Tremayne Food & Drink Limited is the home of two established Cornish food-and-drink businesses, with a third on the way.

Lizard Ales was established in 2004, and specialises exclusively in the production of bottle-conditioned real ales.

Artisan Malt Vinegar Company came a bit later. After a few years’ development, it started to trade in 2012, producing what we like to think is the world’s best malt vinegar.

And now we have another business in development – Tremayne Winery. The plants are in the ground, but we don’t have anything to sell -yet.

What do those businesses have in common? Well, first of all they have me. I started Lizard Ales back in 2004 with my pal Richard Martin. And I started Artisan Malt Vinegar Company with my wife Leonora. Richard has gone off to the great saloon-bar in the sky. And Leonora now spends her time writing novels. But I’m still here – plugging away.

Secondly, they all involve fermentation.

And third, they all involve the same approach to food-and-drink production. We try to make the best quality products we can, at the most reasonable prices we can manage, using small-scale industrial production.

The food-and-drink industry has changed enormously over the last 15 years. Back in 2004 the idea of small-scale, artisan production was looked on with deep suspicion by many distributors, retailers, publicans and customers. People were much more attached to the big brands, and there was a lot of distrust of anything different. When we launched Lizard Ales in 2004 we tried hard to make ourselves look as big and as professional as we could, because a lot of potential customers who might like the products wouldn’t like the idea that they were being made on such a small scale. Contrast that with today, when artisan production is all the rage. Attitudes have turned upside-down. Walk round any supermarket, and if you look you’ll see products made by huge corporations, who are going to great lengths to make mass-produced products look as if they are being made by an artisan in a shed.

We are genuine artisan producers. We use the same approach in all our businesses – we try to use the best ingredients we can; we use procedures which are as simple and as low-tech as possible; we use as few chemicals as possible; and we try to make our products available at prices we would be willing to pay.

But on the other hand, while it’s genuine, small-scale craft production, it’s not just me in a garden shed stirring a pot! Everything is made in accordance with fully-audited procedures. We are SALSA Accredited, and do our best to make sure that our products are safe, clean, and reliable.

And fourth, all our production takes place in a converted Old Nuclear Bunker!

Mark Nattrass

The Old Nuclear Bunker