Groups well catered for at Britain's oldest brewer

Posted: 11 January 2011

Blog category: News, Visitor Centre

Shepherd Neame, Britain’s oldest brewer and Small Visitor Attraction of the Year, has a fully packed line up of events for groups in 2011.

Located in the heart of historic Faversham in Kent, Shepherd Neame offers group packages for special events, exclusive Beer and Food
Evenings, full day excursions with other leading attractions and private brewery tours and tastings.

The two-hour tour takes visitors through the heart of the working brewery telling the story of how beer is made from hop to hand pump.
Groups will have the chance to taste chalk-filtered mineral water from the artesian well, visit the brewhouse and savour Kent hops.

Visitors will also see the recently converted wines and spirits store, ‘The Vaults’, which contains a fascinating display of original pub signs, vintage delivery vehicles and hop picking memorabilia. Each tour ends with a tutored tasting session, where guests can sample Shepherd Neame’s range of Kentish ales and international lagers brewed under licence.

After a guided tour, groups can choose to enjoy a freshly prepared lunch or afternoon tea made with locally-sourced ingredients. There is a choice of menus and all dietary requirements can be catered for.

Shepherd Neame has teamed up with other leading attractions such as the award-winning Brogdale Farm, home of the National Fruit Collection, so groups can enjoy full day excursions in and around Faversham. Other attractions include Farming WorldBelmont House and Gardens – a beautiful Georgian manor, Mount Ephraim Gardens and guided walking tours of Faversham.

Groups looking for a night out with a difference can enjoy a seasonal Beer and Food Evening, where each course is carefully matched with an ale or lager that complements the flavours of the food. The four-course beer dinner is served in the magnificent 15th century function room, and guests will have the chance to learn about the unique characteristics of different beers in a special tutored tasting. The evening includes a guided tour of the brewery.

Two-course Ale Samplers’ Suppers are also available, which are more informal and served in the Visitor Centre bar. They also include a guided evening tour of the brewery.

Special events take place in Faversham throughout the year, such as the Classic Car & Motorcycle Show in May and the Hop Festival in September. Packages can be arranged for groups interested in brewery tours or riding the Spitfire Steam Train, which is specially commissioned for the events.

Faversham is a 40 minute drive from the M25, located just off junction 6 of the M2. There is ample car parking in the town and free parking for coaches. The town also benefits from high-speed rail services from London, with journey times of just over an hour.