Winner: designer Drew Spathaky demonstrates the Tribute Tray with St Austell’s beer brand marketing manager, Laura Hicks


Drew Spathaky, a final year sustainable design student at Falmouth University, has carried off £1,000 top prize in a St Austell Brewery-sponsored competition to create inspired products for use in pubs and bars.

Last year, third year sustainable design students at the university were challenged by the brewery to take
part in the special project as part of their final year portfolio.

Designed to support the company’s flagship ale, Tribute, and its new ‘quality speaks for itself’ creative strapline, the project was focused around designing a piece of pub furniture or bar item which might be used while enjoying a pint of Tribute.

The students were advised that the winning item would need to provide an enhanced quality customer
experience through innovation, aesthetics, design, craft work, or the materials used.

As the judging team — including brewery directors Piers Thompson and Steve Worrall — lined up for the
unveiling of the final design, the true creativity of the students was revealed, with giant storytelling chairs,
in-glass souvenir chillers, and multiple-use bar stools/tables among those vying for the prize.

Piers said: “What was truly amazing about this project was seeing the end products of these creative young minds at work. Such an amazing array of wildly different concepts, and all of them worthy of being winners.”


Scalability and practicality


Among entries that deserved special mention were Jolyon Blackwell’s self-serve cask table, which brilliantly incorporated a cask ale pump and handle on top of a barrel-based table to allow groups to book and serve themselves Tribute all night.

Skye Algera’s intricate animatronic models, depicting the various stages of Tribute’s creation and enjoyment,
impressed all the judges but, for scalability, practicality, design and, well, just pure fun, the final prize was
awarded to 21-year old Drew.

Drew’s Tribute Tray is a masterpiece of design, allowing for pints of Tribute to be carried across a crowded bar without fear of spillage. But what made this design even more appealing was the special ‘phone-slot’ which was designed for customers to ‘park’ their phones, to allow them to interact and enjoy each other’s company more fully.

Designed using locally-sourced, sustainable materials, and with bar games built into the base of the tray, adding an extra dimension to encourage social interaction, the final verdict was unanimous. Drew has made a few pieces of his award-winning design that were launched this summer at the Hicks Bar, in St Austell Brewery’s Visitor Centre.

Drew said: “This has been an amazing project and I’m so thrilled to have won it. It’s great to be able to work with a real brand as a student, and we are all really thankful to the brewery for allowing us to have a go at solving a real challenge for the real world.”

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