Back with more things that I am learning about Faversham – with so much history and plenty of things to do I seem to be forever adding to my knowledge collection!
Walking around Faversham you may have noticed the name Shepherd Neame all around town on most of the pubs. Founded in 1698 as a brewery, Shepherd Neame is Britain’s oldest brewer with records of brewing since 1573.
In 1970, an Anglo-Saxon boat built circa 900AD named the Graveney boat showed the earliest evidence of hops in the UK but it is in the Abbey where the first evidence of brewing was found. The Abbey was founded in 1147 by Kind Stephen, inside there remains evidence that Ale was made there for the Monks. The Kentish water from the Artesian wells was naturally chalk-filtered and made an excellent ingredient for brewing. Ale grew in popularity as some of the Ale wives (the women who brewed) would sell it in their Inns and from their homes. In 1698, Richard Marsh bought the brewery from the executors of Thomas Hilton. Hilton had been given the brewery in 1653 by the Castlock family who had owned it since 1525.
The brewery was passed down through families until it became what it is today, Shepherd Neame. They remained open during the wars and to this day are still a family-run business producing well-known brands such as Spitfire, Bear Island and Bishop’s finger. Their brews earnt six prizes at the annual British Bottlers’ Institute (BBI) Awards.
They export to over 35 countries including India, Sweden, Italy, Brazil and Canada. They are also partnered with Boon Rawd Brewery Company Limited, producers of Singha beer, which is both Thailand’s original beer and premium lager as their sole UK distributor.
For a fun day out and to learn more about their history, you can book a tour for £18 which includes tasting on their website: https://www.shepherdneame.co.uk/visitor-centre/brewery-tours#BOOK
You can also grab a pint of their beers in most of the pubs around Faversham. So far the most recommended have been The Sun Inn which dates back to the 14th Century and is located in the centre, The Corner Tap has a large variety of Gin and beer, Vino has an excellent wine selection and the Limes also have monthly comedy nights.
There are several pubs all over Faversham and it is worth checking them all out because they all have something unique to offer. Feeling hungry? The Albion does Tex-Mex. Want a quiet pint? The Phoenix has a lovely venue and quiet smoking garden too.