Our Team

Frank Nicholson


After leaving Cambridge University in 1975, Frank qualified as a Chartered Surveyor before joining Vaux Breweries as Tied Trade Director in 1981. He went on to become Managing Director in 1984 and continued in that role until the Brewery closed in 1999. Since that time Frank has worked in a variety of businesses either in a non-executive capacity or an advisory one and has run his own management advisory company since 1999.

He is very proud of his North East roots and involves himself in a wide variety of commercial and community initiatives in the region. He won the Prince of Wales Community Ambassador's Award in 1995 for his work in Pennywell in Sunderland and was awarded the Queen's Award for Enterprise Promotion in 2010 for that with the Sunderland Youth Enterprise Trust. He is also a Trustee of the Northern Rock Foundation.


Mr R M Finn

Honorary President 

Michael went to school at Oundle and spent three years at Durham University.

He learnt to fly (in a Tiger Moth ) when he was 19 and joined the Royal Air Force and was sent to Canada to do training for his Wings. He started in a Harvard then progressed to a Silver Star (T33) jet fighter.

Following this he then worked at C.A.Parsons in the electrical research laboratory and later as a representative for Pirelli Cables. Now aged 81, he has been happily married for 55 years and has two daughters, five grandchildren and two great grandchildren. Part of his family lives in France and so he loves to travel.


Jess McConnell

Managing Director

An experienced brewer and publican, Jess has a wealth of knowledge in all aspects of the licensed trade and has operated freehold pubs in the North East for over 30 years.

After launching the Jarrow Brewery at the Robin Hood in 2002, Jess took over the role of head brewer and operations manager. Jess has been at the forefront of the development of the brewery, overseeing the move to the Maltings and the major expansion plan to the new brewery site. As Managing Director, Jess oversees the running of the brewery, pubs, acquisitions and production.

Alison McConnell

Alison is an experienced brewer and publican with over 25 years experience in the licensed trade running pubs and being instrumental in setting up Jarrow Brewery.

As well as the brewing process, Alison spearheaded the sales and marketing of Jarrow’s portfolio of ales helping to established the brewery’s brands on a regional and national level.

Alison takes an active role in the sales process and has full responsibility for customer accounts, invoicing and duty.

Mikaela Finnigan

Head Brewer and Brewery Manager

Mikaela, Jess and Alison’s daughter, is head brewer and Brewery Manager. She is responsible for beer production and operations at both breweries.

At the age of 19, Mikaela was the country’s youngest Brewster.

Gillian Spurr

Financial Manager

Gillian joined the company in 2003 when Jarrow Brewery was based in The Robin Hood.

An invaluable member of the management team, Gillian fully understands the running of the pubs having worked in the trade from the age of 18. She has full responsibility for the brewery accounts.

Mike Berriman

Sales and Marketing Manager

An accomplished General Manager, Mike has strategic planning, sales, PR and marketing skills built up over many years working in large PLC and smaller independent companies.

He has held an array of senior marketing roles for breweries such as Vaux, Federation, Cameron’s and Daleside. In this time, Mike has gathered extensive knowledge on how breweries operate, playing key roles in developing the company’s image, strategy and product and brand development.

Jarrow Brewery is an award-winning craft brewery based in the North East of England and our aim is:

To create great tasting beer.

Beers you'd walk a long, long way for.