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17th March 2020


Britain’s oldest brewer, Shepherd Neame, is announcing a series of extensive measures to ensure the safety of its staff and customers.

From Thursday March 19, all office staff will be home-based and the front office at 17 Court Street in Faversham will close, along with our visitor facilities. Brewery tours have been temporarily suspended and events in The Old Brewery Store have been postponed. Shepherd Neame’s Brewery Shop in Court Street, Faversham, is still open to members of the public, as is the online shop, but we will be reviewing this daily.

Our production facilities will continue but we will implement strict new controls. These include the following:

  • Deep cleaning production areas at the beginning and end of each shift
  • Providing temperature monitors for employees
  • Only critical supplies will be allowed on the site and all visitors will have to undergo temperature checks and can only access the site through one single point

The Government has put the hospitality industry in a very difficult position and we are seeking urgent clarification. For the time being, as many of our pubs are open as possible but we are monitoring the situation daily, and on an individual basis.

Pubs and clubs need an immediate cash injection to provide reassurance for licensees and their communities. We are lobbying Government hard and hope for an announcement later today. We are considering a range of measures and will review them in the light of any Government announcements.

In the meantime, extensive precautionary measures are being put in place in our managed pubs to protect our staff and customers.

These include the following:

  • Sourcing infra red thermometers to allow monitoring of staff
  • Moving furniture to ensure adequate social distancing between customers
  • Where possible, requesting contactless card payments to minimise the handling of cash by our teams
  • Issuing hygiene best practice advice toolkits and supplies
  • Restricting numbers

We will be providing operational advice to our tenanted estate.

Shepherd Neame Chief Executive Jonathan Neame said: “As we face the enormous challenge of responding to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) situation, I would like to assure you that the safety of our team members and our customers is our overriding priority.

“We are vigilantly monitoring the COVID-19 situation around the clock and recognise the situation is evolving rapidly.

“I would like to take this opportunity personally, to thank all our customers and team members for their continued support and loyalty, and hope that they stay safe at this time.”


Additional note: Shepherd Neame is happy to offer refunds for any pre-booked tours. Please contact the Visitor Centre team on 01795 542016 or email