The New Year started with a visit to Britain’s Oldest Brewer, Shepherd Neame in Faversham, Kent, organised by the Liverymen’s Committee. The Brewery was founded in 1698, by Richard Marsh, who in his capacity as mayor, held King James II prisoner after he ran aground off Faversham while attempting to flee to France to avoid William of Orange and his threatening Dutch army during the ‘Glorious Revolution’ of 1688. The monarch was confined at the brewery.

Following a brief presentation on the history of the brewery, hi-vis vests were donned and the Pavior’s ‘flock’ followed our ‘shepherd’ guide around the brewery. The brewing process has certainly seen some changes since 1698, however the principles have stayed very much the same and the water is still sourced from the aquifer underneath the town. The brewery is a credit to its CEO Jonathan Neame, who served as master of the Worshipful Company of Brewers in 2022-23.

Following a very informative tour, there was a tutored tasting of three beers including the brewery’s signature Masterbrew. The visit culminated in a wonderful lunch of Shepherd Neame pie followed by a sticky toffee pudding which put paid to any lingering hope of shedding any excess pounds following the Christmas period. All in all, it was a very enjoyable visit and a great way to start the New Year.

/ Jay Moorhouse