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27th March 2024

Open for Opportunities: Shepherd Neame launches new pub partnership recruitment campaign

Independent family brewer and pub company Shepherd Neame has launched a new licensee recruitment campaign titled Open for Opportunities.

The Faversham-based business currently has 219 tenanted and leased pubs and hotels throughout London and the South East, as part of its 300-strong estate.

Its Open for Opportunities initiative is aimed at bringing to life the rewards of running a pub with Shepherd Neame, whether you’re joining the company as first time licensee or an experienced operator looking for a new challenge.

A new pub swing sign logo has been designed for the campaign, which is being launched with a series of six films showcasing the experiences of a diverse range of pub partners from around its tenanted estate.

They include first-time licensees James and Hope Dench, who took on The Bucks Head in Godden Green last year, multi-site operators Gordon and Sharon Thompson, who run four Shepherd Neame pubs with rooms, and award-winning licensee Amy Glenie, who has won numerous honours including Pub of the Year in the Beautiful South Awards for Excellence since taking on the Blue Anchor in Crowborough in 2018.

Director of Tenanted Pub Operations Greg Wallis said: “Shepherd Neame is proud to have an outstanding estate of characterful tenanted and leased pubs and hotels, and our Open for Opportunities campaign is aimed at recruiting new partners from all walks of life to unlock their potential.

“As our new series of films shows, we don’t believe one size fits all. Our licensees are all independent entrepreneurs with a unique ambition for their business, and we see our job as providing a comprehensive range of support and initiatives to help them achieve their goals.”

Support is provided by Shepherd Neame’s experienced in-house team across a wide range of areas, including financial planning, cellar management, food and drink, and marketing.

The success of this approach can be seen in the number of pub partners who have won local and national acclaim for their efforts during the past year, including the following:

  • Barons Pub Company, which runs two Shepherd Neame sites, won the Best Operations team and Best Pub Employer in last year’s Publican Awards
  • The Sportsman at Seasalter was named Kent Fine Dining Experience of the Year at the Taste of Kent Awards, and took 4th place in the Estrella Damm Top 50 Gastropub Awards
  • Joe and Jane Mullane, licensees at the New Flying Horse in Wye won the Shepherd Neame Pub of the Year award
  • Stag Inn, Hastings won Pub of the Year in the Beautiful South Award
  • The Barn, Tunbridge Wells took the Great Service Award in the Kent Wedding Awards

Shepherd Neame has also been recognised for its achievements, shortlisted in the Best Partnership Pub Company (up to 500 sites) category in this year’s Publican Awards, due to be announced tomorrow (Wednesday, March 27).

And as might be expected from Britain’s Oldest Brewer, the variety and quality of the beer range on offer to its pub partners is exceptional, winning 12 awards at a local, national and international level in 2023.

The company boasts many long-serving licensees, with the average length of partner tenure over seven years, and this is reflected in the latest KAM Licensee Index Report, the industry’s leading operator sentiment tracker. Shepherd Neame ranked 1st out of the Family Brewers for ‘knowledge of your business needs’ and ‘overall culture’ and 2nd in the overall Pub Company rating against 10 key competitors.

Greg added: “Whether someone is completely new to the industry or has years of experience, our experienced and dedicated team can support them every step of the way.

“We hope that by sharing the experiences of other pub partners, who have all come from very different backgrounds but have achieved great success at their sites, this new campaign will encourage more people to run a pub with Shepherd Neame.”

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About Shepherd Neame

Shepherd Neame has been based in the market town of Faversham, Kent for over 300 years. Perhaps best known for great British classic ales such as Spitfire Amber, which carries the Royal Warrant, its diverse portfolio includes Five Grain Lager, Bear Island East Coast Pale Ale and Bear Island Triple Hopped Lager, and the Whitstable Bay Collection. It also brews international lagers under licence including premium Thai lager Singha. The independent family business boasts an award-winning visitor centre and 300 pubs and hotels throughout London and the South East, from the historic heart of the City to the Kent coastline.

Shepherd Neame is not responsible for the content on third party websites.

For further information please contact Corporate Communications Manager Kathryn Tye on 01795 542259 or email or visit

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