prize in its category. She said: “From the minute I walked around the corner and saw the Sharp’s Beach Bar, I could already feel the atmosphere and immediately see the attention to detail and the extra effort that had been put in to bring the beach to the show.
The Sharp’s bar team celebrate their Royal Cornwall Show award
“I also really like that it’s not your traditional bar set-up — it’s about coming in and experiencing the product. All around the stand the Sharp’s team are enthusiastically and passionately storytelling, rather than overtly selling the company and the products.
“You want to come in and enjoy a drink, and be part of that genuine passion that’s extremely evident across everything here. Very deserving of this first place position in my opinion.”
The Sharp’s events team is using plant-based compostable cups, aiming to significantly reduce the use of single-use plastic on its stand. Working with Tanya Blackman, of Truro-based Kartha (which means ‘to clean’ in Cornish), ongoing ‘beach cleans’ of the Sharp’s Beach Bar are taking place, and then behind the scenes, a second level of careful recycling is taking place via the Kartha team.
Collectively the team is also ensuring that the onward journey of its cornstarch ‘I am not a plastic cup’ pint and sampling glasses, is as effective as possible.
‘Plastic is a major challenge for the entire industry’
Sharp’s Brewery’s events manager, Nick White, said: “Plastic reduction or elimination at volume heavy events and festivals is a major challenge for the entire industry, and with our brewery being based here right on the Cornish coast, we see the major impact that the misuse of single use plastics is having.
“Where we once had plastic beer tokens, we now have wooden ones, and we’ve even insisted our neon signs have a wooden backing rather than the normal plastic moulding.
“Further examples include our upcycled wooden bars, timber signage, walkways, back bar, furniture and backdrops. Brand new this year, we have also introduced our large recycling bins to encourage punters to easily recycle any wastage they have.”
He added: “With regards to one of our biggest impacts, we have made the switch from single-use plastic glasses and cups to the completely compostable, sustainably produced, plant-based drinks packaging over two years ago.
“Not only does this reduce our impact on our beautiful environment, both in terms of recycling and our carbon footprint, but it ensures that whatever the eventual process is for these cups, in any waste management system, they don’t release damaging gasses or chemicals back into the environment, and they would degrade safely in the ocean, should this ever occur.”
Sharp’s commitment to the Cornish coast has already seen the brewery providing vital funding (more than £42,000) for the 2019 Blue Flag and Seaside Award applications in Cornwall, and helping the ocean to fund its own protection with Keynvor.
Working with Universal Music, Sharp’s has created a new recording artist in ‘Keynvor’ (the Cornish word for ocean) and every stream of Keynvor’s single, Preservation, is raising money for Cornish charity Surfers Against Sewage.
Sharp’s has also, this year, launched a £1 million charitable advertising campaign, via Good Loop, which will see £25,000 go back to Surfers Against Sewage.