In the 19th century, the Latte family’s agricultural company resided on the highest point in Gavere. Next to the farm the family also managed a windmill and a brewery. At the time it was not unusual to be a farmer-brewer. They were both labour intensive crafts, without any of the current forms of mechanisation. Furthermore, both crafts could be combined perfectly: the grain grown in summer was malted in winter and processed in the family’s brewery.
Brewery Latte was founded in 1818. The second half of the 19th century the company was led by Valère Latte, who was not only a farmer and a brewer, but also the town clerk of Gavere. In 1898 the family Latte sold the brewery to René Contreras
At the start of the 21st century Ann Contreras, the only daughter from Willy Contreras’ marriage with Madeleine D’Hauwers, and her fiancée Frederik De Vrieze gradually took over the daily management of the brewery. Their first achievement came in 2002 with the reintroduction of the Maarts Tonneke, which was hardly known outside the town borders at the time. A complete restyling, including a new label with the name Mars and subtitle ‘Contreras’ Especial’ to refer to the Spanish roots of the brewer family, paved the way for greater commercial success and brand awareness.