Mike Mason – Head Brewer

 

Heading up a micro-brewery by the Cornish coast is a dream job for me. There is an incredible legacy of brewing here at Trevaunance Cove and I’m proud to have inherited that.

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. He joined the team here at The Driftwood Spars Brewery in spring 2020 with the remit of continuing to grow the craft brewery’s reputation at a local, national and international level.

Mike has already won several industry awards, including two SIBA (Society of Independent Brewers Awards) 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 is always keen to experiment with home-grown British ingredients, including new varieties of hops. He has developed an exciting new series of contemporary craft beers to complement the core range, launching The Driftwood Spars Brewery into the market for canned beers.

Mike says: "My favourite beer in our range is Alfie’s Revenge, I also love JSB. Further afield I can’t resist a well kept pint of Marston’s Pedigree. I’m a huge cask beer fan but likewise love a hoppy pale ale in the sunny weather. Thornbridge Jaipur deserves a mention for giving me a nudge into the rabbit hole of beer and brewing, it made me realise the infinite flavour possibilities from four simple ingredients. My treat beer would be a strong Imperial Stout. Pastry, Dessert or Barrel Aged, I’m not fussy!

"If I’m not brewing you’ll likely see me surfing, with my partner Lisa trying to tire out our Border Collie Loki, or wood carving."

Louise Treseder – Landlady, The Driftwood Spars

 

"I was so excited when the Driftwood Spars came on the market; it was such a dynamic and multi-faceted business, and it had a brewery! It was such a pleasure developing the business alongside Pete, and I look forward to growing it further with Mike in charge of the brewing.

A proud Cornishwoman with hospitality in her blood, Louise has been Landlady at The Driftwood Spars since 2007. 

Although not strictly speaking a brewer herself, Louise is a respected authority on brewing and a leading female voice of the industry. She writes regularly on beer and brewing for Food Mag, and judges competitions far and wide.

With hard work and determination, Louise has steered her beloved pub through challenging times, determined to keep The Driftwood Spars at the heart of the local community it serves, as well as a destination for beer enthusiasts from all over the UK.

The pub raises thousands of pounds for charity every year, supports local good causes in a variety of ways and remains a happy hub for the people of St Agnes.

Lou says: "My favourite beer in our collection is Lou's Brew - obviously! I love traditional British IPA's like Return of the Empire from Moor Beers, but when I was younger I used to drink Summer Lightning whenever I could find it - that was long before you got the choice of beer available today. Currently some of my favourite beers include Chimay White, Chimay Blue, Duval, Dupont Saison and Bristol Beer Factory's Milk Stout - not all in the same session though. 

"When I'm not working or tasting beer I love walking the coastal path, growing things like veg & flowers and swimming in the sea - 'strictly swimwear', I'm rarely seen in a wetsuit."

Pete Martin – Founding Brewer

 

Pete would have wanted the brewery to continue in the same vein – with a pioneering spirit and a fierce independence, crafting beers people gather together to share and enjoy.” Louise Treseder on her friend and colleague Pete Martin, who passed away in 2020.

Pete’s independent and pioneering spirit is the foundation of the brewery. A warm, fun personality, Pete had many friends in the world of brewing and is sorely missed.

Before he passed away, Pete was optimistic about how the brewing industry in the UK was developing. Through his role at SIBA he was helping to influence the future shape of the industry, and wanted to make things fair for breweries of all sizes.

The beer Pete was most proud of was Alfie's Revenge, which won Champion Winter Beer of Britain in 2012. The beer he most enjoyed drinking was Duchesse du Bourgogne - a Flemish Red Ale style beer - when he could find it.

Pete’s fellow brewers remember him as social, fun, modest and unassuming; many have fond memories of a well-oiled Pete at various beer festivals, wearing his fluffy fleece – hence the name Fluffy Pete (although he ‘retired’ the fleece in recent years, the name stuck). Pete was also a talented artist and, when he tore himself away from the brewery, he could be found creating carvings from wood, stone and slate.