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20th July 2023

Shepherd Neame joins forces with boutique local distillery to bring customers a flavour of the White Cliffs

Faversham-based brewer and pub company Shepherd Neame has teamed up with a Kent distillery to offer its customers a unique new gin promising a taste of the county’s iconic White Cliffs.

White Cliffs Gin, which has been crafted by the Pleasant Land Distillery, based in the countryside near Ashford, is being rolled out across Shepherd Neame’s 300-strong pub and hotel estate.

The exclusive gin has a floral flavour, with woody forest notes, which has been distilled with the aim of evoking the natural environment around the White Cliffs of Dover.

Head Distiller and founder of Pleasant Land Distillery, Seb Barnick, has been working on perfecting the secret recipe for the gin over the last eight years. It went through some 50 changes until Seb felt he had hit on the perfect combination of foraged juniper, samphire, orange blossom, and elderflower.

“White Cliffs is inspired by the amazing flora and fauna around the White Cliffs area. It has a floral characteristic and I want to deliver the spirit within its context,” he said.

“I wanted it to be an evocative spirit. What I want to do is engage your memories of that experience of a place, touching on those notes and when you have it they are able to transport you to a sense of place and transport you there.”

Seb set up Pleasant Lane Distillery just over a year ago, and one of his key aims was to ensure sustainability was at the heart of every element of the operation. The distillery uses 100% renewable energy, including solar-powered stills, biomass-powered steam boilers and circular rainwater systems. Due to the distillery’s location in the heart of the Kent countryside, it is able to work closely with local farmers to source raw materials as close to the site as possible. Sustainable packaging is used, including recycled corks, and deliveries are made by electric vans.

He said: “We are proud to say that we will be a carbon-neutral business by the end of this year. We are responsible with our products and being sustainable makes good business sense. In 200 years from now I want someone to be able to have a bottle that I have made and say ‘that is wonderful’.”

Seb grew up in the area and was an officer in the Royal Navy before ‘falling in love with distilling’. He hopes to become a Master Distiller in the future, and said: “It is the aromas and the sensations that I’ll always remember.”

He launched the business with support from his father, and the small family firm now has four full-time and one part-time members of staff, and works with some well-known local and national clients.

“We are all incredibly proud of our work here and it started out as me by myself this time last year but we have had an amazing team join,” Seb said.

“I have always had a very positive relationship with alcohol – at its best it brings people together. It breaks down barriers. It is used for celebration and commiseration.  I love what we do and am really proud of it.”

Shepherd Neame’s Wines and Spirits Manager, Michael Prior, said: “We are happy and pleased to make White Cliffs Gin part of our offer in our pubs. It is amazing what Seb and his team have managed to do in such a short space of time, and we are delighted to be working with a fellow Kent-based independent family business – and one which shares our commitment to sustainability – to bring our customers something special.”

Find out more about Pleasant Land Distillery here:


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 Samuel Adams Boston Lager and premium Thai lager Singha. The independent family business boasts an award-winning visitor centre and more than 300 pubs and hotels throughout London and the South East, from the historic heart of the City to the Kent coastline.

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