A man who has set himself the enviable challenge of visiting all of Britain’s oldest brewer’s Kent pubs in a year has managed to tick off a whopping 75 so far – and has added the Brewery itself to his tally.
Jace Dempster, from Hythe, took on the dream job of visiting all of Shepherd Neame’s pubs in the county at the end of January, as a tribute to the Faversham-based brewery, and his personal love of the beer it brews.
With help from his partner Vanessa, family and friends – who have stepped up to provide moral support as well as the all-important designated driver shifts – he has ticked off dozens, as he heads towards his target of all 189 by the end of January 2023.
To celebrate his achievement, Jace was invited into Shepherd Neame’s brewery in Court Street on Wednesday (July 6), to get some hands-on experience of helping brew his favourite beer.
He was treated to a full interactive tour of the brewing process by Brewing Manager Rupert Hodgkins, which included joining the team in their work.
He also learnt about the history of the brewery itself, and enjoyed an all-important tasting session in the Visitor Centre to round off his visit.
He was also presented with a limited edition Shepherd Neame Tercentary bone china plate, painted by Malcolm D Johnson.
Rupert said: “We talked through the brewing process; where our hops come from and what the malt does, and some of the differences between the brews. After a crash course in malting, milling and mashing, Jace mashed-in a batch of Spitfire Gold. He did very well and we enjoyed showing him what we do and how we do it!”
Jace said: “Vanessa and I had a great day. Rupert was a great host, really informative and seemed to have a real passion for his job. There was so much information to take in.”
And of his pubs challenge he added: “I’m really enjoying doing it. It has been great too, as we have seen far more of Kent, and been to places we might not have gone to before. Recently, we went up to the Botany Bay, and visited Joss Bay. We’d heard of it but had never been there before and had no idea how nice it was. And the same with Minnis Bay.”
He has trips planned with friends and family to Deal and Sheerness and Sittingbourne, and an overnight stay in Whitstable with Vanessa, where they plan to tick off a number of pubs in one weekend.
While in Faversham, he and Vanessa were able to tick off five Shepherd Neame pubs, including the Sun Inn. He has been keeping a journal of his journey, scoring each pub out of 10 as he goes, and drinking a minimum of half a pint at each.
Some of his visits have also been family affairs with Vanessa, baby son Cody, daughter Issy, and even dog Patch, coming along to check them out.
To see the full list of Shepherd Neame’s pubs visit shepherdneame.co.uk/pubs-map.
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.
Press release from Shepherd Neame