New head brewer relishes working with Kentish hops

Posted: 16 February 2012

Blog category: News

Shepherd Neame’s new head brewer is relishing the opportunity to work with an award-winning brewing team and top quality local hops at Britain’s oldest brewer.
Richard Frost, 54, has more than 30 years’ experience in the industry and was site manager and head brewer at the Wolverhampton brewery, part of Marston’s plc, since 2003.
“I am honoured to be the head brewer of Britain’s oldest brewer,” said Richard. “Although it is a long-established company there have been lots of changes in recent years. Today it is a dynamic, forward-looking business, with a flexible and agile approach to brewing and fulfilling customer orders.
“The use of modern business planning processes has delivered benefits in cost effectiveness, energy-use and quality while still retaining Shepherd Neame’s unique culture and traditional values.”
Richard is responsible for all brewing, packaging and engineering operations, leading a team of 90, including brewers, lab technicians and engineers. The team has won many industry awards, both for its production and management approach and the quality of its ales and lagers.
He said: “I am impressed with the technical experience and depth of knowledge of people in key roles and also their commitment to developing the skills of the younger brewers coming through.”
The team at Faversham brews a wide range of traditional Kentish cask ales, such as Spitfire and Bishops Finger, as well as distinctive international lagers under licence, including the award-winning Asahi Super Dry. Beers are brewed using chalk-filtered mineral water from an artesian well under the brewery and 95% of the hops used in Shepherd Neame’s traditional cask ales are grown in Kent.
Richard said: “Kentish ales brewed with local hops have a special character and I am particularly looking forward to discovering the range of historic hop varieties in the National Hop Collection, supported by Shepherd Neame at Queen Court Farm.
“I am also impressed with the pilot brewery, which gives us a real chance to experiment, to develop different flavours and styles without being committed to a large production run.”
Married, with an 18-year-old daughter and a 23-year-old son, Richard has already seen much of the county while house-hunting: “We currently live in a village and we would be looking for something similar. We are spoilt for choice as Kent is a lovely county with many attractive towns and villages.”
In his spare time, Richard enjoys golf and cycling and is relishing the chance to discover Kent’s wealth of top-quality courses and countryside.
Tom Falcon, Shepherd Neame’s production and distribution director, said: “Richard is a talented and experienced brewer and we are sure he will do a great job leading our award-winning team in the development of our broad portfolio of ales and lagers.”