New Cornish beer celebrates – and helps to preserve – a unique coastal ecosystem

New Cornish beer celebrates – and helps to preserve – a unique coastal ecosystem

A new Cornish beer from a coastal microbrewery, released in can and keg in time for summer, has been inspired by the unique ecosystem of sand dune habitats.

Dune, a hazy pale ale unveiled by The Driftwood Spars Brewery this month, seeks to celebrate and protect these precious features of the coastline.

Mike Mason, Head Brewer at the award-winning brewery at Trevaunance Cove, described the beer as: “Smooth, fruity and sessionable, with a subtle tropical twist. It’s a deep golden colour and was crafted for summer days – it’s a great new addition to our Cove range of contemporary beers.”

Hazy pale ales like this often rely on New World hops for their intense tropical fruit flavours, but The Driftwood Spars Brewery prefer to use English hops; Dune is dry-hopped with large amounts of Olicana and Opus, giving it a more mellow tropical flavour balanced with creamy, biscuity malt notes.

Mike explained: “We source our hops and malts with low mileage, as well as high quality, in mind. The hops are grown across England and processed in Worcestershire, and we use the fantastic Warminster Maltings in Wiltshire as a source of traditionally produced floor malts.” 

The resulting beer, and the branding, have been designed to evoke sun-drenched days on the Cornish coast, days “of nothing but golden sands, dune grass and crystal-clear blue waters.”

Blissful though this might sound, there’s an important message at the heart of this latest release from the brewery, which puts the local environment and community at the centre of its approach.

Part of The Driftwood Spars brewpub in popular Trevaunance Cove, St Agnes, their beers are handcrafted just metres from the sea; lunchtime or post-work sea dips are a common occurrence.

The ‘Swim a day in May’ initiative has seen team members take to the water throughout the month, with Landlady Louise Treseder leading from the front.

She said: “Many of us go in the water often anyway, so we’re very aware of the levels of plastic and other litter. Sadly, on our daily swims this month, we’ve noticed a depressing amount both in the sea and on the beach. It’s terrible for water quality and sea life, and much of it ends up washed back up elsewhere – especially after winter storms – impacting on the coastal environment, including sand dunes, on other parts of the north coast.”

Sand dunes are an important habitat for a wide variety of plant life, as well as bees, butterflies and birds. 

Mike says: “First and foremost we make beer, and we’re not going to solve the world’s problems anytime soon. But I’d like to think that we can use our branding and marketing to remind people to at the least take their rubbish home – better still pick up any litter they see while enjoying a beer on the beach.”

The brewery is going one step further by partnering with ocean clean-up charity, Fathoms Free.

A percentage from every sale of the Cove range of beers is donated to support efforts to remove plastic and discarded fishing gear from the Cornish coast; over 5.5k has been donated since the brewery pledged their support in 2021.

Dune, and other beers from the Cove range (Stippy Stappy, Seaberry, Midnight Skinny Dipper & Beacon) are available to buy online, at the brewery shop, at The Driftwood Spars pub, and in many local independent stockists.

For updates, follow @driftwoodsparsbrewery on social media.