Inspirational away days at Britain's oldest brewer

Posted: 23 February 2011

Blog category: News, Visitor Centre

With the New Year in full swing, employers are looking for unique conference venues that will bring out the best in delegates.

The Shepherd Neame brewery in Faversham, Kent, offers a cost-effective meeting facility just an hour from London, ideal for conferences, seminars and inspiring away-days.

The Visitor Centre is a beautifully-restored medieval hall house, with a magnificent 15th century function room featuring traditional oak beams, vaulted ceilings and even a unique beer-bottle chandelier. Downstairs, the bar area boasts an original brewing-tun floor and wood burning stove, creating an atmosphere that will fire delegates’ imaginations.

Companies can incorporate activities and team-building games into the day and, for something really different, can choose a guided tour of the brewery and tutored tasting session or fun-filled beer quiz.

With several national business, manufacturing and logistics awards, Shepherd Neame can arrange for senior brewery staff to speak on a range of subjects from Lean Six Sigma to marketing, and from product development to supply chain innovation.

Companies can have the whole facility to themselves, across two floors, with a fully-equipped bar and dining facilities, and can build their own agenda of meetings, workshops and activities for one competitive price.

The brewery offers a range of catering options from brewers’ platters to ale samplers’ suppers. Shepherd Neame’s beer experts can also host a beer and food matching dinner, where each course is matched with an ale or lager to complement the flavours of the food. All food is freshly prepared on site, using some of the best locally-sourced ingredients.

Upon departure delegates can receive bespoke “goody bags” including a range of beers and local products from the Visitor Centre shop. Corporate gifts such as Kentish produce hampers can also be arranged. If required, packages can include high-quality accommodation in two Shepherd Neame pubs a short walk from the brewery: the historic Sun Inn, in the town’s attractive conservation area and featured in the Good Pub Guide 2010, or the Railway Hotel, featured in the Good Beer Guide 2010.

The Visitor Centre has hosted successful events and conferences for organisations including Maersk, A.T.Kearney, McDonalds, Pfizer and the NHS.

Visitor Centre manager Graham Hukins said: “Shepherd Neame provides employers with an inspiring venue for seminars and away-days in a convenient location, just an hour from the capital. We are already seeing interest for summer 2012, as businesses find London venues are being booked up for the Olympics and other events well in advance. With a range of catering and accommodation packages available, the brewery is suitable for multiple-day conferences as well as office away-days.”

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 new high-speed rail services from London, with journey times of just over an hour.
The town of Faversham is home to over 500 listed buildings and an array of independent traders and specialist shops.