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Posted: 11th January 2024

A passion for pubs – and for beer – ensures that the General Manager of Shepherd Neame’s newly-renovated The Royal Crown pub in Rochester relishes coming into work day after day.

Tom Crackett, 29, has worked in hospitality since he left school and joined the team at the Royal Crown four and a half years ago, before being promoted to General Manager two years ago.

He has just led the team through a major £1.2 million refurbishment of the historic pub, which has seen it transformed with a stylish new contemporary look and feel – and with it, a return to the name The Royal Crown, from The Crown.

He said: “My favourite thing about working in the pub is that it is a relaxed, happy environment - everyone who goes to a pub wants to be there. There’s not a lot of jobs you can say that about! 

“I also like to talk to people, so this is the best place to be.”

Among the pub’s many offerings, including the new King’s View first floor function room overlooking the River Medway and a delicious new menu, is an extensive selection of award-winning craft ales and lagers from Britain’s oldest brewer, which include exclusively, two of its new Classic Collection draught keg beers, Double Stout and Bishops Finger. 

He and his team are proud to be serving Shepherd Neame’s finest to his customers, and honoured to be chosen as the only venue to stock the two new Classic Collection draught keg beers. “This is the only pub in the county you can get them!”

Of the new draught keg Double Stout he says: “Once people try it, they have pint after pint, and end up liking it as much as Guinness.”

Tom, who used to drink cider before joining the Shepherd Neame team, says his beer knowledge and love of the brew has grown and grown over the years.

“I like trying new things. I also love some of the German Oktoberfest-style beers and trying some weird and wonderful beers from around the world.”

His personal favourite of the Faversham-based brewer’s range is the popular Bear Island East Coast Pale Ale, of which he says: “It is a great pale ale, and a really sessional pint for me.”

One of the highlights of the run-up to the reopening of The Royal Crown for him was when he and his team enjoyed a tour of Shepherd Neame’s Faversham brewery. “It was so interesting to go around the brewery and see how much goes into making the beer. I found it fascinating.”

You can find The Royal Crown in Rochester High Street, ME1 1PT, by calling 01634 814874 and by visiting

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