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Will the Pope take the opportunity to slip into a London pub and sample the cask version of one of his favourite British ales during his visit?
Last year, celebrity priest Father Michael Seed let slip that Pope Benedict was rather partial to a drop of British ale.
The revelation appeared in the Daily Mail’s Ephraim Hardcastle column, which reported that the British cleric regularly sends English beer mats to the Vatican as Easter or Christmas gifts.
Fr Michael went on to reveal that Pope Benedict XVI has a “fondness” for Spitfire, the Kentish ale brewed at Faversham by Britain’s oldest brewer, Shepherd Neame.
It’s an unexpected choice for a Pope born in Germany as Spitfire advertising is famous for its tongue-in-cheek, Dad’s Army-style wartime humour. Aside from the fun, Spitfire raises large amounts of money for service charities and this September the beer is running a campaign to raise £100,000 to help the RAFBF and Help for Heroes.
Spitfire marketing manager Mark Miller said: “The Pope is not the first German to down a Spitfire but certainly the most famous. We are delighted that His Holiness enjoys the unique taste of Spitfire and what better time to try the cask version than during the 70th anniversary of the Battle of Britain? We would also encourage him to sample another of Shepherd Neame’s fine Kentish ales – Bishops Finger!”