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Shepherd Neame Brewery Tour

Home > London > Breweries | Day Trips | Escape the City | Tours
Published October 18th 2011
If it wasn't for the history and heritage of brewer Shepherd Neame, I probably wouldn't suggest travelling out to Kent for a tour of its brewery. Then again, it's only 90 minutes by train from Victoria station, so it's hardly a trek across the Sahara to get there.

Shepherd Neame happens to be Britain's oldest brewer, doing clever stuff with hops since 1698.

Some of you will be more familiar with the brewer's drinks rather than the name of the brewer itself. Shepherd Neame's cask ales include Spitfire, Bishops Finger, Master Brew and Kent's Best. Ever tried any of those?

Shepherd Neame also brews a number of beers under license for overseas companies such as Asahi, Kingfisher and Holsten Export.

Its brewery is located in the historic market town of Faversham. Tours take place most days in the summer and from Wednesday to Saturday in the winter. Tours usually start early afternoon and last about 80 minutes, though the whole visit - including the beer tasting and a look around the souvenir shop - will probably take a couple of hours in all.

At Shepherd Neame's brewery there's history around every corner. Even the location of the Visitor Centre is old, set inside a restored medieval hall. The tour takes you behind the scenes of the brewery, explains the history of Shepherd Neame, and spills a few of the secrets about how they make some of Britain's favourite beers.

You'll also be shown 'The Vaults' - an old wine and spirit storage space - which today features a display of historic delivery vehicles, a number of old pub signs and hop picking bits and bobs, among other things.

I'm sure you'll agree, a brewery tour really isn't a brewery tour without a tasting at the end, and Shepherd Neame doesn't let you down. A tutored tasting is held for everyone on the tour, enabling you to try a number of the brewery's famous beers.

Following your time at the brewery, you might want to spend the rest of the afternoon exploring Faversham, a fascinating and picturesque little town well worth some of your time.

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Why? It's Britain's oldest brewer and it makes some of the country's favourite beers.
When: Most days in the summer and Wednesdays to Saturdays in winter.
Where: The Faversham Brewery, 17 Court Street, Faversham, Kent ME13 7AX
Cost: Adults 10.75; Children 8.50; Seniors 10
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